On Being Happy

I won’t go into all the details, but I have been struggling on a personal level a lot this year. I realized recently that I haven’t been entirely happy and that has really made me not want to do things that I usually love to do.

The important part of this is that I also realized that my happiness is 100% in my control. I have had some great opportunities and I have amazing, supportive people in my life. I have an amazing job that I really love and I live in a very beautiful place. I thought to myself, how am I unhappy with all these incredible and positive things? What is it that is making me unhappy? The problem is right there. I am way to focused on the outside factors. Happiness is something that can be influenced by outside factors but is ultimately a thing I can control. I can control my own attitudes about my situation and about life in general. This might sound intuitive to some but for me this has been a big realization. I need to take the necessary steps for myself to be happier and have a better outlook on life.

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I want to make a quick note that generally I am a very positive person and don’t usually have a problem making friends and being happy. I have gone through some big changes in the past year and I think I struggled a lot with that. It put me in a state of mind that was not as positive and I started blaming things on other people or outside factors.

A few things I have been doing to change my mindset:

  1. Lots of yoga. This is one that is probably different for everyone but moving your body is a really great way to focus on something else (not thinking too much) while moving your body and getting in touch with your physical self. I overthink things a lot and letting myself let go for an hour or two each day is such a beautiful gift. I want to be clear about this one, it is not at all about losing weight or even being physically fit, its about getting to know myself better and focusing my mind on that.
  2. The 5 minute journal. I only started this about five days ago but I spent a lot of time thinking about it and debating whether or not I should give it a try. I wanted something that puts me in a more positive mindset from the get go every morning. This journal seemed like a great way to influence my initial attitudes about the day while still being true to myself. The journal is just a daily journal with more directed prompts. The prompts are short and quick to make it a very easily attainable habit.
  3. Everyday joys. Incorporation of the things I love and am passionate about into my every day life has been a fun way to remind myself of what I do and who I am, everyday. This sounds vague so I will be more specific about what I am doing. I first made a list of things I love and care about and am trying to dedicate at least 5 minutes a day to thinking about each thing. I am trying to incorporate this into my Instagram stories because it gives me a sense of accountability to those things and it lets me shares those things that I love. One example of this is finding a cool nature video on YouTube or taking the time to explain an interesting biological concept (I think about biology all day but this gives me dedicated time to remind myself of why I love biology). It could also be sharing a trend I am into or a book I am loving. I will say that of all the things on this list, this one is the least developed, meaning I have not made it a habit yet so it might change a little over time.
  4. Intentionality with food. This absolutely does not mean that I am only eating super healthy food, it also does not mean that I previously was not eating healthily. It just means that I am focusing more on what I eat and how it makes me feel. Balance is such an important part of life and it is something I am trying to intentionally bring into my diet. A green smoothie every day has really improved my stomach problems and it has increased my vegetable intake significantly.
  5. Saying yes. In the past I have been that person that always says yes, is always overcommitted and takes every opportunity. This definitely made my life crazy busy but I like being busy, I feel like I work harder, am more productive and am happier when I have lots to do. I realized that I have been making excuses a lot lately which is very unlike me. So, I am trying to say yes to more social things and volunteer for different opportunities at school.

Being happy is a big part of creating the life I want to live. Realizing and recognizing that I have been unhappy has been a big step for me. I definitely hid my feelings and tried to convince myself over and over that everything is okay I am entirely happy with my life right now. It is okay to not be great and happy all the time. Life ebbs and flows and that is just a part of being human. I can’t always control what goes on around me but I can control how I choose to react to things. I may have a gut feeling about something uncontrollable but ultimately I can control how I feel about it in the long run. I choose to be happy with the person I am and to do more of what makes me happy.

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I hope you had a nice, relaxing February. Its already almost March, so crazy!

Erin

Around the Web

A new week is already here. With the holidays closing in I keep expecting to wake up to snowflakes falling across my window but it has yet to happen. I am shocked at how warm it has been. By this time in Colorado we should have a least had a couple of snow storms by now. The nice thing is that because it has been so warm I have been able to do lots of walking and hiking. The lake by my parent’s house is perfect for an early morning jog with the dog (such a beautiful view as well!). I have been reading a lot lately so I included my current book in this week’s round up. Here is are my favorite articles and items from the past several weeks:

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Getting motivated, organized and following through: I have been spending lots of time planning and getting myself organized. I found several articles that have really stuck with me. This Career Girl Daily has got me thinking about 2018 goals and how dreaming can be translated into a goal no matter how much of a stretch it may be. I also found this article on being a more put-together person and it has been motivating me to stay on top of things even when I am not in a permanent or comfortable position (not at home/work).

Style & Life Inspiration: Carly the Prepster has been doing a series called 1 Women 5 Outfits, inspired by Cup of Jo and I was very struck by the most recent post. Caroline’s story just is so inspiring and reminded me that people are so incredibly dedicated and capable. So many people face very tough obstacles yet are so resilient and persistent.

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living: I am in the middle of reading this book right now and I just keep loving it more and more. It has made me think so much about career/life changes throughout life and how your major and career choice right out of college in no way dictates the rest of your life. I have always had this idea that I have to stick to what I choose and while there are advantages to sticking to one path it is not a life requirement. For some reason this book particularly has been so interesting for me to read right now.

Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick: Number one on my wish list this week is this rouge YSL lipstick. I have heard great things about it and it is just an amazing color. It does come in so many different colors as well!

Plaid Wrap Skirt: I was in J. Crew Factory the other day and saw this skirt. It is so amazing and looks fantastic! Just so flattering and perfect for this holiday season.

Trader Joe’s Holiday Products: Last year someone gave us some Trader Joe’s Holiday tea and it has been my absolute favorite. I am so surprised I haven’t mentioned it before because drink it so much. The one I love is a chocolate mint black tea but I was able to find this candy cane tea this year and I am sure it will be delicious. I also am loving their white pine soaps and lotions.

Stacie Flinner’s Travel Stories: So I very recently discovered Stacie Flinner on Instagram and I am obsessed with her Instagram stories. I first saw the one she did on her Orient Express adventure and I was completely hooked. I just love her photographs and she has given me so much inspiration in planning my own Europe trip next summer. I have yet to explore her blog but I am sure it will be just as great.

Anthropologie’s Puffin Collection: I was doing some Christmas shopping with my mom last week and we popped into Anthropologie to check out their sale section. I found the cutest puffin mugs. I am seriously obsessed and can’t believe they are on sale.

Style Influencer’s, Kate Middleton and RepliKates: Kate Middleton is undoubtedly a style icon, who I very much look up to and am influenced by. I never new however just how far some people go with it. This article was fascinating to me because I never would have guessed the extent to which Kate has influenced fashion brands. It is just an overall interesting article on who has the most influence on fashion (throughout history).

Something else I did a lot this past week was go to thrift shops. My sister loves going and is really into converting old jeans into something new and exciting so we went a bunch this past week. I found some really great vintage items. I sometimes really struggle with thrift stores because they can be so big and just drain my energy really quickly but if you can spend the time there are often buried treasures!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely week.

Erin