This is a tough topic to write about because I know feelings and emotions are temporary. State of minds change so quickly and life can change in a flash. You never know what is just around the corner so you have to just be in the present, and appreciate what you have now.
I previously wrote about my experience with stress and anxiety, along with the impact it had on my life. Without sounding dramatic, I became someone my family didn’t recognise: an anxious, highly-strung mess. That period of my life, which you can read about in my other blog post, was bloody terrible. 2 years on, I look back and think how lucky I am to be where I am, have what I have, and feel emotionally stable. It is easy to get lost in thoughts about what you want to achieve, what you want to have, and what everyone else is doing, without appreciating what you actually have. We ALL do it. I think it takes a serious rock bottom point in your life to really value when you’re actually doing okay. I want to share some gems of wisdom with you on what to do to find your happiness and get back to appreciating life because trust me, it really isn’t all bad. If it is, I promise you it will get better.
1. There is a silver lining in every moment, you just have to recognise it.
Something I have come to realise more recently is how much of an optimist I have become. Whenever someone else is feeling a little negative, I always find myself responding with, “Yeah, but at least…” I am genuinely one of those people that if I dropped my phone and the screen smashed, I would think to myself imagine how much worse this would be if it was pouring down with rain... My knee-jerk reaction when something bad happens is to immediately think about what could be even worse. You’ve had a terrible shift – at least you have a comfortable bed to go home to. You argued with your parents or partner – at least you have people to argue with that care about you. Your car is old and run-down – at least you are in a position where you can legally drive and be independent. Things could be a lot worse in any negative situation, and I think it’s only when you have experienced all the negative things at once, that you begin to realise things are now fine in comparison.
Try to find the silver lining, as minor as it may be. A situation could always be worse, just be thankful it isn’t.
2. Not everything happens for a reason, but everything teaches you a lesson.
I am sorry for all of those people that think there is a higher power watching over them. You won’t like this one. Unfortunately, I don’t believe there is some great god-like figure planning my life out for me. I believe that I am responsible for 90% of what happens to me. I say 90% because there has to be room for random events of course.
I know that it is easy to take comfort in the fact that everything might happen for a reason. If something awful happens to you, it is just easier to accept that the situation is entirely out of your control and that someone/something out there has a bigger plan for you. Sometimes, something might happen that is completely out of our control. But the wisdom here is that not only can you regain control through how you respond to the situation, but that situation has a lesson. It might take time to figure out what you’ve learned from that negative experience, but you will figure it out eventually. Look for the lesson. Whether you’ve become a stronger, nicer, or more compassionate person, the lesson is always there.
3. The future is your friend, don’t avoid it.
ALWAYS look to the future. I base my life around what I want to achieve in the future. Thinking about what I could achieve is literally what gets me out of bed in the morning. When I was going through a rough time, I constantly imagined my future. I thought one day I will drive, one day I will have my own place, one day I’ll have more money. It is hard to feel as though you have nothing to offer and that you have nothing to show for yourself. But if you stay motivated, carry on working, carry on learning, and start achieving your goals for the future, you’ll be one step towards happiness.
4. Happiness starts with you, and you only.
This is such a tricky one, because we all think that if we get that new car, new house, new phone, new job or whatever it may be, we will be happy. The truth is, the novelty wears off. It always does. I remember when I first passed my test and got my little Clio – I was on cloud 9! But yes, the novelty has worn off and now I want a new car. I only moved into my house 6 months ago and I am already thinking about my next place. Material things do not give you happiness. Experiences do. Exercising, seeing friends, making time for family, doing things on your own, and pushing yourself are all things that will make you happy. We always hear stories about rich people that have everything in the world but end up committing suicide or getting lost in a destructive lifestyle. Don’t be that person who relies on material things to be happy. It won’t work.
Similarly, you shouldn’t look to other people to provide you with happiness.
My belief is that you should be truly happy on your own, and the people in your life should only add value.
If you find yourself being miserable when you are on your own and only happy when you are around people, it is time to do some soul-searching. Find out what makes you happy, do what you love and do it everyday.
5. Stop obsessing over everyone else. No seriously, stop.
Social media is the DEVIL. I should know, I do social media for my job. I remember when I used to check my Instagram feed and stare at influencers in bikinis and think, well, fuck. I compared myself to these 6ft underwear models that do this shit for a job. If you find yourself feeling low about how beautiful someone is in comparison to you or how amazing their life is, unfollow them.
We have all compared ourselves to some photoshopped image that doesn’t exist. Now let me ask you something. That model that you see on Instagram, have you ever seen anyone like her in real life? Ever? I know I haven’t. I’d definitely remember. Why is this I wonder? Because she doesn’t exist. I welcome anyone to prove me wrong here. Yes, beautiful people exist, but I bet they look very different than in a photo! So don’t compare yourself. It is the most pointless thing you could possibly do.
I unfollowed a whole load of celebs and influencers, frankly because I was bored of all the products they always promote. I want to see people living their actual lives, not having a professional photoshoot in a studio with a green screen under the guise of ‘Just out and about #ad’. I have never felt better as a result. I now only follow friends and celebrities that I’m really nosy about. I recommend you do exactly the same. Thank me later.
I hope you enjoyed this very long blog post… again. It has been a long time coming! Feel free to comment or drop me an email if you have any questions.
Thanks x ✌🏼