Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happiness Despite Circumstances

Hello to all of you...  I just wanted to talk about something really quick, that I have been thinking about for a while.

Have you ever felt that you are being controlled by situations around you?  That your happiness is determined by whatever circumstances cross your path?  On one hand, if something wonderful happens to you.... like.... your husband is being awesome.... you are overjoyed and super happy.  You use the situation as an excuse to act happy and bubbly.  This is usually a pretty good experience.  On the other hand, you go to work and your coworker is being a total jerk.  You use this situation as an excuse to sulk and live under a dark cloud for the rest of the day.  In this case, letting your circumstances determine your behavior is not such a great idea.  As a matter of fact, I was having this problem a couple of months ago.  Turned out that I was not so thrilled about my coworker and was beginning to let this affect my attitude in every aspect of my life.  I hated how I was becoming.  I just felt so snappy and annoyed easily.... certainly not the girl my sweet Brandon had married!  Every day after getting home from work I just felt so depressed and I didn't want to dress cute, I just wanted to hang out and stare at my computer screen blankly for hours, even though I had been on the computer all day at work.  Brandon noticed that I was not being myself, and he (ever so kindly) told me so.  It was not well-received due to my "complex" I was experiencing.  However, I knew he was right, and I just knew things had to change.  So I decided that despite how awful I felt my circumstances were, I was going to CHOOSE to find ways to be happy anyway.  I know this may not work in extreme circumstances, but for something like a coworker driving you crazy, a few of these tips helped me:

~ Not allowing the crappy attitude of *anyone* to stop me from enjoying things I love to do.  I would never let anyone have the satisfaction of ruining my day.  I realized I had ditched a lot of my goals that I was working on before just so I could set aside time to be angry.  True story.  So I immediately picked up my hobbies and goals again.  If I felt I had no energy, I would just tell myself, "This is not true.  Do not let this person affect your life!! Do fun things that will make you happy." I started learning Korean again.  I started taking care of my house and trying to keep it clean (NO it is still not perfect, but much better than before).

~I decided I don't need to feel sorry for myself.  What is there to be sorry for?  My life is great.  I have been counting my many blessings.  I have deliberately reminded myself of where my blessings come from.  I have been trying to stay on top of my spirituality in honor of that.  THIS HAS MADE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE.

~Although I am not 100% good at this, I have tried to dress very pretty and wear flattering makeup, especially if I am around my sweetheart.  If I feel all grumpy, the least I can do is look nice despite that.  Fake it till you make it, right?  No, but really, I find if I take extra care in my appearance I feel a lot better about myself.

~On the same note, finding beauty in everyday life has helped a lot too.  I have started taking pictures of beautiful things around the city I work in.  I decorated my desk at work with some cheerful plants and pictures of Brandon.  I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A BREAK FROM WORK EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I take this time to step away from my workspace so I don't go crazy.  I go on a walk in GORGEOUS Washington, and come back refreshed.  And then I could not care less if someone else is being annoying. 
Here are a couple of my desk decorations.  Pretty, right?

~I listen to classical music in my car when I drive to work.  It calms my nerves.  And there is something I just love about beautiful music starting my day.  On the way home I listen to Kpop if I feel like something a little more energetic.  That is my no-fail instant happiness music.

~I try to take care of my health.  I believe overall wellness can contribute to happiness (or the lack thereof).  Our bodies should really be taken care of more, instead of taken for granted.  Sleep, good food, and exercise have all helped.  I know, I know, so obvious... but it is very true.

~I smile a lot and treat my family like I'm happy to see them, because I am.  I try not to carry a bad day over to my home life.  Everyone is happier this way.

Does anyone out there have any other tips on how to stay happy despite non-ideal circumstances?  I would love to hear them.  Don't be shy.  Fun talking about such a serious topic....xoxox

OHHHH AND! My husband started a blog too... about cooking.  You guys are not going to want to miss out on this one.  He is a genius.  The link to his blog is http://yummybamboo.blogspot.com/

He only has one recipe up so far... but doesn't it look FABULOUS.  You could make this too... Just saying...

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son