Learn To Say, “NO”

Hi, my name is Marissa and I’m a recovering “People Pleaser.”

I’m someone who would very much bend over backwards for just about anyone. You needed me, you had me. I barely know you? Eh, whatever. I see the good in everyone. There’s no way you’re gonna take advantage of me…right?…right?

Insert eye roll here.

You know what began to happen? I found myself constantly busy, completely being taken advantage of (even if unintentionally on the other parties end) and taking on everyone’s personal stress like it was my own.

I was worn out.

Part of that is how I feed off of everyone else and their energy, the other part was just everything else. It’s A LOT.

When I look back, I realize that my constant want to please was sort of an endorphin rush. Similar to what Taylor Swift described with people clapping for her as a way of being accepted in her new documentary, “Miss Americana,” on Netflix. You look at the accomplishment or the thanks as a way of people approving of you or liking you.

But, what I’ve learned and now accept is that people are supposed to like me for me, not what I can do for them. I had to switch my way of thinking and reacting to the situations put in front of me.

I had to learn it was okay to say, “No.”

“No,” I can’t always help someone move.

“No” I can’t let anyone borrow money or things.

“No” I can’t listen to this conversation that’s causing my anxiety to get worked up.

“No” I shouldn’t always buy something just cause it made me think of someone, I’m not made of money.

Sure, these are nice things to do and I haven’t 100% stopped helping people, I’ve just become more aware of what help I can actually provide.

Are you currently a People Pleaser? Do you think it’s making you a happier person or do you find yourself stressed from the situations it presents? It’s worth reevaluating for your own mental health and how each situation can take it’s toll.

It’s Not Selfish, It’s Self Care

What’s a simple way to start to feel GOOD all the time?

Doing more of the things you love!

Though, if you’re like me, you have those moments of guilt. There is something instilled in so many of us that if we aren’t busy working or taking care of some form of responsibility, we feel lazy or selfish with that “wasted” time. But let me tell you, it’s not waste and that’s not selfish – it’s self care. Without it, you burn out, you’re not living life to its fullest, you’re letting time pass by instead of living in the moment.

So make a list of the things you LOVE to do

On mine?

• Watching a beautiful sunset with my pup
• getting to a basketball game (go Celtics!)⠀
• writing a new song on my guitar⠀
• making a healthy meal⠀
• spending time with friends/family⠀
• going to the movies⠀
• dancing my butt off at a concert⠀ ⠀

Taking time for YOU is what your mental health is all about. It craves the endorphins, it craves the joy and beauty of the moment and most of all it loves how it makes you feel all over on the inside and even more how it radiates back out into the world.

So do yourself the favor and take some time for you. Make it a priority and see how you’re every day can change into the best day. ⠀

Even During The Hard Stuff

SMILE.

Have you ever witnessed someone get really frustrated at something and they put on the BIGGEST, fakest smile? They’re obviously annoyed, but now they’re smiling and they look ridiculous (if it’s on a sitcom anyway) but suddenly…they start to feel better.

They get through the moment.

The classic Dick Van Dyke song from Bye Bye Birdie goes:

Why look so awfully tragic?/Put on a happy face!/Smiling can work like magic/Put on a happy face!…”

It’s the simple action that triggers the brain.

I’m not even kidding, from “The Best Brain Possible”: Your brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters, including dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, when a smile flashes across your face. These brain chemicals aid in calming your nervous system by lowering heart rate and blood pressure.

It’s science, people! 𝕀𝕥’𝕤 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕝!

So, I don’t wanna be “that guy” telling “you look so much prettier if you smile” (guys, girls hate that.) But I will tell ya, if you’re pissed off, angry or just having a down day, trick your brain into having a party. You supply the smile, instead of a snack and it’ll do the rest!

If you think I’m full of crap, fine. But I dare you to try it the next time something pops up that has you feeling a certain kinda way. Then try it again…and one more time just for the f@!$s of it.

Retrain your brain and let it have the party you deserve.

The Rule of 5

The last thing I wanna do is sound like a song from a kids movie, but it’s time to “Let It Go.”

We’re mid-week and I’m sure you’ve been in the office, or wherever you work and you’ve gotten frustrated over something. Think about it right now.

I’m not trying to stir all that up again, but really…think about it.

Is it something that still matters now that the day is done? Did it matter 5 minutes after it happened? How about 5 days from now, will you still care?

I have tried to implement this for myself more and more over the last couple years…

The Rule of 5.

We tend to get upset in the heat of the moment and let it eat away at us. The smallest thing may ruin an entire day. (Social Media is really good at that.)

A WHOLE DAY!

We’re not promised tomorrow, do you really want to spend your last day being pissed off because Tommy left the coffee pot empty in the break room? Sounds pretty ridiculous when you read it back, right?

