Happiness. It’s a funny old thing, and it means different things to different people. Having grown up with social media being at the forefront of most things (From the age old days of MySpace) I feel like there is just so much damn negativity about these days. No one is happy for anyone, if someone is happy then it’s pretty much shot down with jealousy. Ugh. It’s demoralising.
It’s pretty tiresome. We all use some form of social media, because to be quite frank you can’t escape it. Social media isn’t a bad thing. I love seeing what people get up to around the world, but I feel like people’s mindsets are just the worst. I was exactly the same too. I spent most of my early twenties pretty damn miserable. A big shout out to Facebook’s On This Day feature for reminding me just how miserable I was too!
You know the most ironic thing is that I didn’t even realise I was miserable or unhappy. It was just life. And 25 year old me, looks back at 20-23 year old me with a great big sigh.
To kinda put it in a nutshell, I was forever comparing myself to everyone else, and developed a poor mindset of thinking that once I achieved a certain set of actions I’d be happy. Wrong! I kept forcing things that continued to make me unhappy for the sake of what I thought would make me happy.
So, things changed. I can’t pinpoint when, or how exactly. I’m certain it’s to do with reading The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle (A must read!!) and I felt like I was in control of my life. Things seemed brighter, I distanced myself from the stuff that made me feel pretty rubbish. I focused my work on what I enjoyed. I learnt a lot about myself. The way I saw things definitely changed.
And the biggest thing I’ve learnt? That happiness is a process, and it’s a journey and not a destination. When I first read that I was like damn, and it really hit me! I almost feel like it’s a common mindset to believe that we will only be happy when we complete a series of events like it’s the prize. Achievement unlocked: happiness!
It’s not to say that happiness isn’t a warm kitten, a whole pizza to yourself or driving with the window down on a sunny day, those things are pretty much a big fat tick in my what-makes-me-happy box. Those items are just a single action though, so really when I break it down they offer me things that *contribute* to my happiness. But they aren’t enough for long term happiness. Unless I’m cuddling cats all day which would be greta but hardly practical.
I thought long and hard about how to separate what makes me happy to the feeling of happiness, because I do feel like they are kinda different. Things that make me happy are a series of actions/emotions/environments. Happiness, well it’s the bunch of them combined, like a presence. A consistency in the background hum of life almost. The hardest thing to bear in mind is to keep it going. It’s great to be happy but it’s still an emotion, it’s something that will sit and be there smiling away but eventually once the cat has been cuddled and the pizza’s been eaten, it will fade. So the point of what I’m saying is that as each one fades, it’s fine because there are gonna be more!
It’s learning about what makes you content, makes you laugh, gives you positivity, strength and focus and implementing those things in as many things you can. To keep that background hum going, so that when your window is down and your driving in the sun, if it gets a little cloudy, it’s still fine. So that the sunshine’s gone, but hey. The window’s still down! And if it starts to rain, well that’s not the ideal but sometimes it’s gotta rain to clear the air. Embracing what you can out of things. It’s kinda like creating a crash mat for yourself that when inevitably something crappy happens, you don’t let it drag you down. We all have bad days and not every day is full of happiness, by far are they full of sprinkles and doughnuts but I don’t let my bad days make it feel like I’ve got a bad life. You accept them and that’s it. You just bounce on by.
I really believe you have to retrain your mind and how you live to let happiness be paramount. For a start, life is simply too short to have things that don’t make you happy. It’s SO cliche but by god it’s true!
Got a friend in your newsfeed who is constantly putting a downer on everything – get rid of them. Unfollow them/hide them. It’s that easy. If you don’t like bananas don’t eat them. There are plenty different fruits to eat (that’s a personal one right there, ugh) and surround yourself with things that brighten your day. Like cute cat pages online and eat mango instead of banana (a little more sugary but hey, mangoes are good!)
The biggest thing that really changed how I see being happy, was by being grateful. SO SIMPLE!
Gratefulness is the biggest implementor of happiness in my book. When you start really, truly being grateful for what you have, the world takes a different view. I’m not saying ‘go forth and bow down to everything you own’ because simple that’s ridiculous, but a silent nod to aspects in your life make such a difference. You might not drive a G-Wagon to work (just yet anyway) so be grateful for the car do you drive, shout out to my Seat Ibiza!
We live in a world where everyone is in such competition, everyone is racing towards something. For what? I’ve never understood what people will do when they do reach that goal? Set another? Stop to a sudden halt and realise that you missed out on half the fun of the process of getting there? Doesn’t sound like happiness to me.
All we ever have is what we’ve got now. This minute right now is the most important.
*I hope this post helps you in some shape or form. I feel like the world needs more positivity but only we can find it in ourselves by learning from each other.