Things in life aren’t always easy. There are times when happiness comes easy and other times when it feels like a distance goal. I’ve been in both situations – so happy that I didn’t know what to do with the emotion and so unhappy that I wasn’t sure I would find my way back to happy. Something happened during one of those unhappy moments though and that’s what I want to talk to you about today – how you can find your happy by simply changing your mindset. After all, happiness is in the eye of the beholder.

This is happy. This moment in my life right now is a happy one. Not because it’s perfect – in fact, it’s far from perfect. My day started and ended with a crying baby. There was some spitting up and a headache somewhere in the middle. But I’m still considering this day a happy day because I’ve chosen to focus on the happy side of things. The crying baby means that everything is okay with him and he’s trying to figure out his voice. The spit up is a sign that he’s well fed and loved. I’m not sure where the headache came from but it made me appreciate my headache free days even more.

Each and every day, we’re faced with different obstacles and situations that can cause our mood to go one of multiple ways. A single moment isn’t automatically happy or sad until we assign that emotion to it. We determine what makes us happy at any given time. We can choose to see the good in a situation or we can choose to focus on all of the bad. I have found that I’m much happier when I place my focus on the happy moments of the day and let the bad moments melt away.

This sounds good in theory, but how do you put it into practice? Well, I’ve got three things I do that help me stay focused on the good things in life.

1. I reflect on my actions each and every day.
Reflection is an important part of self improvement. It’s also a great way to change your mindset and how you handle different situations. At the end of the day, I like to replay some of the highlights in my head. While I’m doing this, I think about how I handled different situations and if I’m proud of that moment or not. Some moments deserve a mental high-five, while others are treated to a reflection on how I could have handled it differently. I simply reflect in my head, but you could just as easily write in a journal at the end of the day. I find it very helpful to review my day so that I can handle similar things in a positive light in the future. In my opinion, positivity breeds happiness.

2. I use affirmations to get me through the rough patches.
This is something I’ve started doing more recently. Affirmations are small reminders that help you make it through the tough times. For example, a common phrase that I’ve been repeating in my head a lot is “this isn’t forever” or “you’ll miss this someday.” As you can probably guess, both of these relate to the parenting side of my life. We’ve been having a lot of waking up in the middle of the night. This leads to a lot of sleep deprivation and a very unhappy mommy. I’ve found that repeating “this isn’t forever” helps me put things in perspective when it’s 3am and I’m up for the fourth time comforting Baby Fox. Affirmations come in all shapes and sizes and you can find lots of examples out there.

3. I use my support system.
Even with reflection and affirmations in place, there are tough times when I need a little help. This is where it’s great to have a good support system in place. My support system is currently scattered across the country and I primarily communicate with them through text or calls. When it comes to a local support system, I’ve got the husband and dogs. I’m working on building a better local support system, but for now I’m managing okay. Your support system can help in so many ways – offering you a distraction, giving you advice, lending a listening ear, or simply just being there. If you don’t have a support system, I recommend joining the Hodge Podge Moments online community. It’s a safe space where you can find others to talk to and lean on whenever you need it most.

I can’t tell you how important mindset is to living a happy life. When we choose to be intentional in how we approach things, it opens up a whole new way of looking at things. I find that it helps me focus on being in the present and making each moment as happy as it can be. After all, this is life and I choose to see the happiness scattered amongst my many moments.

Need a little help with your mindset? We’ll be talking about that and so much more in our upcoming Distracted to Inspired and Productive challenge. Sign up below and join us July 16-22 for the challenge!