Life is short. Choose to be happy.
We hear these phrases all the time. But the world was shaken by Kobe Bryant and his daughters’ recent and tragic deaths. It was a regular day, taking his daughter to basketball practive; nobody expected it. Did he get the chance to say his “I love you’s” to his other daughters and wife before he left? Maybe not.
The reality is that we never know when God is going to call us home. It can happen in the most unexpected way, at the most unexpected time. That’s why while we are here on Earth, I believe we should make sure that we’re living a life that we love, and loving the life we are living.
Here are a few tips on how to live a life you love, and love the life you live1:
Cultivate Healthy Relationships
Most of us have been in unhealthy relationships in the past – with friends, boyfriends, and even with ourselves. One very important aspect to living a life that you love is to build and grow healthy relationships. Make sure to spend time with those you love and connect with new people. Put your phone down to really allow yourself to connect with them and enjoy that time. Being a social media content creator, I find myself CONSTANTLY looking at screens. Commenting on posts on Instagram, responding to comments, editing photos, and other tasks on my phone. Or writing blog posts.. *heh*, searching for products, or going through emails on my computer. So I cherish any time I have away from screens and off my phone – especially if it’s connecting with others.
And if you must be on your phone, make sure you are using your screen time wisely. Instead of endlessly scrolling through and liking posts or reading the latest memes, take that time to leave thoughtful comments on posts or respond to someone’s story to build a connection with them. The phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is excellent proof of why building relationships is so important.
Take care of your health
Just as important as building relationships with others is creating a healthy relationship with yourself. Your mental, physical, and emotional health are so important. Is your mind overwhelmed from things you have to do? Take a break and watch an episode of a show you like. Or take a trip to TJ Maxx and try on cute new pieces. It’s OK to take a break and relax. In fact is NECESSARY. If you don’t give your mind a break, it’s not going to work at its best and you’re going to continue to feel overwhelmed.
Next up is your physical health. Physical health is a large contributing factor to both mental and emotional health. And in turn, both mental and emotional health contribute to physical health. So if your mental and emotional health are low, your physical health will likely take a negative toll from it. Here are a couple ways to keep your physical health on track:
- Eat healthier foods – This is something I’ve been working on lately. I wanted to see how “good” or “bad” I was eating so I started a food log, writing down everything I eat and the nutrition info. The main things to do are to look for high fiber and high protein content, and low sugar content. Try to eat more fresh produce and stay away from processed foods. Fueling your body with the proper food will be a huge help.
- Exercise / work out – So much easier said than done, I know. I still don’t really enjoy going to the gym on my own. But even if you just do 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, that’s SOMETHING! And something is better than nothing. Think of what the alternative would be – sitting on the couch eating junk food?
- Drink lots of water and cut out soda– Water is the cure for so many things. When I’m not feeling well or I have a headache, Andrew tells me to drink more water. Water is essential for the human body and most of us don’t get the amount of water our body needs. Need some tips? Find a fun large water bottle to bring to work and make it a goal to drink the whole thing by the end of the day. If you’re lucky like me and your office provides water, make a goal to drink 3 bottles at work and then more at home. Also limit or altogether eliminate sugary drinks like soda. I used to drink a can of soda a day years ago, and now I can’t even drink half of a tiny can. If you MUST have a soda, try sharing it with someone so you don’t drink as much.
Focus On Positivity and Happiness
In addition to focusing on health, you should also focus on your happiness. Happiness is a mindset. You choose to be happy and you choose to be unhappy. This is so true and I see evidence of this more and more every day. Literally what you tell your mind is the truth. If you tell your mind that you are angry, you will be angry. But if you tell yourself it’s ok and focus on positive things, your anger will disappear.
The most powerful thing I’ve noticed so far is that if you believe you will have something, you will. You will make choices both conciously and subconciously that have an impact on what you’re wanting. For example, I want more than anything to take a tropical vacation this summer. So anytime I want to eat out somewhere or order food, I ask myself which I want more – that $8 food right now or more money towards a vacation later? There’s a specific dress I want super badly, but do I want that, or do I want to put that money toward a new piece of furniture?
