When was the last time you took a moment to show gratitude? I know, I know: you are super busy. You’ve got a demanding career, even more demanding children and let’s not even get started on the mundane daily responsibilities that take up way too much time.
I get it. With a husband, four children and two businesses I’m at the helm of, I understand that sometimes everything else in life is more important than how you feel each moment. But to avoid burnout – and remain sane – you have to learn what you need and give that to yourself.
What does that look like? In short, it’s focusing on something that brings you joy and happiness at this moment. It could be something small, something big, or something that – on the surface – seems impossible. But your days are a series of choices, so why not make a choice for happiness whenever you can squeeze it in?
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that your stressful responsibilities won’t go away. As much as I’d love to tell you that you don’t have to do the things you don’t want to, we all know that sometimes that’s just not the case. Confrontations happen. Disagreements occasionally turn into arguments. And disappointment is a part of life. You still have to deal with the hard stuff. But luckily for all of us, we can choose to counter these low moments with peaceful ones.
How do we do that? We make this happen by shutting out the noise and looking inward. Happiness is a choice that only you can make for yourself. Of course, there are already other things that bring great joy to our lives: our kids, healthy relationships with a spouse or good friends, and a career that feeds our soul. But those things are forever changing. Children grow and move on with their lives. Relationships are constantly evolving. And whose career path looks anything like they thought it would a decade ago?
Life is truly a journey that none of us fully expect to unfold the way it does. It’s hectic. Full of surprises. Exhilarating. Devastating. And exhausting! So it’s easy to put needs on the back burner. But neglecting ourselves is the worst thing we can do because the after effect is severe. Many people develop anxiety. They worry about tomorrow, and what may or may not happen. They can’t lose the weight or find the money for a much-needed vacation. And they go through life feeling like they could do so much more, but they don’t know how.
But – and this is the best part – we always have us. No matter how under water we feel, we are still here. When we look inward and focus on our happiness, we are enhancing the greatest relationship we will ever have in life: the one we have with the person who stares back at us in the mirror. So when you coast through life without giving yourself the time you deserve, you’re taking away from your own happiness.
As we’re rushing from place to place, moment to moment, find peace in the stillness of right now. No matter what happens tomorrow, next week or a year from now, you have the solace of this moment. Why? Because you are alive and, as a result of that, you have options. Each breath you take is another opportunity to make the necessary changes to improve your life.
While a certain amount of planning is necessary in life, it’s easy to get lost in always figuring out the next step instead of finding peace in the present. When you find yourself wrought with anxiety over tomorrow, try to focus on what it is that is bringing you joy and happiness right now, in this very moment. Tomorrow is never guaranteed and while we often need to think of the future, we can’t forget about the present.
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