If you’re reading this, thanks already.
If you would prefer an audio version of this blog, click here: https://soundcloud.com/ashlyn-gunderson/blog-2-happiness-is-a-choice-audio/s-fRUKm
I believe a true authentic individual will speak their mind and their truth, even when it might be to their own detriment. So here we go…
In the introduction to my blog, I outlined a few intentions I had about what you can expect to read here- now, this is my opportunity to really fire ya’ up to indulge further- so fasten your seatbelt, the pressure is on.
I mentioned previously that the facets of my values and beliefs rested on 3 major cornerstones: Happiness, Health and Balance (which happens to be the slogan for #Perfectfit4u): *recall, this ain’t a business blog, but this company basically owns my soul at this point in my life, so references are gonna be necessary.
I didn’t just decide these words sounded sweet and scribbled them into our logo and website, they DO in fact, have meaning to me deeper than being catchy- BUT, I’ve never taken the time to explain to my clients, my staff or my social audience what they mean to ME. So, now that I have a platform to write in long-form, ya better believe I’m gonna start here, with value numero uno: HAPPINESS.
Ever feel overwhelmed? Ever feel like you’re constantly playing catch-up? Ever just say fuck it, I’m done- I’m negating this whole parenting, partner-ing, daughter-ing, friend-ing bullshit? Sure you will get up, get dressed, get to work on time and take care of your fam, but you’re still running in circles without satisfaction? Well, me too (and probably every other fricken’ female reading this) And… guess what? Here we are, still livin’.
HAPPY people, the ones who are smiling, laughing and living their BEST life, they feel it too. People who are happy 99% of the time, they sure DO exist, in fact, you’re reading a blog written by one of them right now, but we ALL got our moments, sister.
There are always going to be seasons of life, and particular instances that are going to knock you off your horse. Times that you feel out of control, like you’re the only one in the world feeling the way YOU do, but these times are not supposed to be your LIFE or your entire existence, these times are supposed to be felt, appreciated, and battled through. After all, this is YOUR life girl, and you can be a fucking warrior princess if you choose to be. But, you can’t just WANT to be happy, you must CHOOSE to be. God damn, hate me if you will, but HAPPINESS IS a CHOICE.
Annnd, this is the point in the post where the mental-health advocates might want to punch me in the face, but I promise you folks, I’m on your side.
Let me just remind you what I’m talking about here before anyone jumps me in the streets. I’ am NOT proclaiming that depression or sadness or anxiety is a choice! As a science kid, I know damn straight their are chemical imbalances and mental health issues intwined within our genetic material that I would never wish on my worst enemy. I’m saying HAPPINESS is a choice, and therefore, by default, unhappiness is as well.
Sadness, grief, mourning, death and trauma brought on by life circumstances you have NO control over are not the moments I believe will “pass” easily or without struggle. I have the utmost compassion for those of you still grinding through the hard shit. Positive mindset or not, this type of sadness is likely to sit with you for months, years, or a lifetime before you can truly move on, this sadness is much different and much deeper-rooted than the unhappiness I speak of.
When I talk about choosing to be unhappy- I am referring to that grouchy, unsettled, disconnected and discontented behaviour full of spite and anger at the world. The type of emotions that make you want to retreat, hide, and stay small. The type of behaviours people exhibit when they are refusing to take responsibility for their own happiness. That’s unhappiness (not sadness, not grief, not depression).
And everyday, you have the CHOICE to be in that state of mind, or to choose differently. I pray, that you choose differently. If you wanna be my buddy, PLEASE choose differently.
So Ash, you’re saying I just wake up in the morning and say “I am going to be happy today and it’s that easy?” Well, yes darling, happiness is really fucking SIMPLE, but I never said it was really fucking EASY.
It takes work.
This is your one and only life, so putting in the work to have a smile on your face daily should be a top priority. And, who the fuck wants to be friends with, be married to, or hire a cranky SOB? I know I sure-as-hell don’t.
SO, to help you find your groove with this happiness stuff, here are some things that have helped me create happiness for MYSELF (Like I said, 99% of the time this is me, ‘cause let’s be honest, theirs gotta be room for the days I decide to be a total bitch, we all have ‘em).
I make personal development a priority: Call me crazy but I listen to motivational podcasts, read self-help books, and reassess my goals every. fucking. day. Personal development has helped me in so many areas of my life, I can’t help but to spend a handful of minutes giving back to myself (I’m sure their will be plenty of blogs to come about my personal development journey). Don’t have time to do this? Think again. If you have time to take a shit, a bath, or drive to work- you can integrate this material into your daily routine: stop with the excuses, I ain’t buying.
Looking to start? Here’s a clip I LOVE: Click here
I surround myself with positivity: My friends, my husband and the tribe of women I choose to spend time with are uplifting and encouraging. It hasn’t always been this way. I’ve been a drama seeker, a shitty partner and a bash-your-own-friend kind of “friend” and that sure as hell ain’t how I will live my adult life. If you’re my friend, theirs a reason. I don’t do fake. I don’t associate with fake. If I love ya, you will know. LIKE attracts LIKE.
I change my perspective: Your brain is like a satellite- collecting information from a bazillion stations at once- there’s gonna be some shitty shows and networks folks, if you don’t like the way you’re thoughts are going: take charge and change the channel by changing your thoughts. You can’t control what’s on the TV, but you can choose what you watch.
I exercise: I exercise cause it makes me happy. If you hate exercise, change this statement for something you KNOW to bring you joy. Maybe it’s cooking, or song writing, or jewelry making, scrapbooking, photo-taking- whatever the thing is that brings you joy but you don’t “have” time for… Well, MAKE time for it. Newsflash: it’s the 21st century, there is never void empty space of time waiting for you- you need to make space for it. Please, make space for it. Don’t complain ya ain’t happy if you refuse to segregate time towards the stuff that sets your soul on fire (hence the reason I started this blog).
I focus on GROWTH: As my buddy Tony Robbin’s would say: GROWTH= HAPPINESS. If you are improving and growing in ANY aspect of your life, your happiness will improve. Whether focusing on your marriage, your kids, your finances, career, education, faith or fitness- if you are investing in making even one part of your life better- you WILL be happier.
If this blog is finding you in the slumps, take this as a sign you stumbled upon it for a reason- the Universe has aligned for you to read this and DO something about your situation. Don’t just exit and fall back into your sorrowed-self- Just. Do. SOMETHING. NOT everything, just something.
I hope this has intrigued you enough to follow along for the future, I am here for the long-haul. If you’re in for it too, hit the follow button below and let’s get acquainted.