Cultivating the Habit of Happiness
BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM
Happiness hasn’t been my best friend lately. I’ve been walking through a pretty gloomy season of grief, loss and some might even call it depression. Although, even in the darkest moments, happiness finds me like a ray of golden sunshine. When it does, oh my goodness do I cling to it, girlfriend.
Times of sadness are unavoidable, and frankly, we can’t be happy every hour of every day. So, what am I saying? While we might not be able to control the times when we experience real happiness, we can begin to nurture and love ourselves into it. Becoming aware of the importance of being happy is the first step to allowing the light to obliterate the darkness. That even in those heart-shattering, bone-shaking, tear-jerking moments, we give ourselves permission to smile. Those feelings won’t go away forever in the blink of an eye, but you will have the courage to face the day. And really, that’s what we need... am I right?
These are the reminders, truths and actions I have found cultivate happiness in troubled times:
Don’t Feel Guilty for Smiling
Yes, there might be SO many reasons for you not to crack a smile, but life is too short and truthfully, too beautiful. While things might not look the way you pictured right now, I promise you there is some good to hold onto. Don’t let whatever or whomever guilt-trip you into missing out on scarce moments of happiness. Because let’s be honest, smiling is rare in times of great despair... ALL the more reason to spend those small blessings of joy with the biggest grin on your face.
Loads of Self-Care is Welcomed
About a month ago, I was having one of the worst weeks in awhile. I couldn’t focus on work, this business, or anything else for that matter. I dreaded waking up and getting out of bed. One morning, I told myself to do something out of the ordinary to bring excitement back into my routine. So, I ran to QuikTrip (a really snazzy gas station) to pick myself up a breakfast burrito, and then I stopped at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for a tasty blended sugar latte that probably had no coffee in it whatsoever. Did that solve everything? No. Not at all. But, it did create a cadence of happiness at the start of my day. Lesson here? Self-care is real, necessary and a total game-changer. It’s time you created opportunities of magic for yourself, girl.
Spontaneity is the Best Medicine
Nothing in the entire world can make me feel more alive than the beauty of spontaneity. Feeling low? Get in the car and just drive somewhere! Need a pick-me-up? Retail therapy is even better unplanned. I can attest to that! Being spontaneous gives you freedom to embrace the unexpected. So, no matter what it might be, the unexpected can be a good thing. Whatever it is that is guaranteed to bring you happiness, do it and don’t think about it. I swear, you won’t regret it.
Pursue Passion Like You Mean It
Has anyone else ever experienced a lackluster passion? Those things that once brought you life maybe don’t do it for you anymore? I know I’ve been there… within the last three months. But, you MUST POWER THROUGH. In depression and hurt, you’re not yourself. We all know that truth. So, when passions don’t feel like, well... passions anymore, know that’s just your feelings getting in the way. Your heart for what you love is still there, beating inside of you. Put in the time and energy to find it. Maybe, try some of the actions I mentioned previously. I know you’ll uncover that passion again. Don’t let it slip away, girl. It’s simply suffocating under all of that heavy life stuff right now. It’s your job to clear out a space for it to grow.
I know happiness can seem out of reach. Based on my most recent experience, I have seen it’s actually closer than we think. So, don’t stop chasing the moments that bring a smile to your face. You’ll begin to notice life gets that much brighter when you let the light in.
Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.