I’m not sure I truly understood what happiness was until I got older.  I spent the majority of my teenage years mad and angry and running from the problems in life that I couldn’t understand.  At some point, about half way into graduate school my life seemed to shift and change gears.  I honestly got sick of the person I was becoming and decided to change.  I worked really hard to become a happier person and love myself for who I was and stopped pushing so hard to become the person I thought I should be.  Once I did this I was more comfortable in my own skin and the relationships in my life had a greater meaning.  I began to pay more attention to others and found happiness in their happiness.  I think it really takes a lot to feel happiness for others.  I think a lot of times people focus on themselves and comparing their happiness levels to others.  I used to do that and found it to be exhausting and just plain miserable.  I developed a set of guidelines for myself, that I still follow (and struggle with) on a daily basis.  I want to share them here and hope that when you read them you will understand their value.

So here goes- Kristyn’s Guidelines to Being Happy:

  1. Don’t Complain- When you complain you are reminding yourself of all the negative feelings you are having.  I think it’s important to take as many moments as possible in our lives and think about all the things we have to be grateful for. When you do this you will be reminded of all the good in your life and this should turn that frown upside down.
  2. Slow Down-  I struggled a lot with this one.  I think a lot of people rush through their day in order to get as many things done as they can.  I know that I have hurried through some pretty big moments in my life so that I could check some items off my to-do list and then later I would have regrets and worries that I didn’t make the best choices.  I always felt that I could have done a better job if I just slowed down and enjoyed it more.
  3. Spread Kindness-  If you think someone is beautiful or you like the shirt that they are wearing, TELL THEM!  This is so simple but I think that a lot of compliments go unsaid.  They are just words and they can truly make others feel good about themselves.  Making others smile always makes me feel better, and before I know it I feel happy for simply saying a small sentence to someone else.  Sending gifts and cards to others is also a way to cheer someone up and it only takes a couple of minutes to sit and think about something you can do to brighten up the day of someone else, and brighten up your day as well.
  4. Be Accepting-  This is the hardest one for me and the one that I still struggle with quite often.   I have this idea in my head that how I think and the way I do things is the ONLY way (and the right way).  This is NOT true.  What you have to understand is that each person has their own thought system and own way of doing things that they too think is the right and only way.  Being accepting of this makes life a whole lot easier.  Each person you meet has a past that is causing them to think and react to situations in the way that they do.  Being understanding of this and hearing what others have to say is a good thing, if you really listen to their point you might even learn something.  Which brings me to my next guideline:
  5. NEVER Stop Learning- I think it is very easy to go to school, get a job and then call it quits in the learning portion of life.  The world is huge and you interact with new and exciting people constantly.  There are so many opportunities to grow and learn.  New experiences will definitely make you happy (and also help you to understand others) so listening to podcasts, reading books, learning new hobbies and talking with others are all opportunities to exercise that brain a little bit, making you feel better and also a little bit happier.
  6. Have Faith- In the end it will be okay, and if it’s not okay, then it is not the end right?  You have to have faith that everything will always be okay in the end.  I say to myself about a hundred times a day: What’s the worst that could happen?  My answer to this every single time is that even the worst case scenario is one that I can handle with just a little bit of time and help from the people that love me.  You have a support system.  They love you more than can be expressed in words and will be there to help support you through anything that is a struggle for you.  Always have faith that you are going to be okay.

Once I started to think more about these guidelines and apply them more frequently to
my life, I became a happier person.  With that came the confidence I needed to change my bad habits and make a better life for myself.  I began eating healthier and taking care of myself because it was so easy to do once I was truly happy.  I fixed a lot of broken relationships in my life and let go of some of the relationships that were adding a lot of negativity in my life.  I finally figured out who I was and this was exciting for me.  I think that I was just walking around with the hugest smile EVER on my face and it drew to me the most amazing people.  After I made this change I met your dad, the man of my dreams.  It was easy for me to be myself around him and I think that’s why we really hit off.

I think that finding happiness is the most important thing you can do in life.  Your dad and I were lucky enough to experience a happy home when we growing up and I want to share that same experience with you.  I know for a fact that our life will change when you enter it, and it is going to be the most amazing change that any couple could ask for.  I can not wait to introduce you to your loving, happy family!!

Check out the podcast called “Simply Happy” on My Secret Stash page, it’s most definitely worth the hour of listening and helped me build my guidelines for happiness: Simply Happy Podcast

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