Finding Happiness WHILE You're In The Mess

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The boss is expecting you to come in early, and stay late all next week.

All three kids have practice this week and your hubby is out of town on business.

And now you feel a tickle in your throat. 

We all go through hard times, have stressful periods in our lives or even get overwhelmed by all thing keeping all the moving parts of our lives in balance.  Times when it's hard to find much joy and happiness and everything seems to rub you raw. We have times when we feel like we’re in way over our head and can’t think straight. That causes lots of stress and as we’ve talked about in a previous blog post, stress kills happinessEven when we can't change our circumstances, there are things you can do to find a little happiness during these tough times.

Remember that the sun will come up tomorrow.  Sometimes, just knowing that this is a season helps.  Like knowing the project will be finished at a certain time, or that the testing window closes on a certain date.  The deadline helps you stay focuses on the fact that the tough times don't last forever.  Other times, you're not sure when the stress will end.  Maybe your new supervisor is a tyrant or there's a financial strain that's taking a toll on you, in those moments, we have to consciously choose to inject joy into our lives.  We need that little bit of happiness to give us hope.

Let’s talk about how you can go about creating that little bit of happiness to get you through the hard times. The first thing you may want to focus on is gratitude. Whenever you feel particularly bad, sad, or overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn, think about the many people and things in your life that you can be grateful for. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, be grateful for the time you’ve had with them and the things you’ve learned from this special person. If you’re stressed out at work or in your own business, be grateful that you’re growing and making progress. It may not be easy, but this overwhelm and stress can mean that much better things are ahead.

Take control. When we can't see an end to stress in sight, we have a tendency to feel out of control.  Maybe even helpless.  This can trigger anxiety and absolutely drop our happiness reserves.  In these moments, remind yourself of what you can control.  Your mood, your emotions, even just your breath if you need to.  You may not be able to change your situation, but you can change how you look at it and the energy you bring to it.  If a day is going to be hard, why make it harder by dreading every moment of it? Make a plan for how you'll get through the next hour, day or week and take the day head on.

Give joy to others. When Oprah started talking about random acts of kindness years ago, she shared little things like buying a cup of coffee or paying the toll for people behind you in line, but the truth is, everyday, with or without extra cash, there are things we can do to extend joy and kindness to others. When we give joy to others in the form of compliments, the good parking space, or even a little grace after the kids bad behavior, everyone wins.

Have you tried these tips? Leave a comment and let me know how it's going!