So the title of this post may be a bit misleading…
In my opinion, there is no real way of being happy.
Personally, I don’t think anyone can always be happy. It’s impossible. There is not one person in this world that is constantly positive every minute of every day.
There is not one person who never thinks of giving up, even if it is for a split second.
There is not one person who wants to just stay in bed and feel sorry for themselves, even if they do end up going out.
It still crosses their mind.
Being happy, for me, is different than being positive.
Thinking positively contributes to your state of happiness. Right now, I would not say I am happy. I still have days when I wake up feeling like absolute shit and bad thoughts cross my mind and I don’t want to do anything. To me, things like this do not scream happiness. But I can wake up, think all these things and still remain positive.
This then takes away the overcrowding negativity that is trying to creep in. I still would not describe myself as happy, but I am not letting these things control my life.
I used to be a pessimist. One bad thought, that’s it. The world’s over. Done.
Now? That’s changed. It’s crazy how much your mood can change just from changing your mindset. You are in control of your emotions and your thoughts.
- THINK POSITIVELY
I know how hard this seems, especially when the world is going to shit. But try it. Just give it a chance. Bad grade on a test? It’s a lesson, a chance to improve. It does not make you a failure. It is allowing you work on your skills to become more successful. Let’s try another. This time a bit deeper. The loss of a loved one. 2017 saw a huge amount of my loved ones be taken from me. This is the hardest thing in the world to try and remain positive about. How can you possibly find a way to make this a good thing? First things first, cry. It does not make you weak, nor does it take away from your capability to be ‘happy’. Cry and let your emotions out. Show your grief and your love for this special person. Then, instead of mourning the loss, celebrate their life. Make them a memorial garden, a memory box, write a song for them, whatever you want to do to honour and remember them. This way we are minimising the negativity of the situation and turning it into something inspiring and positive. Little things like this will really help improve your mood.
- WALK, RUN, DANCE
It doesn’t matter if you’re walking at 0.1 mph, just do something. Get up and exercise. It will boost your endorphins, automatically improving your mood, and if you are working towards a goal, such as losing weight or gaining muscle, you will automatically feel more productive. Not only this but if you are starting to become fitter, you will see these improvements and therefore feel better about yourself anyway. There are so many positives that come out of physical activity, so get out of the house, or even off the sofa and do something.
- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND INTO NATURE
I cannot explain the beauty of nature. It is mad how one view can change your mood. I have recently been leaving the house and getting outside, going for long walks and appreciating the environment around us. I am lucky enough to live in the Peak District, surrounded by gorgeous views and tranquil walks. Once you step foot outside, just keep going. Don’t stop. Stick your headphones in and walk. Walk away from everyone else, walk away from your problems. Once you find somewhere to sit and just take in the world around you, you will automatically relax. It is so peaceful. It is the only time I like to be alone with my thoughts. They become positive thoughts. It shows the world is good. The world is beautiful. Life can be beautiful.
- TAKE UP A HOBBY
Work towards a goal! This cannot be emphasised enough! Pick up an instrument, learn a language, start doing Pilates, start baking. Whatever it is, working towards something greatly improves your mood. You will feel like you are accomplishing something, little by little everyday, proving to yourself that you are capable. It is also a great way to take your mind off any shit going on in your life. Check out this article on further help and ways to keep your goals.
- LAUGH AND SMILE
Laughing is infectious. Smiling is infectious. Instead of deciding that you are feeling shit today, choose to be happy. Someone says something funny? Laugh. Someone says hi to you? Smile and say hi back. Say good morning to someone, be that lovely customer when you order a coffee. You never know what someone is going through, being happy on the outside not only makes their day, but you know that you have contributed to that. Faking a smile is different, and will probably make you feel worse. Try and find the authenticity in yourself, there is a smile waiting to spread, you just need to let it out.
- GIVE, GIVE, GIVE
Donations, charity, volunteering, even a good morning text to an old friend. A little goes a long way. There are others going through so much, just like us. They may be feeling the same and need a little pick me up. I get such a buzz out of giving and helping others. I participated in Sober for October, and raised money for those suffering with cancer in honour of my auntie. I regularly travel up to Wood Green Animal Shelter to give donation boxes to the cats as they are short on supplies, I surprised my Dad coming home from university and then told him I am taking him to see Foo Fighters. The joy out of helping others is a feeling you cannot describe until you experience it yourself. I must say however, never do a good deed expecting it in return otherwise you defeat the point of even doing it. You will end up back at the start ‘I gave them a lift to their house but they never offer me one’. I used to have this mind frame before realising, don’t do something if you are expecting something in return. Otherwise you make yourself miserable overthinking about why they haven’t returned the favour. Do something good for the reward of feeling good.
As I said, we are always striving to be happy. It is a journey, not a destination. Make these steps different rest-stops during your journey of positivity and happiness.