I might be one of the most optimistic people I’ve ever encountered. I always look for the bright side in every situation. However, in today’s world, it’s getting harder and harder for me to keep that optimism. It’s impossible to turn on the news (or any social media) without another catastrophe splashed across the headlines.
Yesterday I finished re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It has one of the most profound and inspiring quotes I’ve ever read, and it gives me chills every time I see it. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” (Can you see the goosebumps on my arms? J.K. Rowling is incredible.)
This most amazing of all quotes reminded me that it is possible to stay positive despite the horrible news headlines. There are still amazing things happening every day. You just have to go out and find happiness when it’s being elusive. Here’s how I do it:
Make a List
Get a piece of paper or your planner and your favorite pen, open a new document on your computer, or make a new note in your phone. Write down at least three positive things that happened today. If I were to make this list right now, I’d say 1) My husband will be home soon after having been out of town for a few days. 2) I’m making progress with my weight-loss. 3) I did not get a goodnight kiss from my son tonight, but I did get a raspberry in the face, so he went to sleep laughing and happy. Sometimes you just have to look for the little things, and they become your happiness.
Do Something You Love
Steal a few quiet moments for yourself and do something that brings you joy. Read, craft, do some planning, have a water gun fight with the kids (not really quiet, but so fun!). A little me time always gets my spirits up. I especially love crafting because creating something from scratch brings me amazing amounts of joy. What’s something you love to do?
Read Positive News
This is going to sound awful, but I avoid the news. It’s so depressing. I can’t stand seeing everyone’s pain and misery knowing there’s nothing I can do about it. So I avoid it. I catch the headlines and just enough to stay mostly informed about current events, but that’s it. When I feel the need for some news, I turn to positive sources, like Uplift. You might remember me mentioning this app before in this post. It’s still one of my favorites. Uplift reminds me that the world is still full of good people.
Let Go of Negativity
This another one of those things in life that fall under the “easier said than done” category. Hear me out though. If you let the dreary current events get to you, if a coworker is driving you insane, if you listen to the nay-sayers, you’re keeping all of that negativity inside you. It will eat you up. Ask yourself if there’s anything you can do about the situation. Can you come up with a solution? What good is it doing you to dwell on the negatives? Take a deep breath, and blow out all the negativity. You don’t need it.
Celebrate the Little Things
I love celebrations, and I’ll make any excuse for them! I lost a pound – woohoo! My son went all day without a time-out – major woohoo! All milestones should be celebrated, no matter how big or small. Celebrate your little victories, your triumphs, anything and everything!
Do Something Nice
Don’t like all the bad things happening in the world? Counteract it with something good! Do a random act of kindness for someone. Pay for someone’s drink in line behind you, bake brownies for a neighbor, bring flowers to a friend. I’ve got a whole list of ways you can give back. Do something nice for someone, and maybe they’ll pass it on to someone else. Sometimes you can find happiness by making someone else happy, and if you’re really lucky, they’ll pass it on, too.
So consider this my way of turning on the light for you. I’m raising my wand and yelling, “LUMOS!” Hopefully you’ll find happiness and keep some optimism, too.
What’s your favorite way to find happiness every day? Tell me below in the comments!