Kayla Bacon-Carefree Fall 2

Happiness: You Can Create Your Reality

I constantly find myself waiting for others to make me happy. My friends, my boyfriend, my family, my coworkers, etc. This honestly usually ends in disappointment. But I don’t blame them at all. I do that thing where I build up expectations in my mind that they don’t even know about, and then expect them to deliver my happiness to me, preferably on a silver platter and right on time. Recently, I’ve gotten to really thinking about it, and I realized, how unrealistic is that? Why should my happiness be anyone’s responsibility but my own? After all, I am the only one who knows for sure what makes me happy. 

“Siri, set a REMINDER: People are only responsible for their own happiness.”

If you are anything like me and find yourself sitting around waiting for others to cheer you up, or make your day, think about how well that usually works out for you. Now, when you’ve come to the conclusion that 95% of the time IT JUST DOESN’T, keep reading… 

I have been reading a lot about creating your own happiness, and I am here to tell you that it’s possible. So, let’s get started. 

If you are serious about creating your own happiness, the first step is admitting that you ARE the only person responsible for your happiness. You, and only you, are in charge of your mood today. You know what makes you happy, and you can decide to be whatever you want to be today. You should choose to be HAPPY!

I am not going to say it’s going to be easy, or that you will never have a bad day again, but here are five simple things you can do to improve/create your own happiness. I have been working on these this month and find them super helpful when I need to boost my own mood. 

- Be mindful of your self-talk. 

If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts about your day, about yourself, or about others, it is going to impact your mood greatly. Being aware of the conversation you are having constantly in your head and steering it in a more positive direction when you feel it taking a turn for the worst is one simple way you can improve your mood! 

- Remind yourself of everything you are grateful for. 

This is an instant way to boost your mood! Think about all the things you are grateful for in your life. Being alive, your family, your friends, your job, music, dogs, etc. Focusing on the things that are going right in your life instead of focusing on the negative is important. Reflecting on the good versus the bad can put into perspective just how many things you have to be happy for and excited about!

A fun little habit to get into is keeping a gratitude journal! Every day at the end of the day I write AT LEAST one thing that I am grateful for that day - sometimes I write more! It puts me in a better mood, and on days that I am having a rough day, I can look back and be reminded of why I love my life! 

- Make time for the things you love. 

An easy way to brighten your day is to do something you love! Make time for your hobbies. Whatever it is that brings you joy- volunteering, reading, doodling, painting, cooking, going for a run, whatever it is- do something for yourself! Engaging in your favorite hobbies is scientifically proven to boost your mood, and some studies even show that people who have hobbies they love have less stress and lower heart rates!

And if you don’t have a hobby, find one. Maybe try some out that you have always been interested in but never could find the right time to start! It can be as simple as going on a daily walk for 10 minutes, or maybe journalling a few lines a day. 

- Get out into the world! 

Go out there and create some happy memories. Grab your friends and get to a movie! Meet some new friends playing intramural sports! Ask the girl in your class to go get coffee! Go to that club meeting you have been considering attending!

Humans thrive on social interaction. By getting out there and creating those social connections, you will not only boost the happiness of others but yours too! Surrounding yourself with some positive experiences and positive energy is going to bring out all these great, positive feelings inside of you.

- Start every day new, no matter what. 

Maybe you are upset or disappointed with how yesterday went. Maybe you did everything on this list and it still didn’t help. Well, today is a new day. Choose to start it in the best way possible - congratulate yourself on making it through yesterday, because sometimes all you can do is make it through a day.  Then, take your mood into your own hands once again. Make your favorite breakfast, treat yourself somehow, and don’t be afraid to pursue anything that makes you happy inside!

Of course our moods are going to fluctuate daily based on the experiences we have. That’s a 100% guarantee. No one ever said you are forbidden to be sad. However, you just can’t expect others to be able to make you happy- that is something you are going to have to do for yourself. When you decide that you are ready to take responsibility for your own happiness, it is going to change your life for the better.