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Mental healthSocial issues

8 Ways for Happy Days

Taking that first step in looking after yourself is one of the most powerful you will take.

Elizabeth Earle

Meditation

Now I know that some people may be rolling their eyes at this- I was one of them. How can meditation actually help? For someone whose mind is constantly whirling, I thought I had nothing to lose by giving this a try. So, setting myself a challenge of sitting still for ten mins and attempting to shut out the chatter of my own mind didn’t seem like a big deal.

The rewards were instant. I felt more productive, more positive. I was able to sit for a moment and think what I actually really wanted to achieve that day. Give it a try- you’ve got nothing to lose.

 

Accept compliments

People saying your hair is nice? Take the compliment. People complimenting you on your new t shirt? Accept it. And if you still think that’s difficult and cannot possibly think that this person is thinking clearly- think of it like this- when you ever refuse a compliment or say “no I don’t” you’re actually making the other person feel bad. It’s a way of saying their opinion is false and their judgement is off. Not only are you reaffirming to yourself that you are not “good” you are telling the other person that their thoughts are not valid. Accept the god damn compliment.

 

Exercise

Whenever I feel rubbish or stressed- whether it’s about someone not texting me back or because I don’t have the clue what I’m supposed to be doing with my life- I find that pummelling it in the gym or just going for a walk always makes me feel better. Not only does it release the happy-endorphins, but you can have that slice of cake now.

 

Stop saying negative things to yourself

We’re all guilty of the following sentences.

“I’m such an idiot.”

“I look stupid.”

“I’m being pathetic.”

And a thousand other sentences that are demeaning to ourselves. If we had a friend who said the same things to us that we say about ourselves, we would tell them to jog on- or where to shove it (depending how naturally aggressive you are). And you’d be right to. So why on earth do we normalise saying these things about ourselves? And in front of other people? Try making a point of stopping yourself from saying something negative about yourself when you’re around people. Because if you say to someone that “I’m useless” they may start believing you.

 

Bury the hatchet

Holding some pretty hardcore angst towards someone?

Let it go. That’s right- let it go and allow it to sail away and sink into the abyss of Davey Jones’ locker. No one ever wins in a feud. If someone has screwed you over, accept it and allow that pain to go. Forgive them. It will take a while for it to sink in eventually- I had to forgive someone a month or so ago, and I told them I did as well. They were thankful, and I felt a load of darkness be lifted from my shoulders. This is not to say that after a week I didn’t start to feel bitter again- but I just had to forgive all over. And I forgave myself. Holding onto that negative emotion was like holding onto a burning coal. All it did was harm. And I needed to love myself enough to let go of that emotion. You should too.

 

Understand that sadness is ok

Sadness sucks. We all know this. But you know what? That’s what makes the time when we are finally happy again even more precious. We need these moments to fully appreciate the good sides sometimes. If you are sad and depressed- acknowledge that that’s ok. Everything needs to run its course. It’s a cycle. Just like when leaves fall from the trees- they bud again. And you will too. You WILL be happy again. Be patient with yourself and know it’s ok to ride out the storm. You will get there.

 

Talk to someone/Keep a diary

Talking to someone I find straightens out my thoughts. Sometimes it’s good to have an outside perspective on a situation or just to have someone on your side. One of my favourite things is to tell my friends the latest showdown in my life and see if they think I’m nuts or not. And if there isn’t anyone to talk to, I’ll jot it down in my diary. I’ve kept a one since 1996, so looking back at some of those moments when I thought I’d met “the one” or my life was crumbling faster than a biscuit dropped in a cup of tea, is a real eye opener. It makes me breathe a sigh of relief and think, “man- I’m doing ok.” See it as a progress report.

 

Love yourself

We neglect ourselves so badly. Taking that first step in looking after yourself is one of the most powerful you will take. You need to be your own best friend- so look after yourself as you would your best bud! I recently started investing in myself- taking time out and actually looking at some of the things I could do to become a better person. This involved looking at the way I spoke to myself, cutting out the negative sentences I would mutter under my breath and also how I portrayed myself to others. I cut out smoking. I cut down drinking. I upped my gym. I dropped some kilos. I planned a trip. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

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