Feeling happy is a wonderful thing. But it can sometimes feel out of reach and elusive. Sometimes you just have to choose to feel even just a smidgen of it. Its very easy to let life get on top of you and blame outside circumstances or other people for how you behave, react and feel. I should know because I have done exactly that before. “I’m grumpy because so-and-so did this” – I started thinking to myself why am I wasting my precious time worrying about other people and ultimately just winding myself up? I know sometimes, it isn’t always that simple. But choosing to be happy instead of concentrating on things that are wrong with my life (we ALL need more money and more time!) is something I have been working on for a while now. I’ve chosen to focus on me and I’m choosing to feel happy, positive and embrace the little things that make me feel good.
What is happiness?
Happiness is feeling content, a little elated, positive and well to put it simply its feeling good. Contentedness can be found in the simplest of things – the sound of rain, a warming cup of tea, watching your favourite film or even just that nice squeaky clean feeling after a shower or bath. Happiness can be found anywhere at any time. Sometimes its just as simple as learning to embracing it. Find joy in the small things and the big things come later.
Banish Negative Thoughts
One of the first steps for me was catching my thoughts and actively changing them. I started to take a different perspective. Instead of re-living the same situation over and over again I simply made my peace with it. You can’t change the past and you can’t change how other people behave. The only thing I have control over is how I react and behave. I made a conscious effort to stop negative thoughts in their tracks and banish them into nothingness. Its something I have to work on every single day but its made a world of difference. To quote Albus Dumbledore – “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”.
Move Forward & Focus your Energy
Don’t dwell on the past and don’t let it control your future actions. Be conscious of the decisions you make and your response to situations. We can all say things we don’t mean in the heat of the moment but a lot can be said for apologising and choosing not to behave the same way in the future. Decide to move forward, don’t make excuses and don’t put it off. Just take that first step and start. Focus your energy into learning new skills, making plans and writing down goals. Focusing on my blog, learning new camera techniques and investing more time in myself has helped me move myself out of that negative head space. Achieving my goals, even small ones like – ‘finish that blog post’ or ‘eat fruit instead of chocolate” all help me feel a sense of accomplishment and therefore evoke positive and good feelings. Even something simple like crafting a good skincare regime helps me feel better. If I take care of myself on the outside I ultimately feel better on the inside.
The Sacred Space
Sacred spaces come in many forms. It might take the form of your home, a friends home, a beach, forest or even your favourite restaurant. It might simply be a bench on which you sit and watch the world go by. I’ve been lucky enough to have had several bolt holes I could always go to – when things were not happy at home I often went to stay with friends to escape. Renting my own flat allowed me the comfort of my own space and owning my own home has further allowed that. However, if I am frustrated with my thoughts and can’t see past my unhappiness at a present moment I find going for a drive in the countryside and sitting on a beach gazing out at the sea does wonders for distraction. Find a space where you can gather your thoughts and make sense of them.
Change ‘I can’t’ to ‘I’ll try’
If I have had a particularly bad day at work, I make the effort to find something good and positive about the day – even if its simply acknowledging that the sky looks wonderful on the way home or that I will have an amazing cup of tea once I am nested on my sofa . I try not to over analyse things as that is one of my biggest flaws and sometimes sweeps my mind away from me and my anxiety rises. Instead of saying ‘can’t’ I replace it with ‘try’. I’ll try and find something positive about the day – that lovely cup of coffee I had in the morning, the smile from a colleague or even just simple deep breath in and exhale out. Change can only start with trying.
What do you do to feel more positive and bring a little happiness into your life?