If it’s not gonna matter 5 seconds, minutes, days or even years from now, it should not be taking over your world and causing a shit storm.

So how do you change your way of reacting?

Here are a few things that I’ve found that work:

Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Do this for as many times it takes to calm yourself. It’ll become routine and it won’t always take as long as that first go.

Step away from the issue. If you’re at your desk and maybe you got an email that just sent your brain into the red, stand up and take a coffee break. It’s okay, last time I checked, that’s allowed.

Ask yourself why you’re reacting negatively, is this actually triggering something else for you? Is it worth the negative energy you’re allowing to take over? (If it is a response due to something else in your life, this is the moment you need to note that you need to heal that piece of you.)

Put whatever it was that has upset you aside, let the feelings settle and focus on something else. Sometimes it’s as simple as physically putting your cell phone away after receiving an annoying text. Out of sight out of mind. Then go back to it later with a calmer attitude and see how you handle it with a clearer mind.

Band Aids & Bullet Holes

I was having a conversation over the weekend with a friend who has been trying so desperately to feel better.

I know that feeling all too well. It’s like you’re stuck on the edge of a freakin’ cliff and a bear is creeping up on you. Whattya do? Jump to your demise or fight a bear?

I hate to say this, but you fight that picnic basket stealing, Charmin hiney cleaning, porridge eating bear! 𝔹𝕖𝕔𝕒𝕦𝕤𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕓𝕖𝕒𝕣 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕒𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕚𝕟 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕖.

Seriously, it sucks, I know. What sucks even more, though? Giving up.

I realized in this particular situation, my friend was literally grabbing at anything that seemed like it would help her “fix” the problem. She’s reaching for books and online therapeutic treatments like EMDR and she listed off so many podcasts I stopped paying attention after a few minutes.

Here’s the BIG THING that I realized: these were all quick fixes that only allowed momentary relief.

Hey, you hear that? M O M E N T A R Y R E L I E F.

She felt real good right after whatever it was she was diving into. But, a couple hours later or maybe the next day that goodness had worn off. I’m not gonna say she was right back to square one, because I do believe some progress has been made. However, the big revelation for me was noticing the actual root of all the problems was still unknown.

So instead of attempting to heal from the cause of the pain, she was utilizing these quick fix type methods to mask it instead. Putting a band aid on a bullet hole. Like an alcoholic reaching for a bottle. Anything to try to feel better.

I completely get why anyone would do this. Besides the fact that we want everything instantly these days, when it comes to our own personal happiness? Of course we want it NOW. Who wouldn’t?

But I’m here to dish the hard truth to ya: Your happiness will take hard work.

I know that it seems like something that should just magically happen, like breathing. (How do our brains just go and do that all on their own?!) Instead, like my fingers knowing where the correct keys are to type a sentence, it requires training. No one picks up a guitar the first time and plays “Stairway to Heaven.” You learn the chords, you do the scales, you put in the practice and you get better.

The first thing you need to do, just like my friend, is figure out what the problem is.

For you it could literally be as simple as lacking the motivation to lose weight. Okay, I can push you and give you some homework to follow, hold you accountable and guide you on your weight loss journey. Sometimes it’s as simple as not wanting to let someone else down because yourself? You’re used to putting things off, or saying you’re going to do one thing and then never doing it. We let ourselves down all the time, even in just tiny ways. We feel guilty, but we forgive ourselves (most of the time.)

Maybe you’re struggling with something else, like anxiety. Been there, done that. It was one of the big, big things I had to fix for myself. So, I have so many techniques to share to help slow down your mind and help you live a calmer, happier life!

There are so many different ways that I can help just about anyone, but it truly starts with knowing what the thing is that you want to work on and checking out what type of session you’d be most comfortable with.

So, do yourself the favor and answer this: Do you want to live happier?

Then lets 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, there may be sweat and frustration, but there will be a positive result if you’re ready to make it happen. When I made the choice for myself, it wasn’t immediate, it was gradual, but I felt like a new person from the inside out and now thinking back on how far I’ve come, I can’t help but smile.

Is Anyone Listening?

STOP.

Look…Listen.

To the people around you. To the people you care about most. To yourself.

I find myself thinking heavily about two things today, oddly enough both celebrities. A sports legend we lost too soon and a pop icon who’s been given a second chance.

Kobe Bryant is proof that tomorrow is never, ever promised. He got up yesterday with positive intentions in helping his protege daughter, Gianna to continue honing her basketball skills. He saw the greatness in her like the world saw in him. He knew she was going to change the WNBA one day.

Then it all changed.

