Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

Sometimes when I pick up my one year old daughter, Sophie, she hugs me and pats me on the shoulder. It makes me feel like The Most Amazing and Important Person in the World, seriously.

Finding joy in our every day lives is so important to our personal fulfillment. Sometimes it feels hard to find any joy at all, but when we slow down long enough to “smell the roses” or coffee, or whatever we need to smell to feel happiness, we find little bits of it all around us.

Parents know what I’m talking about. For example, when my oldest son told me at three years old that he “loved our home,” I felt like I’d hung the moon. When my middle child learned to say “cookie” before he was a year old, I couldn’t contain my excitement. And now, at ages eleven and five, they give me little bits of joy every day.

But if you don’t have kids, or if the kids are driving you crazy that day, you can find joy elsewhere. Try doing something nice for someone else. It could be something small, like letting someone in front of you in line at the grocery store–especially if you have more items than they. Seems small, but any good deed makes you feel good about yourself.

If nothing seems to be going your way, try changing your perception. For example, awhile back I found myself grumbling about the tangle of medicines in my pantry. I had cough medicine, allergy medicine,Tylenol, and Motrin, many in three different forms (adult, kid, and baby). Then, it occurred to me that this little bit of annoying clutter was actually a blessing. Some families aren’t as lucky as we are and don’t have medicines available to them to treat what ails them.

You see, by changing our perception, we can change our minds. And by changing our minds, my friends, we can change our lives.

So today, I challenge you to do just that. When something feels upsetting or stressful to you today, take a moment to try to change your perception. Find the silver lining in your cloud. I’ll bet you go to bed feeling just a little better!

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