Finding Happiness

finding happy

Sometimes a little stress is healthy. A stressful situation can force you to run around, test your skills, and push yourself further than ever before. It can be a great motivator and a little stress is necessary sometimes.

But stress is also sneaky.

I’ve noticed some changes in myself lately. I’m slower and sleepier. I get less enjoyment out of the gym so I don’t really go. I’ve found myself giving negative responses faster and speaking up about things that are better left unsaid. Basically I haven’t been my best self. So I started thinking about why this could be happening and after a little reflection exercise I realized that I’ve slowly become stressed without even realizing it. I’m sure you can relate. One thing happens, than another, a few days later it’s something else.

You have a late night.
Then you hit snooze too many times and end up rushed in the morning.
Almost late to work, but you made it just in time!
…Just in time for a surprise meeting you’re unprepared for.
Pull out of the parking lot and straight into traffic.

I think you get the picture. Lately the timeline above seems normal not stressful- but the truth is that my normal has become stressful. I’ve never really thought about how quickly small stressors can add up over time. So to combat my hectic days I’ve decided to create a little goal list for this month to help me find a little more happiness.

  • Go to at least 1 yoga class
  • Spend at least 5 hours a week reading
  • Take Allegra on longer walks
  • Buy a bottle of wine

When I first started blogging I started to do monthly goals based off of the chapters in The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’m not good at goal lists so this fizzled out pretty quickly, but I purposefully made this one more fun and very simple to give myself the opportunity to complete it.

I’ll report back next month. In the meantime, stress-relieving tips are always welcomed!

Choosing Happiness

think happy be happy

Yesterday I skipped yoga to do a little craft supply shopping and I found myself standing in line behind one of those. We’ve all been there. The lady walks up to the counter and she can’t quite decide if she wants to buy everything she brought up. She’s going through each item, chatting with herself and trying to make some jokes with the cashier, but nobody is laughing. Her phone starts ringing and she ignores it almost long enough for it to go to voicemail. Then she hunts it down in her giant purse and answers the phone. She’s loudly talking with the mystery someone while the kind cashier is still waiting for some kind of direction and I’m standing behind them thinking my arms are going to fall off because I was a dummy and didn’t want to get a cart.

Then I took the attention off of my own annoyances and I heard the conversations from the line behind me. There were some sighs, some quiet anger, and then one mother yelling at her son that she “refuses to wait on this line for one item”. As I watched the woman drag her sad son out of the store it hit me- I don’t have to feel like this. I don’t have to be angry. And just like that I found myself smiling at the cashier lady and I felt new life come to my arms. And then the loud lady left and someone gave me a coupon!

I feel like this is what people mean when people say that you are the owner of your own feelings. I know I said I’m not making a resolution, but if I was I think this would be it: Be happy. Anyone else ever have this moment?

 

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5 ways to get excited about the gym

get excited for the gym!Last Wednesday I posted about my promise to be healthier. Getting to the gym is hard for me, but I absolutely love the post workout high.  That feeling has kept me going this past week, but I wanted to start up a list of some of the ways I make myself more excited for the gym. I’ve got a pretty long list going in my handy-dandy notebook but here’s an easy 5 that I think could be helpful for you too.

1. Join a gym that fits your needs. Do you want to go to a cheaper, easy-going gym like Planet Fitness or are you interested in going to a more hardcore/serious gym like  Gold’s Gym? Do some trials at different gyms and find one that you feel good in. Do you want classes? Find a gym that includes them. If you don’t like being inside your gym of choice you’re never going to want to go.

2. Load up your phone or MP3 player with multiple workout playlists. I find myself in the mood for different music on different days. Yesterday, for example, was a Lady GaGa day and it was absolutely wonderful! For me, I really enjoy listening to music when I hit the treadmill and if I don’t have the right songs available my whole run is a drag.  I like to have 3 playlists at all times so that I can always find something that will help me get through my cardio of the day.

3. Go with a buddy! Dean loves going to the gym but I notice that he talks about his gym time in a more enjoyable way when he meets a friend for a workout.  I actually prefer working out alone-it’s my me time. But I do like when Dean asks to drive down together. It forces me to go on days that I may have been more interested in sitting on my couch.

4. Find an exercise you get excited for. Are you a runner? A crossfit fiend? A weight lover? Do it! Dean gets really pumped when he realizes it’s a back day at the gym. He considers his back a strength of his and he not only feels good after his workout is done, but he feels good while doing it. I really like running.  Since I haven’t ran in a while, it’s a little tough to get going now, but once I’m able to relax into it I feel great. For Dean, a back day at the gym is not only motivating, but it’s fun. For me, feeling my body get comfortable with running is totally worth getting up a little early on a Saturday to hit the gym.

5. This is my most exciting one: Buy new workout clothes! Some of my best workout days are the ones where I have new sneakers, a new sports bra, or even new socks! I’ve noticed that when I feel cute hitting the gym I work harder. I don’t know why, but I never question an excuse to shop.

With these things in mind, I’m happy to say that I was able to go to the gym 3 more times this week. That’s one more than my goal! Booya! What do I hope for the future? Hit the gym at least twice over the weekdays and once each weekend. We shall see!

Do you think any of these could help you get yourself to the gym?
Would a video of Richard Simmons motivate you more?
What gets you excited to workout?

With Luck

 

ONJ photo via