Create your own happiness. I’ve just booked a quick trip to Marbella for a week today! I’m so excited. Saturday was such a down in the dumps type of day – well not the whole day, just the middle-part in the afternoon leading into the evening. About this time I would usually be hanging out with friends over dinner and drinks. Sometimes Saturday evenings would even be spent alone(ish) in the company of strangers, my Kindle, a glass of white wine and a chocolate brownie. And the fact I wasn’t doing either of those things (not even close!) was a reminder of what I was missing. Those memories are my happy moments (like in the pics below). And I need to reclaim them!
Dinner and drinks with friends are what I miss most and I find that having lived away from Manchester for so long all my nearest and dearest are either on the other side of the world…or in London. So it’s difficult to have that immediate fill of fun and catch-ups right now, even though it’s what I need the most!
I know that happiness does not reside in things. I KNOW that. And I also know your happiness should not depend on extrinsic situations and things either. But what I do know is that it is okay to rediscover your lost happiness any way you can. Hmmm…when I say ‘any way’ I am certainly not advocating absolutely any and every way. Because I know some people think they might find that lost happiness at the bottom of a couple of bottles of wine or something worse. Nope. That’s not at all what I’m saying. I’m saying find a healthy way to achieve that goal.
It’s crazy that I’m referring to happiness as a goal when it should simply be there; it should be my heartbeat; happiness should be me! But I’m so not happy. I’m still going through low moods – and high moods too – but these lows and highs are EXHAUSTING. I’m done. I’m worn out. One moment I’m smiling and then 5 minutes later I’m crying. Half of my day is spent feeling OK and the other half is spent feeling LOW LOW LOW! I’ve not yet even reached that place of uninhibited laughter, the freedom of joy.
Joyce Meyer in her book, ‘Living Beyond Your Feelings’ talks about joy being within us at all times – ‘the joy of the Lord’ – so I do find it hard as a Christian to say I don’t feel particularly joyful right now. But it’s the way I feel. However, I know I’ll find it again. That too is a truth. And I think that is such a priority in my life and in the life of anybody going through hardships and struggles. Joy, laughter and lots of smiles is part of my fabric. I’m known for having the biggest smile in the room. So if joy and laughter are part of my fabric I need to rediscover that part of my self and sew the pieces back together and so do you. What’s your fabric? What do you need to do to get back to yourself or become a version 2.0 of you again?
Maybe you could try a few of the things I’ve done lately to turn my frown upside down…
Prayer and praise.
Read a book.
Blogging (or journaling your thoughts).
Book a holiday/weekend break.
Force yourself to socialise, particularly with family or even a new social group. Check out Meetup for local interest groups. Their tagline is in fact ‘find your people’! (Spending too much time in your own thoughts is never a great idea, particularly when you’re going through a rough period!)
Be vulnerable and honest (in the right company!). ‘Hey, I’m not ready to talk about that particular subject right now’ is a great one to get me out of tears in public. ‘Hey, are you free to talk or catch up?’ is also perfect for when you’re ready to sit down and spend time with a close loved one (or professional psych) getting anxiety, sadness or whatever it may be off your chest.
Spend time around strangers. It forces a smile. When I’m at home I have no reason to pretend to be happy. But as soon as I step foot outside my house and bump into friends or acquaintances I feel compelled to put on the happy mask just to avoid a gazillion awkward conversations. Have you ever watched ‘The Mask’ with Jim Carey? After a while, he wears it so much that mask doesn’t want to leave him. It starts to become a real part of him. Well that’s how it works with a fake smile or a happy mask. Wear it for long enough and it envelops you and you become it 24-7. I’m not there yet, but it’s happening slowly but surely!!
Give some of the tips a try and let me know how you get on!
Let’s get connected!
LinkedIn: ABIGAIL IROZURU