av Village Antiques, Houston’s Premier French Antique Store

A huge lesson I learned over the past 3 years

post by Village Antiques

You see, over the past three years, I’ve been suffering. A lot.

 

You never would have known it if you had met me — I’m pretty much always cheery and upbeat.

 

But beneath the surface, my soul was churning. I was constantly stressed and anxious, I felt like my entire world was hanging on by a thread.

 

I was running the shop, my paint line business was exploding, my two toddlers were a handful, and I had to balance TV appearances and a house that was in complete disarray and destruction.

 

It was too much. I was breaking.

 

It felt like I was constantly jumping from one hot pan into the next, with no end in sight.

 

And along with everything else, I developed a horrible habit.

 

It was something I would wake up telling myself every day.

 

And it killed my happiness. Like totally crushed it.

 

Because I was repeating this ONE THING, no matter how much success I achieved, I still felt empty.

 

The #1 Happiness Killer

 

Every day, I would tell myself, “I will be happy when….”

 

“I’ll be happy when I’m done with this appearance. I just need to get it done, share my knowledge, and then I’ll be happy.”

 

“I’ll be happy when the growth of our paint line hits this much.”

 

“I’ll be happy when we finally finish our warehouse.”

 

“I’ll be happy when we get this new state of the art software.”

 

“I’ll be happy when my kids get to this stage.”

 

“I’ll be happy when we get all the finishes selected in my house.”

 

“I’ll be happy when I move back home.”

 

“I’ll be happy when I can finally invite my friends over.”

 

And so it went.

 

All day, everyday.

 

And it blinded me to everything good that was happening to me. I was never present in the moment. I was always looking towards the future.

 

Even though I accomplished every single thing on that list…I never felt good.

 

I had moments of relief, like “Phew! So glad that’s done!”

 

But relief is not the same as happiness.

 

But such is the trap of “I’ll be happy when…”

 

Eventually, “when” will arrive, but what then?

 

Just another list of to-dos, and goals, and milestones, and deadlines, and bills, and you name it!

 

I knew if I ever wanted to be happy, I had to change.

 

So, I did. I forced myself to rejig my outlook.

 

I began telling myself, “I’ll be happy NOW.”

 

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No matter the stress, the deadline, or project, I decided to make it a habit to find happiness now.

 

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At first, it was difficult. But I used a couple of tactics to help me to do it.

 

And over time, these tactics helped me recalibrate my mind. I want to share those with you today.

 

The Three Tactics that Will Make You Happier TODAY

 

1.  Every morning, write down 3 things you’re grateful for.

 

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Every morning, I think about 3 things I’m grateful for both BIG and SMALL.

 

For example, just the other day I thought about how grateful I was for my new Instapot.

 

Why? Because my son and I have been having a blast cooking with it and then eating together as a family!

 

It’s a seemingly tiny thing, but I’m so thankful that it has given me some beautiful memories with my son.  

 

2.  Buy Birthday Presents (silly but works)

 

I used to just text my friends and family “Happy Birthday.”

 

But I started to feel like that was the cheap way out. And I don’t mean financially cheap. I mean emotionally cheap.

 

Because I wasn’t giving them anything. I wasn’t doing anything to show them that I really was glad that their beautiful souls were on this planet for another year.

 

So, I decided to show it more.

 

And I started giving them presents. Not big ones — just small ones, like books or jewelry from the shop.

 

It was amazing. The more I gave, the better I felt. And more love came back to me a million fold.

 

3.  Savor the Stress

 

Happiness, sadness, stress…they’re all just emotions. They’re neutral.

 

They’re only assigned negative or positive attributes by us. But there’s nothing inherently wrong or good about any of them.

 

And if we realize that stress isn’t necessarily bad, we can stop running from it. We can choose instead to embrace it.

 

Here’s how I do it:

 

When I feel stress, I savor it.

 

I know that sounds crazy, but I know that the stress is in my mind or body telling me to do something different or pay attention to something important.

 

In other words, it’s helping me.

 

A few weeks back, I had a BIG call.

 

It was a call that could turn into a big opportunity for me…

 

Or maybe go nowhere at all.

 

Old Amitha would have said, “I’ll be happy when that call is over.”

 

But that’s not who I am now.

 

The call was scheduled a month out, so I certainly wasn’t going to be stressed or anxious for a month!

 

So, I channeled that energy into being present and focused on what I wanted and what I’m good at.

 

And then came the day of the call, I was so charged up with nervous energy that I could barely contain myself.

 

And right before the call, I threw on some jams and danced all around. Like really danced!

 

I made it a point to turn that stress into a positive, and it allowed be to be happy THEN.  

 

It was a great time until one of my employees came in!  

 

To sum it up, if you change the way you interpret your feelings, what could have been a very stressful memory can turn into the start to a great story.


And no matter how bad things get, don’t forget to go for a walk.

 

Look up a the incredible beauty surrounding you.

 

Write a thank you card.

 

Smile at old photos.

 

Do something to feel happy now and savor the journey.

 

Like all good things, it takes some effort.

 

But I promise you, it’s so worth it.

 

What do you think? Are you going to try these strategies in your own life. Leave a comment and let us know.

 

BIG NEWS

 

We’ve just received a VERY special shipment, unlike anything we’ve ever had before. When you see it, you won’t believe your eyes.

 

But we’re unveiling all of them during the month of September to get you back on track with your home.

 

You DO NOT want to miss out on what I expect to be our biggest new arrivals of the year.

 

With love and in friendship,

 

Amitha

 

P.S. Want to remake your house exactly like you dreamed? Why not level-up your design skills with one of our exclusive workshops? One of our workshops for August is already sold out, so don’t delay. Click here to see the schedule.

 

 

Village Antiques, Houston’s Premier French Antique Store, Texas