Happiness

My bestie is coming for a visit today. We live about 30 miles from each other and are both sick, so we only get to physically meet every 3 weeks or so, which makes our get-togethers that much more precious. On our last meet up, she remarked that she saw a big shift in my mental health from recent months and asked what had happened. I told her I’d decided I’d been miserable, stressed and negative long enough and had decided to be grateful and happy instead. Simples!

But in order to be happy you have to know what makes you happy. It’s a harder question to answer than most people realize and will be different for everyone. It’s easy to say “if I had more money I’d be happy”, but there are lot of miserable rich people. “If I were married I’d be happy” but there are a lot of very unhappy married people. “If I were well I’d be happy” but there are a lot of unfulfilled healthy people. You get my drift.

So I actually sat down with pen and paper and wrote down what made me happy. Truly happy. I thought about the situations in which I felt totally at peace, fulfilled, passionate, joyful and absorbed, and analysed what it was about those situations which really resonated with my soul.

This is what I learned makes me happy:

  • Being creative
  • Being in nature
  • Getting enough quality rest
  • Sharing knowledge (ie through my blog and teaching photography)
  • Having people in my life I trust and value
  • Eating well
  • Accepting and loving myself (a work in progress every day, especially as my life has been filled with people who have been critical)
  • Living with integrity (I have this word on my bedroom wall so that I see it every single day)

It’s not a big list is it? And there’s nothing complicated about any of it. If I have just one day which contains all these things I feel truly, truly blessed. My health could be really shit on that day, but I can still be happy, joyful and fulfilled. In fact, I am on day 5 of a continuous thumping migraine and was awake half the night with back and arm pain so am tired, but I’m still excited to see my bestie and looking forward with joy to my day ๐Ÿ˜Š.

So instead of focusing on all the things which were wrong, which was why I have felt so miserable in recent months, I am focusing on all the things which bring me joy. And the law of physics states that what you focus on you will manifest.

In ordinary day-to-day life happiness is a choice. My circumstances haven’t changed this month from what they were last month. I don’t have a new home. I don’t have any more money. I’m still caring for my parents. I still don’t have help in the house due to the pandemic. I’m still sick. I’m still single. But I am genuinely so much happier.

Happiness is something you need to work on because it’s so easy to fall into familiar patterns of negativity. I’m not a person who can do meditation, in fact it actually stresses me out, so I use my daily 30 minute dog walk/scooter ride to think. Regroup. Open my heart. Focus on joy. Let go of the bad shit and welcome in the good shit. Change my thought patterns. I’ll also sometimes play inspiring YouTube clips on my laptop while I’m getting dressed each morning, or listen to inspiring podcasts on my iPod while driving the car. They help me bring my focus back to what makes me joyful.

This is the only life we have. Each day is unique and precious. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t want to be happy, but when you ask people what truly makes them happy they find it difficult to answer. And unless you know what fulfils you and brings you joy, how can you focus on achieving it?

7 thoughts on “Happiness

    1. Jak Post author

      Totally relate to that Louise. Even though going out every day is physically painful and adds to my physical exhaustion, it’s so good for my soul x

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  1. Lindsay

    I really like this post, and in all honesty, probably needed to hear it. For many years I was happy, even living with chronic illness. That all changed when my mom died. Since then, I have been stuck in a darkness. I know it’s grief, rather than unhappiness per se, and I know it’s normal and my therapist would probably tell me it’s exactly how I should be feeling. But I miss being happy, and I don’t know how to get back there.

    Your post has helped remind me that there are simple ways to find happiness or to remind myself of the road back to happiness, like being grateful for the things I have.

    Thanks for sharing, Jak. Cheers to our happiness.

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    1. Jak Post author

      ๐Ÿค— big hugs. When my Mum lost her Mum it took 2 years for her to even begin to not be sad every single day, so it takes as long as it takes to work through grief and it’s early days for you yet Linds.

      Totally different scenario, but I was really hard on myself for being miserable during lockdown, but as my post points out that wasn’t ordinary day-to-day life, and neither is losing your Mum.

      Catastrophic life events shake us to the core and fundamentally change who we are. It takes time to readjust. Having said all that, I know some people struggle with feeling any sense of happiness after losing someone – almost as if they feel guilty for letting go of grief, even for an hour or two. All Mums want their children to be happy and I’m sure your Mum is by your side supporting you while you are re-finding joy. Sending all my love xoxo

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