It is scientifically proven that happiness is a choice, but what does that mean? And in our current society, why are so many people unhappy?
Did you know experts are saying that the leading causes of death in 2020 will be depression, anxiety and mental illness? We are officially, more depressed and anxious than ever before. The depression rates are 10% higher than in 1960, with the average age of the sufferer being just 14.5 years old. Also, an alarming statistic is that mothers as a group are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and depressed, as they struggle to keep on top of things.
For a very long time I thought that I was happy. I slogged myself at the gym to achieve that perfect body that all the girls desired to have. I went to work, did the same thing every day and never really stopped to ask myself if I was actually happy. I was so caught up in the life of “I should do this”, “I should look like that” or “I should have a boyfriend like her”. I placed so many “should have’s” on myself.
Can you relate?
I work with so many mums, who come to yoga class or a coaching session, stressed out about making sure they get everything done for everyone else, and that they are keeping up with the expectations of what motherhood is. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in our family. As much as you love your little ones, don’t forget about your self-love.
I personally had two surreal awakenings.
This is where my search for happiness started and I FINALLY understood that it’s from the soul. I realised I could be happy no matter what the circumstance. It’s not the circumstances that define us but how we react.
I was in a yoga class as a student, with no intention to become a teacher. The teacher said something about trying to quieten the mind and let go of the voices. I was thinking “yeah, what voices is she talking about?” and then she said “if you think you have no voices then guess what, that is a voice telling you that, so yes you do!”
Then I realised I DID have voices in my head and if I did, well everyone else must too!
I understood my mind was holding me back. My mind was sabotaging me.
Well not anymore.
True authentic happiness is a daily choice. I am solely responsible for it.
Imagine if you could diagnose yourself with ‘happiness’ rather than stress or anxiety? I’m not suggesting we can be happy all the time, (we’re not acting out a scene in Pollyanna) but YOU can control your mindset and your overall disposition. It will help others as well as yourself.
First, you need to make the choice: do you want to wake up and be excited about the day ahead as a mum? Or are you comfortable often living with feelings of overwhelm and stress, and running around like a mad nut trying to get everything done?
So many people think happiness is a by-product of a positive result. “I’ll be happy once my bub stops crying at night” or “I’ll be happy once I have a partner to help support me.” If you’re living this way, what will you do once you achieve this goal? What will make you happy then?
The answer to that is simple.
You will continue chasing something new, because you’ve wired your brain to always be on the hunt for happiness.
Happiness is a choice and a feeling. It is not due to materialistic gain or as a result of power. To be truly happy you have to love yourself, love others, your family and look for the positive in every situation.
2 ways to choose happiness each day
Make the choice and follow two of my simple exercises to feel the good vibes.
1. Start each day with a grateful heart
By practicing gratitude, you automatically change your outlook on life. Instead of “I can’t believe I didn’t get that promotion and my life sucks”, your narrative can be “I’m grateful I was considered for this opportunity but the fact I was not successful in my application means I have more road to cover before I am ready for the role”.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what we want, what we lack and why things are not working for us. I have learnt over time to shift my mind-set and focus on all the wonderful things I DO have in my life.
This amazing thing happens once we start to focus on what we have and what we are grateful for. If you feel like you have nothing to be grateful for, you need to change that mindset to see all the wonderful possibilities that are around you.
What are you grateful for?
A great exercise I do with families, is at night, when they sit around the dinner table, they all go around and say 5 things that they are grateful for in the day they had.
2. Include daily affirmations in your routine
Do you remember the last compliment you were given? How did it make you feel?
My guess is that it made you feel empowered, strong, loved and capable.
What if I told you, you could feel that daily?
You can’t love others and live a full life unless you love yourself first. Shower yourself with the same praise you’d bestow upon your family and you will see a marked improvement in your happiness and self-worth.
I challenge you to write down three things about yourself that you are proud of. They can be anything from your appearance to your homemade lasagne recipe or helping with the kids’ homework.
I want you to look in the mirror each morning and repeat those three things. If you don’t start to believe them wholeheartedly by day 3, send me an email because you deserve to love yourself.
I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes for you to ponder:
About the Author: Carla
Carla Maree Simpson is a happiness and wellness coach, author, motivational speaker, yoga instructor and gym owner. After years of self-discovery and working her way through her own life journey and personal growth she has discovered her true WHY and purpose in life; to help others live a life beyond their dreams, set goals and achieve them, and to fight limiting beliefs. Carla believes that we all deserve to be authentically happy!
Carla’s Book: “Get Happy Now: The Toolkit to Live the Life You Deserve“
In her book, Carla gives an insightful personal account of her journey from the normal mediocre level of happiness that she felt, to a completely new level of true ‘Authentic Happiness’; learning the art of self-love, mindfulness and the true art of living a life of purpose. She offers tools and exercises to increase your self-awareness, develop your self-love muscles and learn to develop a greater sense of gratitude.