Have you ever heard the phrase, "Happiness Is A Choice"?
Well as cliche as it sounds, I have made this statement a very prominent part of my life and mental state. Now understand that I am no saint nor do I expect everyone to try to be a saint. We all have bad days, we all get upset, and that is OK. Heck, there are days when I am equivalent to that of a tyrant toddler and I will continue my whole day in that manner. Sometimes you really do need to let the inner three year old out...
Most days though, I choose to make the greatest effort I can to be positive in every situation I am faced throughout the day with. Why? Because I strongly believe that if you can hold your head high, and keep smiling through even the deepest, darkest, angriest moments that life might slap you with, the chances of you coming out on the other side with something positive is too great to ignore.
Think about all the times you were pissed off for something going wrong at work or you were upset because your homework assignment was totally incomprehensible and beyond any hope of being able to complete and so your first instinct was to treat everything else under the lens of your anger. How did that work out for you? Did other aspects of your day benefit from the angry monkey on your back? I am going to guess no. I know it doesn't for me that is for sure.
So what if you had instead faced the wrong at work with the attitude that you and your coworkers would find a way to fix it together? Or had instead, met with your teacher after class and calmly explained the situation? Who knows maybe either way the problem at work wouldn't get fixed or you would still get docked for not turning in your homework. What I do know is, that if you can act on positivity rather than negativity, your boss and coworkers at work will notice. Your teacher will appreciate your time and grace more. And that is the main goal, to remember small (and BIG) possibilities that could benefit you that would never be possible if you kept a poor attitude.
But trying to remain positive throughout one day, let alone a week, or month, or your life, is not a simple task. School sucks, work sucks, people suck, even the world sucks, right? And to try and give advice that big maybe beyond my being. But I am here to explain what I do every morning that gives me a strong foundation to tackle these negative thoughts, in the hopes that then maybe you too can make similar steps to a more positive mindset.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
I am telling you right now, you need:
-A big heart -An open mind -A strong will -And determination
Without these things, you will probably have a harder time making the choices to stay positive and to continue to act from that especially when things are tougher than normal.
I also would suggest telling a friend or family member about your desire to change your daily attitude. Believe me, it helps to have someone there to tell you to remember to not let yourself be consumed by your negativity. Being positive is not a choice you have to make alone, though your final actions are only what you make of the situation.
Step 2: The Wake Up
OK, waking up and how you wake up is SO important in determining your attitude. It sets your tone for the whole day. I think it is important to have some sort of routine that you perform every morning, something that helps your brain and body wake up and prepare for the day.
For me it is a pretty simple small routine. Only, the hardest part is the physical act of waking up and getting my booty out of bed. So I have found that once my alarm goes off I lay in bed for about 10 or so minutes and scroll through my different social media sites (I know, I know experts and doctors and the president would probably say this is not "healthy" or whatever, but hey it works for me) just so that I can get out of the dreaded "snooze" stage.
There has been tons of research done about the negative effects of hitting "snooze" and how it messes up your sleep schedule and ironically ends up making you feel even more tired the rest of the day. Here is a good article if you would like to know more! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/01/why-hitti...
I know it is just so dang hard to resist that urge to hit the snooze button but just remind yourself, you are only making yourself more tired! And we all know how hard it is to be a positive, friendly person when you are tired all day.
Step 3: To the Bathroom
Once I am up (finally), I immediately go to the bathroom and wash my face. There is something about splashing water (I prefer it to be cold) on my face that rejuvenates my soul and washes the sleep right out of me. In fact, it is because of this part of my morning routine that I have never needed coffee or caffeine to get me through mornings.
I know my view point would be hated by every sleep-deprived, over-worked college student and middle aged working person, but if you can, I say get rid of coffee. Believe me you don't need it, and your body will thank you for it (maybe not right away, but after the withdrawals of course).
Coffee or no coffee though, I strongly recommend washing your face in the morning to wake up! (Plus your pores will love you)
Step 4: Breakfast, YES PLEASE
For my absolute favorite part of the day, I make myself breakfast which ranges from a banana and peanut butter to oats and an egg. I just really love food and eating so I get excited, plus it just gives me so much energy, especially if I stay away from really sugary breakfast foods (though those dang pop tarts are hard to ignore). Whatever it is I try to make sure I am getting a good dose of carbs, what my body needs to function at its best for the day.
The rest of my morning tends to vary based on what I have planned for the day, what I need to wear and how late I may be running. What does not change are those first 3 things. Ever. Especially breakfast, breakfast is so important. So please, for me, DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST.
Quick tip: If you can wake up even just 15 minutes earlier, to allow yourself plenty of time for your morning routine, you will be less stressed and rushed. This is just making it easier for you to start your day with a positive attitude. Which also eliminates the excuse of not having time for breakfast!
Step 5: Find Your Routine
Now obviously your routine is not going to be the same as mine. We are all different and have different needs in order to wake up properly in the morning. I just cannot stress enough how important it is that you start of your morning right if you want to make any changes to your daily attitude.
Your whole mental capacity starts with your foundation every morning. So make this desire to be a more positive person easier on yourself and start your days right. It is a hard enough change to make especially if you are setting yourself up to be grumpy and tired.
Happiness is a choice, and you can decide whether or not to make that choice moving forward.