What Made You Happy Today?

Seriously, think about it for a while. It is so easy to get caught up in all the negative stuff that happens around us. Especially when the everyday is rolling away and chores and errends and jobs and tasks and demands and what-not fills up our days. We get stressed. We get tired. We get grumpy. Sometimes we get bored. I get bored a lot. Then the negativity spiral takes off. Damn it.

Negativity breeds negativity

I read this article explaining how emotions are contagious, the negative once even more so:

“Many experts believe that negative emotions are a lot easier to catch than positive ones. Some believe this is reflective of our evolutionary past wherein being highly attuned to other people’s negative emotions (pain, fear, and disgust) was directly linked to survival. Those who could pick up on someone else’s pain, fear, and disgust were more likely to survive than those who could not.

But – positivity also breeds positivity. Phew!

It most definitely does. Take it from the experts and take it from me, the self-acclaimed negative/positive expert that I am.

Saying positive things. Doing positive things. It spreads positive vibes.

So, am I positve all day everyday? Hell no. I am often the opposite. I am prone to dwelving in my own missery, but that is exactly why I need to do something active and conscious to force the positivity into my life – otherwise it all gets too dark and dull to handle. Worst of all, I can give my negative vibe onto my kiddos.

My bag of little tricks to boost my own and my family’s positive spirit is pretty jam packed. I think I need to use it even more, ay?

Well, this particular trick is a family one, because our family needs to calm the fuck down and be postive every night – we can be such a bunch of whingers otherwise.

What is it we do?

It is pretty simple and something everyone can do every day. We eat dinner together every night and while eating we take turns in telling the other which three things that made us happy during the day. Simple.

Does it really work?

Yes! Focusing on some positive things that we experienced during the day help us to:

1. Start good conversations about the day around the table.

3. Give everyone a chance to get a word in and be heard.

2. Focus on the positives and go to bed with that in mind – or at least we can remind us self that life isn’t that bad afterall.

It might sound basic, but, as you know, back to basic is the new black. Some days it is really easy. Some days it can actually be pretty hard. On all days it is a good idea.

Here are some examples from our dinner table:

Today it made me happy (kids edition)…

…to play with my friends.

…to eat pizza here with you right now.

…to play in the sandpit.

…that I love my whole family.

…to get lollies.

…to swim in the pool.

…to play games together.

And the adult edition…

to paint the bathroom.

…to have a nap.

…to see Lulu take her first steps.

…when you girls played nicely together.

…to finish my assignment.

…to hear back from that job.

…to get the shopping done.

And one that very often goes again around the table:

Right now, eating dinner together.

As you can see, it does not have to be huge magnificent things. It can be, but it can also be tiny little things that made your day better in some way or another.

Have a go yourselves tonight and let me know how you go. Also, be a bit patient. It somehow gets better over time. At least that is my experience.

What has made you happy today?

❤️

I’ve Given Myself A Challenge

It’s so easy to climb into a bucket of self-pity and hide when life gets though and the days are more about survival than anything else. I should know, since I’ve pretty much lived half my life inside that bucket. With my very fragile mind, I am extremely vulnerable as soon as things start to get a bit challenging. Especially when I don’t get enough sleep and autumn is knocking on our door, all I wanna do is hide from everyone and don’t deal with life, pretty much.

Back in the days, I would probably do just that: Hide. Fortunately, that’s just not an option anymore. I have to get up. I have to change nappies. I have to play with LEGO. I have to kiss it better. I have to negotiate nap-times. I have to make dinner. I have to get through the day. I really just have to deal with life…And I’m so thankful for that. It keeps me out of the bucket. However, I can still dip my feet into it once in a while and sometimes be very tempted to jump to the bottom of it and stay there.

But you know what? I’m not given in to temptation and it’s time to get rid of that damn bucket together with the far-fetched analogy of it. From now on I’ll do my best to be pro-active instead of inactive.

This morning Abby woke me up just after 7 am. Normally I would hate getting out of bed, especially after yet another night of interrupted sleep, due to Billie’s coughing and waking up constantly. Today was different. Maybe it’s because of the daylight savings, or maybe I just felt energized because I’m ready to stop feeling sorry for myself. I’m ready to get my energy back!

So, I went for a run in the rain. It was absolutely amazing. The run itself was nothing to write about – so I’ll keep that to a minimum – but the whole experience was great. Feeling the rain in my face as I ran along the deserted beach, listening to the sound of the waves  that drowned the music from my ear-plugs, and getting my pulse close to maximum – right there in that moment: I felt alive.

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I took that feeling home with me, and even now, while I’m sitting here writing this, I have it in my body and my mind. The energy I gained from those 45 minutes of exercise lasts all day, and the endorphins it created makes it a bit easier to tackle the day’s challenging tasks, and that’s why I love it. Well, together with the fact that it makes me feel better about myself, it burns fat, builds muscles, and it gets me back in shape, but I hope you get the point of the bigger picture here: exercise is the best freaking energy supplement and happy pill on the market.

Here we go – I’ve given myself a challenge:

This April I intend to run at least 5 kilometers at least three times a week.

For some this might seem like a lot of exercise, while others might think it’s nothing at all. Right now, it suits my shape and it’s also realistic to get it done time wise – a very important factor to think into the plan when having a family.

My favourite running route is approximately 5.5 km long, but I can easily adjust the length by running along the beach, it’s very hilly, and has some beautiful views of the beach and the mountains, so it gives me plenty of challenge running wise and simultaneously feeds my mind with lots of impressions. Perfect.

Her is the route and – not so impressing – data from my run today:

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In 4 weeks we will go up to Port Maquarie to support a friend of ours who is competing in Ironman Australia up there. I have enormous amounts of respect for him, and knowing how disciplined he has to be with his training until the race is a big inspiration for me. I still have a little dream of finishing an Ironman race myself one day, but for now, I’ll keep it realistic and if I’ve completed my own little personal challenge once I cheer him on, it will be a tiny victory for this mummy.

I got this!