Demi Lovato has released a new song called, “Anyone.” It was written just 4 days prior to the overdose that almost took her life in 2018. Read some of the lyrics below:

A hundred million stories
And a hundred million songs
I feel stupid when I sing
Nobody’s listening to me
Nobody’s listening
I talked to shooting stars
But they always get it wrong
I feel stupid when I pray
So why am I praying anyway?
If nobody’s listening

Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone
Anyone, please send me anyone
Lord, is there anyone?
I need someone”

A clear cry for help. But, maybe she was right with how she felt when writing; Was no one listening? Could no one see her struggles? Was she like so many, surrounded by a million faces, but feeling completely alone?

The truth is, we never know what tomorrow is going to bring. That’s why it is so incredibly important to live at our happiest and damnit, ya know what? It’s not always easy. It takes work and sometimes it can just feel easy to throw our hands up and give in, to the alcohol, to the depression, to the struggle.

But, what I want you to know, and I hope that Demi knows this, too: You’re not alone. People will listen.

I will listen.

There are almost 8 billion people in the world and all of us are trying to just sort of “figure it out.” We’re all dealing with the bumps in the road, the not knowing if we’re making the right choices, the battles within ourselves and each other. But, the beauty of it all, is we can get through it together.

There are studies that prove when you’re at your happiest, your productivity goes up, your relationships improve, your life feels less stressed and success is more attracted to you because of it.

So, what will it take? Is it as simple as someone, “anyone” listening to what you’re going through? Do you know your struggles but aren’t sure where to start to improve? Are you battling anxiety and can’t seem to think straight?

I want to help. I want to listen. I want to see you smile more. I want you to live your life to its happiest. Because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Because we’re only given this one life. Because we’re worth it.

Kobe Bryant was referring to his return after an injury when he said this quote, but it’s just as fitting for inspiration in our mental health: “I see all the hard work, all the sacrifices. I see the journey that it took to get back to this point of being healthy. And I see beauty in that struggle. That’s what makes it beautiful.”

Lets do something beautiful together. Send me an email and lets start your adventure to your happiest with me today. (contact@feelthishappy.com)

These Hands

If these hands could talk.

They’ve held onto hands, lovingly, yet tight, to pick up my weight and swing me back and forth. With the heart of a wide eyed child, without a care of what’s to come, just the happiness of the now.

They’ve held the backpack straps of a first time schooler. A little sweaty that day with nerves of a new place, new smells, new faces.

These hands have held old weathered, fragile cancer ridden hands. Hands that looked much older than they were. Hands that held my heart from birth. Hands I could hold in mine, kiss them softly and whisper, “goodbye.”

These hands have picked flowers, thrown softballs, painted pictures and told stories.

They’ve caught me when I’ve fallen. I fall often with lack of balance whether from mind, body or overwhelming emotion.

These hands have learned to make beautiful music with a strum of a guitar. They’ve written songs to bypass therapy; to pour out emotion, from small to life altering.

These hands have told jokes as often as they’ve grabbed onto a loved one, held them close and let them know it’s all gonna be all right.

But, these hands have felt scared. They’ve felt worthless. They’ve been overtaken by anxiety, manipulation, depression and PTSD. They’ve been told their feelings weren’t valid. They’ve been laughed at with a Joker-type cackle.

They couldn’t take any more.

They beat the shit out of a wooden door. All on their own. Each punch causing another cut, another wound, another scar. Blood dripping. Pain just to feel…something. Pain to feel alive again.

These hands have wiped my tears. They bandaged up their wounds.

They’ve read books. Lots of books. To heal pieces inside they thought would stay bleeding forever.

These hands picked up the pieces of my broken heart, soul and body and put them back together.

They’ve taken so many steps forward and a few steps back.

These hands have made amends. With those caught in the crossfire of a battle they couldn’t control.

These hands have reached out to help others like they once were.

They helped someone not hurt themselves when it all felt like too much.

These hands have taken action. They’ve started a company. They’re ready to give back.

If these hands could talk, they’d tell you life is only giving you what it knows you can handle. You can get through anything.

And together, we’ve got this.

I Cringe At The Word

🆃🆁🅸🅶🅶🅴🆁🆂 *shutter* I hate the word. It almost creates it’s own definition within my reaction to it. But, they do exist.

If you’ve been through any type of traumatic situation, the healing process can be flippin’ HARD.

For real. I’ve been there and honestly, I’m still doing this whole healing thing for myself in a lot of ways.

You know how it goes: Normal day, everything is fine and then suddenly…something happens. It could be the smallest thing, but you’re taken back. And then here you are curled up in the fetal again. 🆃🆁🅸🅶🅶🅴🆁🆂.

Okay, so it doesn’t 𝙖𝙡𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 happen that way, but inside, you’ve felt that, right? I’m here to tell you that it’s normal and you’re not alone. That’s so incredibly important to know when it’s happening because these moments of overwhelming emotion can make you feel like you’re crazy.

But, you’re so not. You’ve been through something. Something that’s had lasting affects on you. It can be hard to come to terms with it, but once you find that courage and acceptance, things can start to change for the better and you can become even stronger than before!

