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I posted a poll on my Instagram story this week asking what article you wanted to see on my blog this weekend...and this won!! It was actually a special moment for me because when I saw the results of the poll, I was reminded that there are real people out there experiencing the same real things that I am, seeking real joy and real happiness. It showed me that I'm not alone. None of us are!! We are in this together.

I feel like you guys can relate to this, right? Some days I feel really tired and drained, other days I feel like my temper is short and my patience is nonexistent, and some days I just feel down and gloomy for no reason. Do you ever feel like this? We all will have our off days, but there are a few elements in my life that I think keep me at peace through any trials I face.

I think this is something we all should put more time and effort into! Our soul, our well-being, our mental health. So here is my "guide to staying happy" that I hope touches your heart and gives you the strength to pull through:

#1 - Pray when you go to sleep. Thank God for what and who He's given you, and tell Him all of your worries. Get it off your chest. Let go and let God. This helps me to 1) recognize how blessed I truly am, 2) feel gratitude and focus on the good things in my life, and 3) let go of my worries so I can enjoy a restful night.

#2 - Pray when you wake up. The best way to start the day is to thank God for a new day! How lucky are we to wake up on this beautiful earth with another day of opportunity to make your life what you want it to be?! SO LUCKY!!

#3 - Listen to worship music. I've realized recently that when I listen to worship music in the car while driving my morning commute, I am so much calmer throughout the day. I love many different genres of music, but I truly feel less agitated in traffic (I do live in Los Angeles after all - the roads are stressful!) when I'm constantly being reminded of God's love for us. Try it out and see if you notice the same change!

#4 - Call a family member at least once a week. Talking to a family member from home always reminds me of who I am and where I came from! Just hearing their voice brings me comfort. I really recommend calling your parents or grandparents or siblings at least once a week if you don't live nearby or see them often. A call with my grandma always makes me so happy!

#5 - Exercise as regularly as you can. I just recently started getting back into exercising regularly and getting cardio at the gym. And it's crazy - no matter how uncomfortable and difficult the workout can seem, afterwards I always feel happier - thanks to endorphins! Whenever I'm having a rough day, I try to go for a run and listen to music. Afterwards, my head is always more clear and I feel refreshed!

#6 - Read a book or listen to a podcast. In other words, stimulate your brain! I tend to have trouble sticking to books sometimes, but it's something I want to work on. Having a book you're reading or a podcast you're listening to from beginning to end is like a fun project that you get to see through! Plus, learning new things everyday keeps you motivated and inspired.

#7 - Make plans with friends and show up. We've all been in the position where you just want to stay in bed and be lazy, so you cancel plans for no reason. But in general, try to make an effort to follow through on your commitments! More often than not, I'm glad I made the effort to go out and meet with a friend because every time - without fail - I am happier after than I was before.

#8 - Talk to people when you are upset or need advice. It really helps me move past tough times in my life if I talk it out with someone and get it off my chest. God made humans to be in community and lean on each other! He did not make us to be in solitude in difficult times. Instead of letting it bottle up and bring you down over time, don't be afraid to confide in a friend or family member and let them know what's bothering you. Simply talking out loud about an issue can really do wonders and help you to process and get past it.

#9 - Smile and say hi to people. A little smile can go a long way! The person you pass in the hallway may be shy or having a tough day. Spreading joy with a simple smile or "hi" can be so contagious and always cheers me up a little bit. It's scientifically proven that simply the act of smiling sends the signal from your face muscles to your brain to release dopamine, endorphins and serotonin - which instantly boost your mood!

#10 - Look for opportunities to help someone else. Offering to assist someone with a task, asking a friend how they've been feeling lately and being there to listen, or even volunteering with an organization or nonprofit to help others can really bring true happiness to your life. Sometimes taking the focus off of your own struggles and placing your attention on helping another human can make all the difference and give you fulfillment. Try it out and let me know what you find!

Nobody is perfect, and we're all allowed to have off days, but let's commit to staying strong and never giving up on our own happiness. Life is a gift and we should receive it with gratitude and joy!


What's on your list to staying happy?

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