Hello everyone, so this is a really different blog post from me today but it's something I've wanted to write for quite a while now. Earlier this week I went for lunch with an old friend of mine and we were discussing the idea of happiness. What actually is happiness and is it the most (or one of the most) important things in life? What is happiness to me and is my idea of happiness different to your idea of happiness? Everyone is different right...? I decided to write a feel good post for people to look at when they're feeling down, something which will hopefully always make you feel good about yourself and realise that there's always someone in a worse situation than you, who would do anything to be in your position. I'm not saying that any of this is right, I'm hardly the queen of happiness but hopefully this will help some people turn a sad day into a happy day, sometimes put things into perspective and see that really, there is always something to smile about. I hope you enjoy this post and I'd like to dedicate it to a good friend of mine (you know exactly who you are)...
What is 'happy'? Everyone has a different idea of what happy is, no-one is the same, we are all unique. For some people, happiness is seeing their family, for some people, happiness is eating chocolate, for some people they are happy when they do well on an assignment, some people are easily pleased, a text message is enough to make someones day but for others, happiness is completely different. Basically, you can't really define what happiness is, but everyone knows when they're feeling happy.
An apparently definition of happy is: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Take a second to think about a moment when you were really happy, truthfully, really happy. For me, a moment which stands out to me as 'happy' is when I jumped out of a kayak in Vietnam, we were in the middle of nowhere, after rowing through caves and we came out in the most beautiful, blue lagoon and then, like we had no fears in the world, we jumped into jelly-fish ridden waters. I felt so care free and nothing else mattered, for that few minutes, all that mattered was how beautiful the world was around me and how alive I felt. I just swam in the water taking in the beautiful sky, the beautiful surroundings and feelings truly blessed to have felt so alive.
Happiness and health, everything else will follow. Me and my friend actually came to the conclusion that as long as you're happy, what else matters? Surely happiness and health are paramount in life and as long as you have those two things, everything else should follow. It's easier said than done, but it takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown. Everyone has bad days, but I always try to think to myself 'it's just a bad day, not a bad life' and then I also think, it doesn't matter anyway because 'rainy days make flowers'. It's extremely hard to turn something which seems like such a negative into a positive, sometimes we have negative days and in reality they're really not negative at all in the grand scheme of things. When we look back in a years time, we will remember that moment? Probably not. Sometimes you just have to put things into perspective. I remember I was feeling extremely hormonal once (we all know how hormones have the ability to ruin our moods) and I just burst out crying, everything felt like it was way too much and I had a major emotional breakdown - I then sat and thought, there are so many people who would do anything to be in my position, those young and innocent people who have lost their lives and shouldn't have. I then started thinking about someone close to my family who lost their life too young and felt guilty for even shedding a single tear over something meaningless. All I could think is: he would do anything to be here crying over a stupid University essay. So now, I try to look at things differently. Obviously I have been through things in my life which really have helped me put things into perspective, a few years ago, I didn't really think like this at all, I guess I just got on with my days like most people do. I do feel like sometimes, you do need to lose someone or unfortunately go through something really bad in order to come through the other side stronger and see life in a different way.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This is one of my favourite sayings of all time. I know a few people with severe anxiety who are extremely close to me and this is what I say to them, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Beat anxiety, grab it with both hands and kick it really hard. If something scares you, go out and do it, if something makes you nervous, all the more reason to go and pursue that. I can't pretend that I understand exactly how they're feeling because I don't, everyone is different and everyone feels happiness and sadness differently, but I do believe that when something bad hits you, turn that negative energy into positive energy. Again, it's easier said than done but sometimes, if you can do that, it will make you so much happier. I have a few personal examples of this but I don't want to go into my personal life too much so instead, I'll give you a different example. When I was at school, everyone laughed at me for having a blog, I was probably the laughing stock of my 6th form, people would snigger 'haha Em talks...' 'what you talking about today Em' and whilst that sounds like harmless banter, they were laughing at me behind my back and it really did ruin my confidence knowing that every time I posted something I'd be relentlessly mocked. Instead of quitting my blog, which I've seen a fair few people do because of nastiness from their 'closest' friends, I just continued to write and I'm so glad I did. If something makes you happy, it doesn't matter what other people say. Find people who accept you for you and stick with them.
Be Happy. Not because everything is good but because you can see the good in everything. I'm not saying that everything is good, trust me, I know that really really bad things happen and I've been through it as I'm sure most people have in their life, but, if you can try to sometimes see the good in everything, it does help.
Before Alice could go to wonderland, she had to fall really hard. A common thing which makes me upset is feeling like I'm not achieving enough, then I remind myself of Alice in Wonderland, she had to fall really hard didn't she? Obviously, that's just a story, but I try to look at quotes and they do genuinely help. I also constantly remind myself not to compare my chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20 but then I remind myself, life isn't a competition, we should all work together.
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. Don't worry if life isn't going smoothly, everything happens for a reason and life has a funny way of making things work out.
Do more of what makes you happy. If you find something that makes you happy, grab it with both hands and don't let it go. If that thing is chocolate, eat it and don't beat yourself up about it - chocolate is good for the soul (I think so anyway). If that thing is friends, go and see your friends more. If that thing is animals? Get a pet bunny.
Everyone has made mistakes. Do not let mistakes define you, build a bridge, move on and see them as a way of learning. Nobody is perfect. Not even Beyonce.
Don't let your happiness be controlled by something you can't control.
Everyday may not be good, but there is some good in every day. Well, to begin with, you woke up this morning, which already makes the day a good day, as mentioned some people would do anything just to be alive. When you put it like that and realise that you're alive, kicking and breathing, that's enough to make you smile and get on with living your dreams.
If Plan A didn't work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet, play it cool and don't worry. There's no right or wrong way to live life, even though society sometimes make us feel like that. The whole size 0 debate, the fact that we're forced through education for our whole childhood, none of that matters, just live your life the way you want to live it. It doesn't matter what dress size you are, it doesn't matter if you didn't go to University, everyone is different.
Someone is happy with less than you have. This is another favourite quote of mine.
Today is the perfect day to start living your dreams. Why can't you do it? No dream is too big and I truly do believe that, the world is your oyster. If today didn't go well, don't worry, wake up tomorrow feeling fresh and start again.
Stop waiting for Friday: For Summer, for someone to fall in love with, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you're in now. Live for today.
Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and say thanks for the troubles we don't have.
It's easier said than done. Finally, don't start worrying about happiness now, it's easier said than done to just be happy all the time, no-one is happy all the time, it's human nature for us to sometimes get sad and sometimes get angry, we all get moody sometimes (if you don't get moody, please tell me your secret) but sometimes, you've just got to take a step back, breathe and realise that actually, the world isn't that bad. There are so many reasons why you should go out and be happy today, live your life like there's no tomorrow because life really is too short to be anything but happy.
I hope you liked this post, please feel free to tell me what makes you happy in the comments below, I'd love to know! Please also feel free to tell me any quotes that make you happy. I'd love to know your thoughts on this post. Remember, I'm not saying that any of this is right or wrong, I just wanted to share some of these quotes and ideas with you - here's to happiness!