Designing Happiness: A Series for Health, Home, and Heart

⚠CAUTION⚠ Long post ahead! I thought I could keep this intro to this new series of mine short and sweet, but hey, what can I say — the English major in me decided to take the reigns. 😂

#AintGotTimeForThis? Scroll to the yellow box at the bottom to read the highlights. Want the full scoop? Read on…


Happiness is...


Why Happiness Matters

I’m not sure if you’ve realized it yet, but life is hard.  

Like, really hard sometimes.

There are pressures and stressors and both bad and sad things can happen. Anxiety and depression and stress are at an all time high. Too much is happening too fast and it can be overwhelming to say the least.

I, however, believe focusing on the good is generally more fun, healthier, and more productive, so I’ve made it my life’s mission to try and make people happy. Sure, confetti is my vehicle for doing just that (as it literally represents the little bits of happy I want to spread in this world), but my motivation really comes from a much deeper place. 

I’ve dealt (and still deal) with my own versions of stress and anxiety and overwhelm, and that’s why I am so passionate that now more than ever it’s crucial to really take the time to celebrate even the smallest of moments — because despite all the bad, there are still so many amazing and wonderful things to be grateful for.  

Life is hard but it is also beautiful

 

Happiness is inspiration. It’s creativity. Magic. Good vibes. Positivity.

It’s more than just a mood or an emotion — it’s a philosophy and a state of being that encompasses everything it means to live a good life and thrive (as opposed to just “survive.”)

It’s what makes us feel good. It’s what makes us do good.

(And let’s not forget there is an actual science to happiness, too. For real. Certain neurotransmitters / hormones / chemicals in our brains are what allow us to feel the sensations related to “happy,” and there are things we can do to optimize our bodies for overall good vibes.)

Bottom line? Being happy is essential for our overall well-being, both physically and emotionally, so let’s all strive to be the happiest we can be!


What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

So now I’m going to ask you a loaded question: Are you happy?

Big stuff, I know.

While I think (at least I hope) that if you’re reading this it’s because you love all the color and fun I personally like to share, can we step back for a minute and really think about what happiness is/means?

I consider myself a happy person. If someone asks me “Are you happy?” I can genuinely say yes.

Does that mean I never get sad or depressed or anxious? Does that mean there is nothing I would change about my life? Does that mean I have a smile plastered on 24/7 and I literally throw confetti at random passerbys on the street?

Nope, no, and no some more. (Although I wish I could randomly throw confetti at strangers sometimes. 😅)

Of course this then begs the question: what the heck does being happy mean?

While we could probably debate the point forever, let’s just agree right up front that happiness is personal and subjective. I mean I can say with a high level of certainty that spiders make me quite unhappy, but who knows — you may love the terrifying cute(?) creatures. My point is, what makes me happy might not make you happy and vice versa, and that’s A-OK. In fact, it’s downright awesome that we’re our own unique selves.

We’re fluid creatures, always changing and evolving, so it makes sense that a state of our being is also fluid. But — for the sake of context — I do think it’s important that we have a way to measure happiness on some type of mutually understood level so we can start on the same page. Sound good?

I’ve done a lot of research and thinking on the subject (and the quote from Mandy Hale above is a good place to start), but ultimately here is one of the simplest methodologies when it comes to measuring happiness:

Happiness is...

Really let that sink in for a minute. And really be honest with yourself if this is something you think is true for the various aspects of your life you might be feeling insecure in. Are some of the things you think make you happy really based on feedback from others? Do you feel outside forces have to “approve” of or influence your choices in order for them to be relevant or valid? (And yes, things like the number of friends/likes/comments you have on various social media platforms count as outside influence!)

I, for one, can say I MOSTLY don’t feel the need for anyone’s approval to do my thang, but sometimes I definitely have to check myself when the anxiety/fear/overwhelm/self-doubt/comparison starts to creep in. I have to remember it’s a journey, not a destination.

What Happiness Isn’t

I’m also going to let you in on a big secret (that I already sort of spilled the beans on): being happy doesn’t mean you’re never sad.  Or that you have to smile 100% of the time. Or that you you are always confident and never have self-doubt or stress or anxiety.

