Choose Joy.

I was recently watching Grey’s Anatomy and in one of the episodes, they were talking about happiness and joy. Looking for joy and finding some happiness or doing things that made you happy. The looking for joy, really hit me.

It is all about our mindset and how we choose to view things. I could wake up in the morning and be annoyed or irritated at work. I could be frustrated with my commute. I could just be an unhappy person to be around. Frustrated with my circumstances, finances, the way the world is going.

or

I could wake up and smile. I could feel the happiness. I could look for things throughout my day that bring me more and more joy. Did you know that when you smile, it helps your mood?

I recently started smiling when answering the phone and my overall mood on the phone is happier. Customers seem to be happier too. Talking with a smile on your face seems to help lift any mood.

All of this sounds so grand and easy. Wake up and be happy, choose joy. We all know it isn’t that simple though. There are going to be days that no matter how hard you try, it is hard to see the joy. You are going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed and not be able to fix it. There will be days where nothing seems to go right and there will be days where it all seems to fall apart. This is okay. The important part is that you keep trying. Every day. Keep trying to find ways to choose joy. Keep working on being kind to your neighbor. At a certain point, you won’t have to keep trying, it will just come naturally. I am on the path of trying, everyday, trying to be better than I was the day before. Choosing Joy. Choosing Happiness.

Just remember, joy doesn’t have to be some grand gesture or experience. It could be someone complementing your glasses or opening the door for you or complementing your shoes! It is the little things, they matter the most. While you are on the outlook for joy, don’t be afraid to show kindness to others. If you like someone’s outfit, tell them. Imagine the world we could live in, if people started paying attention to others and were nice. For my introverts, this is harder to do trust me I am right there with you. The more you do it, the easier it gets. You never know how much you can brighten someone’s day by complementing them though.

Choose Joy and Share some love, we could all use a little more love.

12 Rules for Life – Book Review

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson, this book was really interesting. Some parts of it were a little harder to get through for me than others, but overall I enjoyed it. These are some of the rules that stood out to me. 

#1 – Stand up straight, with your shoulders back 

  • “the acts of life we repeat everyday need to be automatized”

Meaning, create habits so that the things you do everyday become normal, gives you more time and energy to try new things

  • “People size you up. If you present yourself as defeated, then people will react to you as if you are losing.”

Always be confident in whatever you are doing. If you are not confident in the task you are trying to tackle, no-one else is going to think you are confident. You can see defeat on someone’s face a mile away, don’t let it be shown on your face. 

#4 – Compare yourself to who you were yesterday not to who someone else is today 

  • “Where you start might not be as important as the direction you are heading.”

Maybe let’s read that bullet point above again. Where you start might not be as important as the direction you are heading. This is so very true but sometimes hard to remember in the moment. Looking back over my journey, my start was rough, it was rocky, it was trying to survive. Now, I am thankful for all that. It has helped me become the person that I am today. Helped me on a journey to constant improvement and confidence to know that I am make it through anything.  

  • “Perhaps happiness is always to be found in the journey uphill, and not in the fleeting sense of satisfaction awaiting at the next peak.”

I think everyone just wants to be happy. I think we all have a hard time finding it sometimes. I have often heard that happiness is found in the journey. Well, sometimes the journey is hard and anything but happy. But, there are moments each day that bring happiness, you just have to be willing to look for those moments. The sunrise, the birds singing, the fawn running or the great music on your drive in to work. Shift your mindset and look for the things that make you happy.

  • “I want things in my life to be a tiny bit better than they were this morning.”
  • “What you aim at determines what you see.”

Each day strive to be just a little bit better than yesterday. If you are striving to be a little better each day, after time it adds up. If you don’t have goals and dreams, get some. If you aren’t aiming at something, it is very hard to keep moving forward. Sometimes, I feel like I am just drifting, then I remind myself of the dreams, goals.

#8 – Tell the truth or, at least don’t lie.

  • “If you will not reveal yourself to others, you cannot reveal yourself to yourself.” 

If you can’t be honest, you will never truly know you. Be bold enough to be honest and tell the truth. You only get better from your mistakes. Eventually, all things will catch up to you, just be honest from the start and true to yourself. Sometimes, honesty can be super hard to tell and to hear, but in the end it is worth it. 

Interested in more of the rules? Check out the book

As always, share some love, we could all use a little more love. 

XOXOXO

Casey 

Activities That Help Combat Depression

Depression. 

The Webster definition states – a state of feeling sad: low spirits: melancholy specifically: a mood disorder that is marked by varying degrees of sadness, despair, and loneliness and that is typically accompanied by inactivity, guilt, loss of concentration, social withdrawal, sleep disturbances, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.

Depression looks different for different people. It can come in all shapes and sizes. I have never been clinically diagnosed but I have experienced the days where you cry and you don’t know why. The days where all you want to do is stay in bed. The baby blues. The overwhelming feeling of not knowing when things are going to get better. Not every person may have had that same experience but at some point everyone has experienced some of those feelings in that definition.

At what point are people considered depressed? To be diagnosed with depression, you have to visit a doctor, they have to take tests and do evaluations. What happens when you finally take the step to meet with a doctor, but by the time your appointment comes around, you are already feeling better? What if you are one of those people that just continues to push through? You push through the sadness and loneliness because, well, you have people depending on you.  

While you may not know someone directly who is suffering from depression, I am almost positive you know someone who knows someone who is suffering. Mental health is sometimes an issue that is overlooked, a topic that is not readily discussed. Be sure to check on your friends, you never know what kind of internal battle someone else is fighting. A simple – “Hey, I am thinking about you, hope all is well’ – goes a long way. We get so busy and wrapped-up with our daily lives that sometimes we forget others. We can all do better about sharing some love, me included. 

Some days for me are harder than others. Then you have those days that are just simply amazing. I want more of those days. Below are some tips and tricks that I practice to help me, these may not work for you, but it never hurts to give them a try. 

  • Meditating – this is something new that I started about two months ago. I am still learning and I don’t always get it right, but it helps me push all the worries and anxiety away and clears my head. I try to do this every morning after I get up. 
  • Journaling – this is the second thing I do in the mornings. Any thoughts from yesterday, any lingering worries, anything that I need to get out, goes down on paper. At the end, I also include what I am working on for the day that needs to get done. This helps give me some direction on what I am doing and helps me stay on track to hit my goals. 
  • Learning new things – I love learning, so I am always either reading or taking some online course to continue to educate myself 
  • Listening to Music – music has always soothed my soul. Depending on what mood I am in, I know exactly what music to play that helps me. 
  • Sleep – this one is hard sometimes, but I always try to get a good night’s sleep. That may include me going to bed early some nights, but sometimes that is the best thing for you. 

Some other things to try that may help include: 

  • Creating a routine, doing things you enjoy, setting attainable goals and then rewarding yourself for hitting those goals, spending time in nature, volunteering, trying something new, exercise, and watching what you eat and drink

We are all different, while one thing works for you, it won’t always work for someone else. Take the time to learn what works for you, take the time to figure out what you enjoy and do more of that. Know that it is okay to struggle and that you are not alone. Life is meant to be full of joy and happiness, don’t miss the amazing blessings that God gives us everyday. 

Check on your friends and share some love, we could all use a little more love.   

XOXOXO

Casey