3 Ways to Maximize Happiness

Happiness seems elusive sometimes, doesn’t it?

I’ve had a challenging week. (Read more about that here). I don’t feel happy. I’m a recovering chronic worrier and have anxiety as well. Sometimes these two things work against me and sabotage true happiness.

Our circumstances sometimes really have the ability to weigh us down, don’t they? This week I had a CAT scan for a a bulge I discovered in my abdomen that wasn’t previously there. I worried about the results, fearing something major. Thankfully, the doctor’s office reported to me that the scan is clear. Whatever that bulge is must simply be abdominal wall and nothing of concern. I’m so thankful. 

Our youngest dog, our pug Gracie, had a fairly significant surgery earlier this week. We discovered a large, hard lump on her neck over the weekend and cells from the fluid looked concerning so they removed the lump. The lump itself didn’t look so good either so now we wait for results and pray that they’re good news.

The days are cold and gloomy fairly often because, well, it’s winter. Not the best mood booster!

I’ve felt overwhelmed. Do you ever feel like that? Like you want to pull up the covers and just pray things fix themselves while you sleep?

We can create our own happiness and even when things get hectic, there are still some things we can do to maximize our happiness and promote stability in our lives.

Self Care

We’ve got to make ourselves priorities. For those of us who are used to caring for everyone else first and then maybe taking care of ourselves if we have any time or energy left, this feels like a foreign concept. But we need to care for ourselves so we can continue to care for and support our loved ones.

  • Exercise: Believe me, I know this isn’t always easy and it often seems like a really unpleasant task. But when you exercise, even 15 minutes a day, it makes a difference. It elevates your mood, helps you to feel like you’re doing something good for your body, and encourages better sleep.
  • Regular Checkups: To the best of your ability, get the regular medical and dental checkups you need. If you’re not insured or finances are an issue, reach out to your local social services department and see what programs can assist you. Often you’ll find free health care in free clinics or your health department with free mammograms, blood pressure and cholesterol screening, and many services with fees based on ability to pay.
  • Rest: Get the proper rest your body requires. I know it’s hard when your mind won’t shut off and worries abound, but really try to turn off electronics, pray, and let your worries fade in order to ensure sound sleep. When you’re able, take a vacation. Get some time away to rest and recharge. Even a short trip or no trip (a staycation) away from your usual routine can bring a fresh perspective.
  • Make time for friends and family: Be around the people who get you and make you laugh, those who make you feel good about yourself and support you. It’s so good to be around your tribe, isn’t it?
  • Have hobbies: Make time for your dreams. If you write, make time for it. Start with a journal. Sports, sewing, reading, piano, music, whatever is your thing…make time for what really piques your interest and stirs up your passion.

Melanie S. Pickett, happiness

Healthy Relationships

Toxic relationships can be one of the most stressful things in your world. If there’s someone causing you strife on the regular, reconsider that relationship. At the very least, distance yourself so you can maintain healthy boundaries. Boundaries are so important in all relationships, no matter what type: marital, parent and child, work, friends, siblings, acquaintances. There should be healthy, clear, loving boundaries in all relationships. Steer clear of drama. That stuff can eat you alive (figuratively speaking, of course!)

Help Others

Think of the last time you helped someone. How did you feel? Most likely, you felt pretty good. You’ve know what it’s like to need help whether it’s a ride, a shoulder to cry on, help carrying a bag of groceries or something even more significant. When someone recognizes your need, comes alongside you and meets that need, it is life giving. You feel seen and acknowledged and supported, even if it’s by a stranger for just a moment. It’s wonderful. 

Volunteer somewhere that fits your area of interests: a soup kitchen, a shelter, church, a pregnancy center, school, a hospital, nursing home. Volunteer to clean someone’s home who is ill or simply can’t do it. Deliver a meal to new parents or to a single parent who is struggling. Mow or rake someone’s yard. Give of yourself, your time, your talent, and your heart and see how it helps the other person and you.

Our happiness can hinge on so many things…because we let it. Our true happiness can come from only one place so lean on the Lord in all things at all times.

Find Your Happy,

Melanie S. Pickett blogging

 

 

 

Meet Melanie P. :

Melanie S. Pickett bloggingMelanie Pickett is a mom, wife, writer, blogger, and Jesus girl. Melanie spends most of her time at her own blog, melaniespickett.com where she writes about her domestic abuse survival, healthy relationships, life, and faith. She is busy with her work in progress, her first nonfiction book. Melanie has been featured on BlogHer.com and published on Splickety Magazine, Whole Magazine, Breathe Writers Conference blog, and various other blogs as a guest writer. She is a volunteer at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies. Having worked in the medical field for nearly two decades, Melanie recently “retired” so she could concentrate on her family and writing career. She is also a substitute teacher. Besides writing, Melanie loves to read, travel, enjoys hockey, playing piano, listening to music, helping and encouraging others, speaking on Periscope, volunteering, movies, and hanging out and cheering on her very favorite people: her family. Melanie lives in west Michigan with her husband, two teen children, and her pug Gracie and beabrador Lillie. Her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 and one of her favorite quotes is: “They call us the dreamers, but we’re the ones who never sleep.”

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