In the heat of my darkest time, I was still in an abusive relationship and dealing with someone who had such back and forth behavior that it had broken me down. I felt so elated in the good times and so incredibly awful in the bad times, that I was completely lost of a “normal” reaction to anything thrown my way. If it was yet another bad day, I would give up on the day completely and shelter myself alone in my bedroom, lights out, phone off, crying in the dark.

Thinking of those moments can be a trigger in itself and while I’m years into my healing, I can still notice little things that will send my brain into a tizzy. The beauty of the steps I’ve taken in the adventure to my happiest really shine through as these moments pop up. There are no more dark room, late night cry fests; I don’t purposely seclude myself from others; I don’t feel awful about myself.

See that right there, I don’t feel awful about myself. In fact, I feel really positive about who I am as a person and what I bring to the table. I had lost that piece of me for a while. But, with my healing it’s back and it’s bigger, better and stronger than ever.

This is why I’m here, typing this, sharing my story, passing on the knowledge that I’ve learned in professional education but more importantly, in life. There are plenty of people that will be an ear and want to dish out their two cents, but if they’ve never lived something they thought they’d never get back from, they can’t fully relate. Me? I 💯 G E T I T!

If you’re struggling trying to “handle” it on your own, if you need someone to talk to that’s an outside ear, if you just need some guidance and techniques to help – please send me an email today so together, we can help you start your adventure to the happiest year yet!

TOGETHER… We Got This ☀️💙

I Know Myself Too Well

Almost every morning, I wake up and I head to the gym.

I do this on purpose because it not only helps wake me up, but I also know if I don’t do it first thing, I won’t do it at all. In fact, and maybe I shouldn’t admit this but, I’m totally going to any way ‘cause, why not…Yesterday, I got up, not feeling my best, but with that “fight through it” attitude. I headed out the door knowing I had to stop at the local Clerks office to finish up some stuff for Feel This Happy, after I went to the gym.

The gym is legitimately 30 seconds down the same exact street.

In my mind, I was like, “Girl, you got this!”

Then I pulled into the gym parking lot, couldn’t find a spot, circled around and oops! Out the parking lot I went.

I know, I shook my head at myself, too. I justified it by parking where I would have to walk a couple extra minutes to get my papers filed. (Hey, at least I got that done.)

My point is, I know myself. I knew that when I got up, based on how I felt, it was going to be really easy for me to just not go to the gym – and, man was I right. The lack of quick parking space was enough for every fiber of my being to give in.

We all should know ourselves better than anyone else. So, what do you know about yourself when it comes to your goals?

Maybe you’re someone that doesn’t feel accomplished without a checklist. Or you know that you want to write more or be more artsy but don’t get in the right creative mindset until late at night. Are you someone that if you know there’s desert in the house, it’s a must after dinner? So much for that diet, huh?

I was you to take a moment and really think about the goal(s) you want to achieve and then think about how you’ve gotten in your own way.

What are the little things you can do to prevent yourself from being unsuccessful in your goals?

Things to think about:

  • Accountability is a huge factor in any goal. Have an accountability buddy to put you in your place if you’re slacking off.
  • Have a specified goal. Make tiny achievable goals that’ll lead you to the final, bigger picture goal. If you make more attainable commitments, you’re more bound to feel successful and confident in reaching what you desire to achieve.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re going to have bad days and bad moments along the way and that’s okay. Just shake it off and tell yourself you can do it! And remind yourself of the ways you’ve already been successful.

What’s Happiness?

What’s your definition of happiness?

While you think about that, I’ll tell ya what a quick Google search defines it as:

Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.

Uh, okay, but what’s “contentment,” exactly?

A state of happiness and satisfaction.

Hold up just one… flipping… second. The one is used to define the other, so we’re right back where we started from?!

Yup. And ya know what? That’s not necessarily wrong. YOU define your happiness and the definition changes from person to person. So, it’s very important for you to figure out what it is that truly makes your definition come to life. Once you figure that out for yourself, it’s all about reaching the goals to make that a daily thing for a healthy, fulfilled life.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you what should be on your list because, it’s your list. My two cents doesn’t really matter. But, I can tell you what I have on mine:

  • Spending time with my family and closest friends
  • Being outdoors
  • Music – all forms
  • Being on the radio
  • Entertaining people
  • Helping people in the ways I can
  • Good food
  • Writing
  • Getting good sleep
  • Feeling successful each day and on my chosen path

These are just a few things that I have on my happiness list. They don’t all need to happen at once or every single day, but it is important to me that a few of them do. When you look back at your day, you don’t want to be weighed down by the frustrating bits that are out of your hands; your happiness is very much in your hands and in your control.

So, if you do anything to start your journey to your happiest today, create your definition; make your list and be like Santa and check it twice. Don’t leave anything out. This is your life and you deserve to be happy.