Have you ever noticed that despite the longer days in summer, it can seem impossible to get everything done? Harried we pack more into each day wanting to make the most of it. Despite our good intentions, we can end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

One look at Facebook and we can convince ourselves that we’re the only one feeling this way because we seem to be the only ones not out taking pictures of beautiful beach sunsets of fancy summer destinations. Our vacations, if we had one, feel like they wore off the moment we stepped back in to our busy daily routines that seemingly waited for our return.

So what can you do? You can choose to reset the balance in your life and actually choose to be happier. That’s right, you can “choose” happy! Did you know that only 10% of our happiness is rooted in our environments? A whopping 90% is internal! (Shawn Anchor – The Happiness Advantage) Consciously making a few adjustments can help restore balance to your busy life and help you be happier as well!

Choose to be grateful – Each day find three new things to be grateful for. I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. But before you skip to the next bullet point, did you know that if you actually do this everyday for three weeks, it will positively impact your outlook on life and increase your happiness? Really! It’s been scientifically proven! Scanning the day for things to be grateful for actually impacts your brain, increases happiness, and gives you a more positive outlook. Why not start today?

Filter your influences – The world is full of critics. Have you ever noticed that you can get ten positive comments and one negative comment but naturally you spend the rest of the day chewing on the negative comment? Consciously choose to let go of the negative. Don’t allow yourself to replay that cutting remark or discouraging words you’ve encountered. Replace those messages with positive or constructive feedback that encourages your personal growth. Much as a filter pulls out the dirt and pollutants, filter what you listen to, what your heart listens to by being aware of the influences you’re listening to.

Monitor your connections – Are your connections genuine or superficial? In a social media driven world, it is all too easy to replace your connections with online superficial interactions. When life is stressed and we’re struggling to keep it balanced, it can feel easier to opt for the quick, simple interactions. It’s easier to hide behind a Facebook status or a cute Instagram photo pretending life is just fine. The thing is, some days life isn’t fine. We’ve all been there! When life feels out of balance, seek out genuine conversation and friendship. Pick up the phone. Meet a friend for lunch, and perhaps even go on a social media diet.

Restore your margin – Pages in books have white space around the text for a reason. Imagine for a minute if you opened a book and the words spilled from side to side, top to bottom without any margin. Would you read the book? Or, would you quickly close it? The blank space in margin serves a purpose. It allows us to give the content of the page the attention it deserves. The space gives us the ability to enjoy what we’ve just experienced without crowding our thoughts. Life it’s no different. If we pack our days from start to finish without any “blank space,” we miss the opportunity to savor what we’ve experienced. Restore margin by allowing yourself down time to pray and process the day. God won’t fight His way into your cluttered day, allow for space to hear His still voice. To increase your margin you may need to say “no” to activities that seem well and good. But, if activities rob you of vital down time, something in your schedule needs to go. Choose to find margin in your day.

Why not make a few adjustments to your day and increase your happiness? What will changes are you going to make? What are you grateful for today? I’d love to hear from you, join the conversation by clicking the comment bubble at the top.