Being happy is more about how you react to situations and choose to frame them. Without knowing the bad, how could we recognize the good, right? So yes, there are going to be some things you unfortunately just have to endure whether you like it or not, but it’s up to you how much you’ll let these things define you and your happiness.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about recognizing that happiness is worth pursuing despite all the challenges life throws your way.

If you really want to get down to it, happiness is a mindset and mainly an issue of self-confidence — trusting yourself enough to know you can find a way to thrive in any given situation.


Social Happiness vs. True Happiness

In a time when social media / instant (+ constant) communication are second nature and we are particularly overwhelmed with all the outside “noise” going on out there, I think it is extra important to know that your happiness should never be tied to or dependent upon anyone else.  I once read that “happiness is an inside job,” and I really do believe it should be based on individual self-reflection. That’s not to say others can’t or shouldn’t help amplify your happiness (in fact happiness has a cascade effect that we should aspire to propagate), but you shouldn’t rely on them for your own individual well-being. (And even though this should be quite obvious, I’ll add a caveat to say that your own happiness shouldn’t negatively affect anyone else — i.e. If it makes you happy to say rude or harmful things to people, I think it’s time to re-evaluate some life choices.)

Just remember that while happiness is a personal journey, having relationships with other humans is part of that journey, too. Unless you’re a recluse and can live off the grid in some isolated cabin where you eat wildflowers and fashion clothing out of leaves and mud without any modern conveniences, chances are you need to interact with others. Happiness breeds happiness (just as negativity breeds negativity), so ditch as many of the bad vibes as you can.

Happiness is...


Check-In With Yourself

Like most things worth having, happiness can take some work to maintain through consistent & thoughtful action. Now that you know a little bit about what happiness is (and isn’t), it’s a good time to ask yourself two very important things:

1. What makes me happy?

2. What makes me unhappy?

More big stuff.

And it for sure can be overwhelming to think about everything all at once, so I recommend starting with various aspects of your life separately. (Work, home, relationships, finances, etc.)

Focus first on feelings rather than physical things (i.e. I want to feel safety and comfort vs. I want a million dollar mansion.) Spoiler alert: sometimes the things we think will make us happy aren’t the things we’re truly looking for.

Once you master the types of feelings that can make you happy you can then focus on how to turn those feelings into physical, tangible representations and goals.

Remember that the answers to these questions will (& should) be constantly changing and evolving depending on your circumstances / stage of life, which is why I suggest asking yourself them regularly. Heck, if you asked yourself these two questions every morning, imagine how it might frame your entire day: Would you focus more on the things that make you happy? Would you be more motivated to change the things that make you unhappy? Because that is the beauty of this entire thing: you can design your own version of happiness. That’s right folks, you can actually make happy!

Easy peasy, right? 😏

(Don’t worry, though — I’m here to help!)


Free Series: Designing Happiness For Health, Home, And Heart

All of this is my long-winded preamble to say that I think happiness is über important (on both an individual and collective level) so I want to do my part to share and encourage it. I don’t know about you, but I for one prefer to live in a world filled with creative, productive, and inspiring individuals so we can have more art and magic and growth and connection.

In an effort to do my part, I’ll be sharing some info, tips, and resources for creating & strengthening your own little happy life.

Part 1 focuses on physical health & wellbeing.

Part 2 focuses on creating a happy and inviting environment & atmosphere

Part 3 focuses on developing & fostering inner happiness.

Happiness is...

A few last reminders/disclaimers before we get to all the fun::

  • Know that I am in no way perfect and I still have to work on this stuff just like everybody else. But I have put all of the info I’m going to share into practice, so I know it works! 
  • A LOT of info is coming at you, so it might seem overwhelming at first. Take things a little at a time and don’t feel you need to do everything all at once. (I certainly don’t!) Just tuck some ideas away for when you’re ready.
  • Only use the things / info that speaks to you personally, but also don’t be afraid to try something new (especially if you’re not getting the results you desire.)

Ready to dive in? Check out Part 1 here!

TL;DR

  • Being happy is important, both emotionally and scientifically.
  • I’ll be sharing a free series to help you conquer anxiety/stress/overwhelm and live a happier (more colorful!) life in the areas of physical health, your surroundings, and inner happiness. Sweet deal.

 

P.S. Dig the vibe of what’s going down here and want to stay up to date (plus get exclusive info & freebies)? Be sure to sign up for our email awesomeness:

Designing Happiness: A Series for Health, Home, and Heart

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