Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes the only way to do the things that need to get done to be happy is by stepping out of your comfort zone. And I don’t think we often think about that as a way to happiness. Because I know for me, stepping out of my comfort zone gives me anxiety and makes me feel absolutely horrible. But the reward for doing so could be the happiness I’m missing.

There are so many things that we don’t do, but kind of want to do, because it doesn’t feel comfortable to us. We don’t go places alone, we don’t try new foods, we don’t go new places. Because we’re afraid of being alone, uneasy about eating something weird, and scared of being somewhere unfamiliar.

But if you have no one to go with to see your favorite band, will you go alone or not go at all? Are you missing out on something that will potentially be fun, your new favorite place, your new favorite food, or hobby?

Even if it’s a little painful, sometimes we have to take the risks to get the reward. Sometimes you have to force and claw your way out of your comfort zone, because you might find happiness there.

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Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spapax/

Giving Up Caffeine

Up until this year, I didn’t like coffee. I stuck with my usual tea and Diet Coke to get my caffeine fix. But slowly I’ve become obsessed with iced coffee and cold brew and now I’m cutting it all out – and it hurts, guys.

I am generally an over-thinker and it doesn’t really stop when I sleep, especially when I’m stressed out. I haven’t been sleeping well at all the past couple of weeks and it’s taken a major toll on me, so I’ve been ordered to give up caffeine for 2-3 weeks to see if it makes a difference. This is being paired with regular exercise.

I switched out my morning tea for decaf and haven’t touched a Diet Coke or coffee in days. I thought I was pretty snappy and cranky when I couldn’t sleep, but without caffeine it seems to be 10 times worse. I told myself I’d allow some cheat days, but I really do want to be able to sleep better so I think I have to at least make it through the work week without any caffeine.

I was told to cut it cold turkey, which seemed a little drastic but now makes sense. It wasn’t so hard, but at the end of the day I get headaches and want to go to bed at 5:30 pm. Which is no good.

Have you ever cut out caffeine? I would love to hear how your experience went, if you’d be able to do it, or if you have any tips!

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Finding Your Way Back To Happiness

Happiness is a funny thing because you don’t really know you have it until it’s gone. And you don’t really notice it missing right away. You slowly slip into this funk that you think will fade until you wake up one day and realize you’ve been indifferent about life for over a year.

Then when you find it again, it’s  like waking up on the right side of the bed finally. Like you got the sleep out of your eyes and are ready to take on the world.

But if you’re not careful, you’ll start to slip again. It happens to everyone, we can’t all be happy 100% of the time. And it’s gradual again, you don’t even know the happiness is gone until you look in the mirror one day and hate everything about yourself. It’s like getting into bed and realizing you never want to get out and face the world.

So how do you find your way back?

You’ve been there before, you just need to retrace your steps. It’s the effort to do so that will really set you back. I was sad for years, it took so much work to feel good again…why can’t I just lay in bed?

And you can’t half-ass it at all. Great, you’ve got one thing going in the right direction. But that one thing can’t pull you all the way up. You have to try harder, you have to force yourself to the happiness you’re craving, but just can’t seem to find the energy to grasp.

Finding happiness isn’t easy just as slipping into sadness wasn’t easy. Sure, it may feel like it’s so much easier to fall down than get up. But think about the things that got you to sad, they are far less fun than the things that get you to happy.

Retrace your steps and put in the work, happiness is just around the corner.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bennyseidelman/

Why Be Anything But Nice?

I will be the first to admit that most of my life was spent not  being a nice person. I think I tried to be a good person when I was young, but was quickly walked all over in middle school and high school. So I tried being bitchy and it seemed to work better for me.

It kept people out of my life and at arm’s length, it kept me safe and protected, but it was a lot of effort. It was hard to consistently be meanish to people, not because I was denying my nature to be nice, but because you have to be tough all the time and keep up this image that shows people that you don’t want to be bothered. It was like a game, you can’t catch me because I’m dark and edgy and I don’t like you.

Right after I graduated college, I just realized it’s easier to be nice to everyone. You can still keep them at arm’s length, but in a way that you could reach out if you needed to. Back when I wasn’t nice at first glance, people were always disappointed when the can’t catch me girl was caught and wasn’t as dangerous as they thought. I felt like I was never living up to anything and was just over the trend of people not liking me. Who wants to be disliked? Why was I ever that way?

