What does it mean to be happy? Does anyone ever really find true happiness? Or do we attach our happiness to external things based on what culture says should make us happy? The images we receive on a day-to-day basis via Instagram and the media can often make it confusing on what we perceive happiness to be.
I am so excited to have Jade from Mumlifeandme guest posting on the blog today. She’s created such a wonderful post, all about how to find your own happiness in life. I’ve learnt so much from it, and I know you will too. Enjoy! – Olivia
After overcoming depression and anxiety, I’ve had to really dig deep to find my source of happiness, and I think I’m almost there. I used to attach my happiness to nice handbags, going out for drinks and nice holidays. And while all those things are lovely, it is not long-term happiness. True happiness is a feeling from within; it’s inside each and every one of us and some of us just have to dig a little to find it. It takes a lot of inner work to be cheerful and positive and most people decide not to do it. Here are some ways you can find your source of happiness.
“Never search for happiness in others it will make you feel alone. Search for it in yourself and you will feel happy even when you are left alone.”
HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE
“How you start your day is how you’re going to live your day. And how you live your day is the way you live your life.” – Louise Hay
Sometimes it’s difficult to have a morning routine in place. We are either rushing to get to work, rushing to get the children ready for school or a combination of both! I get it. It’s tough. However, if you rise a few minutes earlier each day to dedicate some time to self-care, I promise you will feel so much better for it. You could wake up 10 minutes early to meditate, go for a short walk, do some yoga or write in your journal. I personally like to wake up a bit earlier, get myself ready for the day and when my kids wake up I’ll write my daily journal and gratitude list while they are eating their breakfast. I have been doing this consistently for about a month now and it has helped significantly.
CHALLENGE AND CONQUER NEGATIVE THINKING
A great way to find your source of happiness is to overcome negative thinking. Negative thoughts can influence our emotions and affect our perception of reality. If not recognised straight away, they can rapidly spiral out of control. It is very difficult to target these thoughts as they come and go quite quickly.
Negative thoughts can make us feel anxious, depressed, cause psychological damage and ruin relationships – I know, I’ve been there many a time. CBT is a great way to help challenge negative thoughts and shift your mindset. However, you must stay consistent. A great way to stay consistent with this is having a daily journal. I often challenge any negative thinking patterns when I write my journal.
When a negative thought comes into your head, challenge it. Pause for a moment and write down how it made you feel. Is it fact? Then maybe try and write something positive that has happened and what you feel grateful for today. It should help to lighten your mood and make you feel more positive.
DO AT LEAST ONE THING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY EACH DAY
Think about all the things that make you truly happy; do you like to read? Listen to podcasts? Run? Do yoga? Go for a bike ride maybe?
If we make time for this each day, only good things can come of it. The happiness of taking part in the activity will flow into the next day and the activity the following day will flow into the one after that, and so on. So it makes sense to dedicate some time for this each day, and live authentically as possible. Watch your source of happiness soar!
CONNECT TO SOMETHING HIGHER THAN YOU
In order for us to feel happy and enjoy life, everything must be balanced. Mind, body and spirit have to work in harmony. Focusing only on material things and neglecting spirituality can often leave people feel empty inside – or feel as though something is missing. I definitely feel this is what I experienced when I relapsed into depression previously.
Some people will have a faith and attend services; others will mediate, pray or practice yoga to name a few. Something that all spiritual beliefs have in common is that they focus on a sense of connection to something bigger. Being connected will provide you with your source of happiness – a feeling of being more alive and having a purpose.
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Positive affirmations require regular practice in order for it to take effect and make it long lasting. Affirmations are positive statements you say out loud about yourself to change the way you feel and challenge negative thoughts. It might feel a bit strange/awkward to say these thoughts out loud at first, but I promise they are so effective. I can’t believe how much they have helped me personally. (If you want to gain a better insight into how positive affirmations and self-talk can help, I recommend reading The Power Of The Subconscious.) Here are some affirmations I use on a daily basis.
I am strong, I am confident, I am capable, I am assertive, I am worthy, I attract love, I attract positivity.
HAVE A GOAL/PURPOSE
When we stop growing and pushing ourselves to reach goals, it can leave us feeling empty inside. You feel more purposeful and happy when you have a goal or focus. That’s the main reason why I started my blog, Mumlife And Me – I’m a Stay At Home Mum, and while I make time for fitness and spirituality, I felt like I really needed a creative outlet – and that’s when my blog was born!
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
As human beings, it is important for us to connect with others. Whether these connections are with our family, friends, neighbours or work colleagues, they can all help our source of happiness. So making sure we maintain and build relationships is so important for our wellbeing.
I know I always feel so much happier after I’ve had a catch up with a friend or a family member. Strong bonds with family, friends, and the community provide us with happiness, support, security and purpose. If you’ve recently moved to a new area like I have, to meet other people, perhaps join some groups. There are clubs/groups for most things these days, such as a cycling clubs, running clubs or yoga clubs – whatever you’re interested in. That way, you will meet like-minded people. I went to a Yoga/Hiking retreat a few years ago and stayed in a cottage with a few people I had never met before and ended up meeting so many interesting people. I would recommend it to anyone.
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SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Spending time outdoors can lift our spirits in an instant. It is so beneficial to spend time outside for a number of reasons; the fresh air, exercise, and connectedness to nature. Those who spend a lot of time outdoors and appreciate the beauty around them, tend to be the happiest people. I usually say my daily prayer and affirmations out loud while I’m walking my dog, Rosie. I focus on breathing in the fresh air, taking in the smells, and noticing the beauty around me. It always lifts my spirits.
I think most people know that exercise raises your endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. Those who don’t like exercising will also experience this feeling after a sweat sesh! So it makes sense to factor a bit of exercise into your lifestyle. I personally enjoy running and yoga. If I don’t have much time then I’ll opt for a 15 minute HIIT session. If this is a struggle, I will factor exercise into playtime with my kids – playing Tig/Tag is great exercise, and it helps to bond with your kids at the same time. Exercise also helped to eradicate negative feelings by helping to manage stress, improve self-esteem and improve sleep quality, which in turn has a positive effect on your wellbeing, and your source of happiness.
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EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
This goes without saying. If you eat healthier you will feel better mentally too. I really like Vex King’s book, Good Vibes, Good Life. He talks a lot about certain food and drink that can either raise or lower your vibration. Foods that raise your vibration are: fruits, nuts, seeds, brown rice, dark leafy greens, raw chocolate, and avocados. Food and drink that lowers your vibration are: alcohol, canned foods, fizzy drinks, processed dairy products like cheese, processed meat, white bread and chocolate.
Do you have a wellness routine at the moment? Do you notice how you feel when you don’t have time for self-care? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Please don’t forget to head over to Jades blog here! Thanks again Jade for this guest post!