Happiness can be also found in the form of a cute puppy... (most) dogs are such a great example of being happy!!
But I digress...As someone who used to have a more negative outlook on life, I feel as if I've come a long ways in terms of attitude, perspective, and overall ability to make the most of the suboptimal situations. I used to think that 'being happy' was something that had to be earned and reasoned that success lead to happiness, life circumstances shaped our ability to be happy, or at times, I just was not worthy of it. Now I realize that being happy is something we cultivate, a choice we make and often a byproduct of specific efforts.
I started this past week feeling especially tired, overworked and generally drained. Running on full cylinders can only last so long, so I made a conscious effort to put a smile on my face, scale back and relax more, indulge in doing more of the things I love and get back to that happy place. While the week still featured its share of stress, I forced myself to put it on the back burner for the sake of balance and long-term sustainability. While I had Friday off from work, it took a lot of self-restraint to keep myself from going in for "just an hour." Lucky me, we had a mini-retreat with friends on the schedule this past weekend and it was JUST what I needed.
The weekend was perfect in that I was able to catch up with friends I've missed dearly, sleep in late, get outside and explore new and beautiful places and take time to reflect and think. We all define "success" a little differently, and this past weekend success came in the form of being flexible, putting my needs aside for the sake of quality time with others, giving my body what it needed in terms of a mental and physical break and taking time to reflect. After a short, personal yoga session on the deck, I took the time to jot down ways I cultivate happiness in my life... as a reminder for the future when I'm maybe not feeling so optimistic ;)
There you have it, my happy thought for Monday.
How do you cultivate happiness?
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
Another year has flown by, which means it's time to sit back and reflect on the past season. It has been a season of challenge in many regards, and most definitely not the season I had hoped or planned for. Thinking back to my coaching meeting in January, coach Jim and I had discussed taking things to the next level and I set some pretty high goals for myself. That remained the plan through June, until I through a complete 180 by dropping Chattanooga and deciding to focus on my health. I can vividly remember that day, sitting next to the pool after a short workout when coach asked if Chattanooga was still in the cards. I don't remember whether or not I actually responded, but I do remember the emptiness and defeat I felt in that moment knowing in my heart that the answer was no. I consider myself a "fighter"... being Italian makes me stubborn to the core and I am very loyal to the commitments that I make. However, in that moment God was calling me to let go of my own personal plans and trust in Him instead. As humbling and difficult as it was to walk away from Ironman training this past season, I'm incredibly glad that I did.Hearty Miso Soup
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