Today’s guest post is by Karin. Karin is a freelance social media manager and formerly a parent blogger.
In January, 2014, after 40-odd years of being a bit of a Grumpy Gus, I decided that I needed a change of attitude. I chose to find the good in every day even though some days it was hard to find. I highlighted those good things at the end of each day and shared them with my social media channels. Thus began #3goodthings. As I carried on with my personal challenge, others became interested and some friends started joining in as well. I realised that all many of us need is a gentle reminder and a bit of daily inspiration to help us to embrace happy. I started a website to be that gentle reminder and daily inspiration. I called it Embrace Happy. I would like to share with you 5 ways to embrace happy. I hope that you will feel inspired to do just that!
It sounds ridiculously simple but a smile on your face can make all the difference in the world. One of the members of the Embrace Happy Facebook group shared with me that one day, whilst out and about, she decided to smile at every person she saw. You know what happened? They smiled back! Happy is as happy does! Or something like that! A smile on your face puts others at ease. A smile on your face relaxes you. A smile on your face makes you beautiful. What do children do throughout the majority of their day? They smile! Who is considerably happier than grown-ups? Children! I think they’re onto something!
There are plenty of times when I get stressed and frazzled. Just because I am embracing happy doesn’t mean that I never have a bad moment! However, what I do now, when I get stressed and frazzled, is stop and breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Slow down, breathe and regroup. I do this when the kids are pushing the envelope, I do this when something just isn’t working, I do this when someone has irritated me beyond belief. The act of stopping and breathing calms you ever so slightly and allows you to regroup and refocus and not let the stress and frazzle get the best of you. It’s also exceptionally therapeutic, when you’re outside on a walk or a stroll, to just breathe the world in. There are so many natural aromatherapy scents in our environment! Instead of lighting incense or a candle, walk outside and just BREATHE!
We’re all trying to go so fast these days. School runs are fraught with stress, shouting ensues and tears often follow. Driving in the car doing errands or shopping involves racing from one place to the next to get there in time or before the next thing that’s coming. We’re trying to cram in so many things that we end up on a hamster’s wheel. Spinning and spinning but never really getting anywhere. It’s important to remember, especially where our children are concerned, to appreciate the little things in life and to slow down enough to SEE those little things. The school run doesn’t have to be a race or shouty and painful. Prepare for the inevitable challenges and try to enjoy those last minutes with your children before they are stuck in school all day. Instead of driving to the shop, take a walk there or take the bus for a change. Notice the world around you and realise how very much you have to be grateful for. Once in a while, let your children dictate the pace. If they want to spend two hours at the park, spend two hours at the park. One day, in the not too distant future, your children won’t want to spend much time with you at all! Until then, soak in every drop you can with them.
When was the last time you rolled down a hill with glee? Haven’t you ever wanted to take your child’s scooter for a little spin? Be a child every once in a while! Race your children across the field at the park, have a go on the swings, play football until they don’t want to anymore! You’d be amazed at how free you feel and how pleased your children will be to find you being silly. Do you still laugh with your partner? Start a tickle fight! You never know where it might lead! Don’t be afraid of looking silly. After all, who’s having the most fun when you are being silly?! YOU! You cannot possibly stress about life when you are rolling down a hill or blowing dandelion fluff into the breeze. Climb a tree, slide down a slide, make silly faces, get muddy, splash in the puddles. Let your children see the side of you that they rarely get to see. Laugh…a proper belly laugh…just like your kids. You’ll feel so much better for it!
PAY IT FORWARD
A random act of kindness not only spreads happiness onto the recipient, but it does wonders for your heart as well. Giving of yourself, your time, your money, your creativity, your talents is one way to improve the world in which you live. It doesn’t have to be an overt gesture, it doesn’t have to be something grandiose or noteworthy. It just simply has to be from your heart and for someone else. Knowing that you have brightened someone else’s day is a sure fire fast track to happiness in yourself. It feels good to do good. Now what kind of good will you do today?
Embrace Happy is a new site by Karin Joyce, creator of Café Bebe. The main purpose of the site is to inspire readers to embrace happy, to celebrate the small things in life and be appreciative and grateful for the things we already have. Through #3goodthings and daily inspirational posts and pictures, Karin hopes that everyone will find their own bit of sunshine and embrace happy. You can join in with Karin through her social media channels to share your own #3goodthings and #embracehappy moments.