“Just be happy.” My brain screams this at me on regular basis. Last week, I felt like it was on repeat as I struggled to manage my stress. I feel like I harped on this idea a lot this month… but as I said at the beginning of the year, my focus is to practice deliberate intention for 2017. This month, I talked about how I wanted to find joy. Focus on the little moments that make everything worth it. To find some solace and optimism among the chaos.
To just be happy.
My work is very stressful. At least once a day something hits my radar that could become a huge thing if I don’t deal with it. Usually it’s more than once. Often I feel like I’m herding kittens and I’m tired when I get home. Side note: Cara wrote a great post on 6 Ways to De-Stress from your Work Day earlier this week. But, at the end of the day – there are a lot of things to just be happy about. Don’t believe me? Try this exercise in gratitude each day.
- Do you have friends that love you so much that they send you notes, agree to travel across the country to celebrate life events with you, or reach out to remind you that they appreciate you? Just be happy that you do.
- Are your parents/grandparents still here? Still supporting you (emotionally, financially, spiritually) despite the differences you’ve had in the past? Providing childcare? Doing things to make your life a little bit easier? Just be happy that they are still here.
- Do you have coworkers that make you laugh? Inspire you? Get frustrated with you and then remind you to get back to work? Maybe you’ve found a mentor at work? Or outside of work? Maybe you’ve found your own #girlboss #goals? Just be happy that don’t have to figure everything out alone.
- Are you in a mutually beneficial and supportive relationship? Maybe you’ve found your soulmate. Maybe you’ve found someone you like wasting time with. Maybe you’ve found someone to encourage you to follow your dreams. Just be happy that you have someone to share life with.
- Do you have a roof over your head, food in your belly, clean water to drink, and aren’t worried what’s going to happen tomorrow with either of those things? Be happy for that blessing.
- Can you travel freely within the borders of the United States without being stopped for fear of persecution? Can you travel freely beyond the borders of the U.S. without thinking twice about your paperwork? Did you just receive these benefits by the privilege of being born within the confines of this nation? Recognize this as a privilege that you didn’t earn, but rather one that you were freely given.
- Do you wake up each day without feeling a sense of fear or insecurity at whether or not you will persecuted for your beliefs, ideals, your skin color, your religion, or some other key part of your being? Just be happy and acknowledge the great privilege that exists in that existence.
Maybe you see this as a gross oversimplification of your existence, but there are so many things for us to be happy and grateful for. There are so many things that we fail to appreciate – and I suppose – now that I look at how things are going – that we absolutely take for granted. Life isn’t perfect, but for many of us, we need to just be happy. To give the good things some brain space.
Then get up and go fight for the ones who don’t have the great luxury and privilege that we have.