So how can you change your mindset and increase your happiness? Each morning when you wake up, set yourself up for success. Read the Bible and a devotional, have a cup of coffee or tea, or do something else that you love to get the day started on the right side of the bed (pun intended). If you feel yourself getting mad about something, find a way to make it positive, or less frustrating at least. When I get annoyed with people purposely cutting traffic and start to get angry, I tell myself “is it worth it to speed up and risk crashing just to prevent them from getting over? No. You’d rather be safe. And what is them getting three cars ahead going to do? They’re not getting anywhere faster than you!”
Find A Job That You Love
I’m sure almost all of us know that a large majority of our life is spent at work. (Um.. can we get a three day weekend every week please?) It’s tough when you’re working in a job that you don’t enjoy. Or even worse… one you dread. I understand that some people, in fact maybe a lot of people, are in their current job just to pay the bills and make it by. I totally get that because that was me for 4 years. But I have been blessed with a great job that gives me freedom to work on my own stuff while at work, and provides benefits and a nice salary. And how did I get this job? Through a relationship I built. I met my current boss at my previous employer. He would come in every morning and I would always have a conversation with him and provide excellent customer service. Guys, I can’t say it enough… building relationships is SO important! It’s gotten me to where I am today.
Of course I’ve had days where I get irritated and want to throw something at a wall. It happens to all of us right?? But I always go back and tell myself how incredibly lucky I am to have this job and how it’s unlikely I’d find anything as good anywhere else. Your work affects your day and mood as a whole which means it continues past 5pm when you walk out the door. If you’re leaving work upset and annoyed, that mood extends into your home life. In turn, an unhappy home life can affect your relationships as well. You’ve got to change your mindset and think positively! You never know when the next person you connect with could be the gateway to your dream job.
And for us bloggers, photographers, content creators, and social media users… we need to be keep up the good work. Every post, comment, reply, or message may seem so small. But all these “small” things add up to be something BIG. And this build-up of your work is what gets you noticed. It’s how people connect with you, how they relate, and how they interact. When your work feels insignificant, imagine the opportunities it could lead to in the future.
Learn To Live With Less
Lasting happiness does not come from the physical things that you have in your home, although they can provide temporary joy. I mean I’m happy each time I find a new clothing item that I love, BUT at the end of the day, the things within your home likely are not true sources of joy. What will make you full of joy and happiness are the people around you, your faith, and your perspective/mindset. This is why I think it’s important to learn from the Italians and take a ‘live with less’ mindset. They prefer a simple lifestyle and believe that it brings them happiness.
To get started, get rid of things you don’t need and commit to not purchasing more. Of course, this is not an end all, be all. Just make sure your purchases are intentional and will add long-term joy to your life. Donate your clothes that you do not need anymore, pass out old blankets to the homeless, and consider checking out Chapes-JPL to sell jewelry in Atlanta. They work out of private, financial offices in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta and pay more than any of their competitors. Chapes-JPL is a bonafide collateral lender, so it’s required by law to maintain a pawn license. However, they are nothing like any other pawnbroker you can imagine. They have truly raised the bar and set new standards. They do not require credit checks, tax returns, or job verifications, and if you choose to get a loan vs. completely selling your jewelry outright, the typical loan will be processed within minutes. Get cash with Chapes-JPL.
Know That It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, etc. just know that it is okay to not be okay. Everyone is struggling with something, no matter whether or not we can see it. When we are in the midst of a hard struggle, it can be very easy to think that we are alone. But know that you are definitely not. Louie Giglio, at Passion City Church, discussed this a few weeks ago and talked about how we have more power than the enemy wants you to believe. The message of his sermon was “I’m not OK, but Jesus is” and He will be your strength to take care of you and get you through whatever difficulty you’re facing. Its when you’re at your lowest that God is most evident. And He is ALWAYS present – He is there any and every time you need him. Put your trust in Him to be your strength and help you make it through.
I truly hope this post was helpful for you guys. My motto for Just J Stylin Life is to live a life you love, and love the life you live. This is a very important topic to me and I hope to encourage you to do just that.
* This post was co-written with Alex from The Berger Bungalow.
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