Happiness – it’s not always easy. For me personally, I have always thought that one day I would (and continue to) just wake up happy, but I’ve come to find that it takes some hard work and dedication to be and stay happy. This academic year is by far the happiest I have been in quite a while*, so I wanted to talk about and write down the changes that I have made since this time last year.
Not sulking. I’m not sure why this is such a tough one, but it is…and that’s okay! You know the saying “misery loves company”? Well, it’s very true and can be detrimental to trying to find happiness, and can even hinder other’s on their journey as well. If you or someone else, whether it is a friend, co-worker, family member, etc., is constantly complaining about trivial things, it can actually be pretty difficult to feel happy or see the dozens of positives the same ‘negative’ situation may present. While you can’t control anyone else, if someone incessantly complains, it may be helpful to point out these positives and try to help them see them too. The same thing goes for your own thoughts! If you find yourself being negative about something, then address it, and then think of two positives for each negative.
Count your blessings. I touch more on this in my post on handling stress, but thinking about what I am grateful for and what I do have always makes me feel so much better. There is truly no better cure to a bad day than physically writing out all of the great things and people that you have in your life! Something I am always grateful for are my best friends that I have made this year!! You all know who you are (:
Be grateful for bad days. This sort of ties into my first point, but I always make sure to recognize when I have had an overall ‘bad’ day. The end of a bad day should signify the end to yesterday’s negative mentality, and all of that bad energy should be left behind. Ultimately, having a bad day once in a while makes other good days that much better, so make sure to remind yourself of that every once in a while.
Don’t stress about things you cannot change. Of course, this is easier said than done. I am basically the best worrier out there, but I have tried so hard not to stress about the things that are just out of my control – which includes both situations and people alike.
Body positivity. Isn’t this topic applicable everywhere? I don’t think there is physically a way to be truly happy if you are so busy hating your body and the way you look. Since I have started working on my relationship with my body and food, I have become SO much happier I cannot even explain it. I think for a lot of young girls food and body image is the central point of their life, and I wish it didn’t have to be that way. I think it’s something we all can work on and need to support each other on constantly.
Do what you love. I love sharing my ideas and experiences through my website, and since I have started blogging again, something has just clicked happiness wise! While it’s hard to make time for this sometimes while trying to balance classes, homework, and work, I always feel so much better after sitting down and working on my site, writing a new post, or taking some photos for Instagram. Another example: one of my best friends has just started her own wood working business, and I can see how happy it makes her and how much fun she is having creating this beautiful pieces. It is so cool to see her so happy and passionate about something, and supporting this endeavor has been just as fun for me!
Bottom line, I think everyone should have a hobby, and even if you have to “force” yourself to do it once in a while, that doesn’t mean it makes you any less happy. The tagline for my website used to be “make time to do what you love“, and I still believe this wholeheartedly.
Most importantly, if there are things or people in your life that make you happy, you need to acknowledge that, tell them, thank them, and always work through your differences. As long as this relationship is not toxic, it will always be worth fighting for.
Like I said, being happy isn’t always easy, but that’s why you have people to lift you up and support you every step of the way. I’m so thankful to be where I am today, and I hope that some of these ideas helps you out.
*Note: that’s not to say I was necessarily “sad” previously, I have just noticed that I am consistently happy and have more good days than I do bad ones.