I watched this video on Facebook the other day about a woman who was fat shamed at a Dairy Queen. It absolutely killed me.

I have been working very hard to help build up the people in this world who have been torn down by media, society, and just the pressures of being human. Because I feel all of those things too and I need someone to build me up too.  Everyone is fabulous in their own way. I used to get jealous and spiteful when a girl looked better than me, now I’m like damnnnn girl, rock it! If you look hot, I’m going to tell you that you look hot even if I don’t know you.

Because why not? Being mean wasn’t easy, it bogged me down. I think we need to stop striving to be this elusive boss ass bitch and just be nice. You can still be powerful and kind.

hc
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6 More Things That Make Me A Happier Person

When you’re in a not-so-great place, it is not easy to find five things that will cheer you up. But as you grow, you begin to add to that list. You find more and more things that help put you in the direction you want to be in. The direction of happiness.

Here are five things that made me a happier person when I was a not so happy person. And here are six things that make me a happier person now that I am in a better place:

  1. Celebrating every little thing
    We accomplish things on a daily basis and those things should be recognized. You and the people you surround yourself should be proud of everything that you work for. So if you got a raise at work, or hit a goal you’ve been working towards, or just got out of bed today – pop a bottle of champagne because you deserve it.
  2. Writing down what I’m grateful for
    Every day I write 10 things I am grateful for in what I call my gratitude journal. Sometimes it’s not easy to come up with 10, sometimes it is. It really makes me reflect on the great things I have in my life.
  3. Picking up an activity that clears your mind
    This should be something you can do alone. Get a coloring book. Read a book. I recently started going to yoga classes, but now I can try and practice that alone at home as well.
  4. Setting achievable and reach goals
    Ever since I started writing down what I want to achieve, I started accomplishing more. It’s easy to accomplish something like “change my hair in the month of January” and I still feel the reward. It’s a little harder to accomplish things like “get a raise at work” but writing it down will get you there.
  5. Letting go of the things I can’t change for people
    I used to feel guilty, a lot, because I’m introverted and often just don’t enjoy going out every weekend or making non stop plans. I am starting to put things into perspective where that’s a part of me that doesn’t need to change and everyone just needs to accept it.
  6. A positive mindset
    It seems so simple, but we go into most things negatively whether we mean to or not. Do you want to be happier this year? Then think happy thoughts as often as you can.

    hc
    photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fox3nova/

It’s Okay To Not Reach Your Goals

Making goals put my life into a new perspective. I realized all that I wanted to do, all that I can do, and all that I can look forward to. It made life just that much more exciting to live.

The possibilities can seem endless when you’re writing down your goals. Because you can write down ones that are attainable. You can write down long term and short term. You can write down ones that are essentially you reaching for the stars.

And sometimes you will reach the stars. Sometimes you’ll blow your own mine and complete the goal you’d never though you’d complete.

But sometimes you won’t reach your goals. And that’s okay too. Because as harsh as the word “failure” is, it’s okay to fail. It puts you back on track to realize that not everything comes easy. Some things take a lot of hard work, and even that won’t get you there.

It’s okay to fail because then you know what changes to make and you’ll work harder towards your goals next time.  Stop looking at failure as a negative and look at it as a positive. Take failure as a lesson. As long as you continue to learn and grow, to push past your boundaries and attempt to shatter your goals, then it’s okay to not complete them every once in a while.

You can crush that goal, but you can’t let a little failure get in the way.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fireflieswaltz/

Why It’s Hard To Recognize Unhappiness

You’d think recognizing your own emotions would be easy, but it’s not for many reasons. We often put other people’s emotions before our own, we get blinded by more dominant emotions, or we’ve just learned to ignore them.

It’s hard to recognize unhappiness because we’re trying so hard to be happy. To admit unhappiness is admitting that you failed at being happy. That your relationship is dead. That your job is a dud. That your life isn’t going the way you planned.

Because of this, many people live unhappy lives and they don’t know it. In this case, ignorance is bliss. But if you ever wriggle out of that unhappy situation, you’ll realize how much time you’ve wasted not being truly happy.

It’s hard to recognize unhappiness unless you are truly in tune with your self. If you actually take time to analyze your emotions and take time for self care.

Take a look at your life, write down the way you feel and recognize your happiness or unhappiness. It’ll help you in the long run.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/of_guido/