Category Archives: happiness

Finding Happy: Where Do We Begin?


It is a “helluva” start to know how to be happy. I’ve always sort of felt it, but not necessarily always known the trigger, steering myself in the direction of more smiles, and less frowns by intuition. Sometimes I hit a curve in the road, fishtailing right off into a ditch, but I always managed to find my way back.

I’m thinking about happy today because I came across this quote by accident, and it made me stop and think about what works to actually live happy every day—beaming sunshine no matter the weather all around us. I’m not always sure we know when we lose it and when we do fall down, I’m also equally not sure if we know how to find our way back to the top.

So I did a little research on happy, and I’m sharing what I learned hoping I can help, at least just a little. So stay with me as I apply 5 simple steps to myself.

First Things First: Define Your Reality Every Day. 

Imagine being so excited about a dream. You want to tell someone. The one who matters most to you. And what if they say right back, “Come on, be realistic. You’ll never do that.” Or maybe, “if you want to do that, how do you plan to make a living?”

How did you feel? What did you do? For me, I changed directions. I looked at careers where I compromised my first skill set and went for something else I knew would land me a job for sure. I did land a job, and in the short term, it went well. But the long term? It wasn’t enough. I found myself daydreaming about other things. I felt a little lost and I didn’t know why.

     So what do we do?

A decision. I have to decide what way I want to feel and live, my reality, if you will, and compare that decision with the supposed way I should live. Next, avoid the blame game and seek a way to get on track in the moment. People love us and I realized I made the choice to listen to the distractions. I’ve also come full circle to my reality: writing. My friends growing up, will tell you, Erika wrote every moment she could. So now that I have all these other experiences behind me, experiences I know will help me in the long run, what do I do today? I outline my steps. I face my fears no matter how much my knees shake at times, because I’ve decided, I don’t want to quit. Lucky for me, I also have a really terrific husband who believes I can do it, too.

So ask yourself the question: do you want it, that one thing that would make you happier in a second? Is it worth and if it is, why can’t you try? Why not uplift yourself? Why not help uplift others on your way to the top and spread a little happy right along with you. Each step you take gives you new strength, then suddenly you find yourself so close and you look back and realize, you had the power all along.

Decide How You want to Spend Your Time Each Day.

This is the part where you remember your skills and talents and you make time to do them. Reinvent your schedule. Prioritize your day. Maybe you have five minutes. Log in to your phone and do something in those 5 minutes. If it’s baseball, ask a coworker to throw the ball with you. If it’s knitting, take it to work and pull it out of the desk drawer to calm yourself with the time you have. Maybe you can squeeze a few minutes in before you go to bed, or maybe you can add time before you wake up. I get up and write at 4:3o a.m. most days. I also love to dance and I can’t go back to being a ballerina, but I can take a hip-hop dance class at the YMCA. It’s the little things in our lives that matter to make us feel happy inside. Acknoledge those things. Take notes. Travel back with pictures or songs. There are tons of opportunities around you to help you feel good, so exhaust your resources.

Enjoyment Is More Than A Few Things.

You don’t always have to go out and be a part of an activity. There is a huge online world of people you can connect with: online games, blogs, reach out to organizations at work or in the community. Recently I joined an online writing network. I’m networking with other want-to-be authors of Young Adult books. We swap stories. I’ve never met them in person, but we all agree to certain policies and rules and respect each others work. It’s thrilling. I get so excited when someone takes a peek at one of my stories.

Resist Others and Listen to Your Heart.

This one relates to Lucille ball’s quote. We do get off track and listen to others at times, but it’s never too late to find happiness and finally, I’m listening, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m moving forward, cautiously, with a plan. Also, don’t forget about patience. Changing your schedule is tricky, but is it doable? If you want it, like me, you’ll figure it out. Have faith in you.

Believe that you have the skill and ability to live Happy Every Day.

Humans are thinking and feeling creatures. We think. We react. We have a choice. For example, you decide, today is a good day. You walk into work, into a total meltdown where someone snaps and blames you. What happens to your mood? The next steps are critical. Do you say something? Do you keep quiet? If you choose to keep quiet, take note. Is this a pattern? If so, prepare yourself for the next time. Think about how you communicate honestly and kindly the next time you react.

I used to be terrible at this one. I always knew how I felt, I just never knew how to put it in words. It took me a great deal of mental pondering, and speaking with others to put the two together. I’d feel. But my mind would get lost. I don’t know if I was denying the truth and blaming myself each time someone hurt my feelings. I don’t know if I kept saying, Erika, it’s your fault. You’re too sensitive, but I never hardly ever said anything to anyone. Except my mother of course, because we can always speak our truth to the person we feel safest with. ;0)

Final Tips To Keep You Going:

  1.  If you feel frustrated, breathe in and out with your nose and listen to your breath. 
  2. · Positive attitude 
  3. · Practice what you read or preach, before you preach what you practice! 
  4. · Practice what you read. Be more aware and open, making positive changes in your daily life. 
  5. · A diary helps out greatly for all ages. 
  6. · Learn from yourself, teach yourself, love yourself. And, if you don’t believe in yourself, then most of these things and positive things wouldn’t be achieved!
And Finally: