Friday, 17 April 2015

I want to live like 'Happy People' or a realistic rant on how to become a 'Happier Person'

 So I have my happiness journal. I have my pack of zen tea. I mediate every morning while grasping my malachite stone while my salt lamp is a-lamping. So why the hell are negative things still popping into my brain? 

The majority of people who know me consider me to be to be a ‘Happy’ person. Especially since this whole eating differently, exercising, saying ‘yes’ instead of no to opportunities and basically having a mid-life crisis in my early thirties (Let’s call a spade a spade, yo). So I’ve noticed that when I talk to my friends about how I’m feeling they ask me: Are you happy all the time? Cue extreme pig-snort laughter…

There is a common misconception with happiness, especially with the ‘Healthy Living’ community on platforms like Instagram. Check out these pretty, pastel hued pictures and everyone looks like they are permanently living in a tampon advert (e.g. ‘Life is for living and I’m living it, even if I am bleeding for 3-7 days- woohoo!’). They seem to be perpetually Disneyland happy, living their seemingly perfect lives out in trendy cafes, deserted white sanded beaches and in bathrooms that have the best light for selfies the sun has ever thrown our way. Awesome YouTuber Cassie of Cloudy Apples did a great video about the selected self that people portray online. It’s all about branding, the likes and the like. Don’t ever assume that a selection of pictures paints an honest representation of that persons life- myself included. We all have our shit to shovel. 

Ask my boyfriend if I’m happy all the time and he'll inevitably do that cute but annoying smirk he does. This will be because he's seen me before I've taken that perfect Instagram picture of the dish that I've just been telling to 'fuck off' for the last hour while cooking it. He's heard me whinge about people or situations that have upset me, and he knows that sometimes I'm just a bitch. I am. I accept that. Thumbs up to my bitchy self. 

The idea of being happy all the time scares me. It immediately makes me think of alien invasions, forever increasing doses of prescription drugs and pupils the size of donut holes. It isn’t real. And thank goodness, because without the bad how would be ever appreciate the good? While I don't love feeling moody or miserable, when I do, I take a moment to remember that what I'm feeling is temporary. It's like whenever I'm sick, I take multiple moments to remind myself to pay more attention to how great it feels to feel well.  It’s about connecting to what you’re grateful for and remembering that what goes down will come up even if it’s only for a moment before it goes down again. Such is life.

I fully believe that happiness is an inside job, and one that you have cultivate continuously in order to reap the benefits. Happy people aren't all delusional fairy dust farters who are grinning the moment they bounce out of bed. They make an effort to find the joy in the everyday. But really make an effort, making it a part of their routine. I can vouch for the benefits of exercise in improving happiness (You can’t argue with science). And considering that it only takes 7 minutes to ‘get there’, I won’t hear a word about people not having time to move their bodies. I am also a pusher for expressing gratitude on a daily basis. I did this consistently for a few months before my routine changed and it got left by the wayside. Now in moments when I wake up and think ‘meh’, I remind myself to think about the things I am grateful for whether it be the porridge on my spoon, the fact that I have a job or that I could see when I opened my eyes (Okay, when I put my glasses on). It changes my outlook for the better even if it’s just a fraction. In that moment I can be happy because I can be grateful about what I have, instead of thinking about what I don’t have. 

Still, it doesn’t stop be from feeling sad, mad, frustrated, infuriated or just a little bit sorry for myself at times just like it doesn’t stop bad things from happening in my life. If someone I love gets hurt, I get upset. If I lose something through no fault but my own, I’m angry. I can feel rejected. I will still get negative thoughts even on the most perfect of days. I can feel a particular shade of shit. But I will always, always come back to what I am grateful for once I’ve processed everything that I’m feeling. 

That is what ‘Happy People’ do again and again and again. 

x KB 


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