Anxiety, Depression, Life, Uncategorized

How I Learned to be Happy (80 % of the time)

Yes, this is another one of those ridiculous articles where some know-it-all talks about their happiness. Don’t worry, I’m not going to pretend as if happiness comes easy to everyone. It sure wasn’t easy for me in the past.  I know from experience that mental and physical illnesses can affect how happy a person is.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. When I was a kid, I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called neurofibromatosis, which has been causing me to experience chronic pain for the last three years.

These are issues that can make it difficult for me to be happy ALL THE TIME. Being happy all of the time is not realistic. So, my article is about how I learned to be happy MOST OF THE TIME!

 I try not to be hard on myself (most of the time)

This is a hard one. Most people who have anxiety will probably understand why. Anxiety makes me think about all of the things I said or did wrong.  People make mistakes. How else will we learn how to be better?  It helps when I’m able to just acknowledge that I made a mistake and to know what I learned from it. It’s also helpful to know when I actually didn’t make a mistake at all and it is my anxiety talking.

 I ask for help when I need it (Okay. I still need to work on this one a bit more.)

This is another tough one. We live in a society that promotes individualism. We’re expected to do almost everything on our own. Well, sometimes that is just not possible.  There is no shame in needing to ask for help sometimes. For me, part of this was speaking to a counselor. I was able to get help working on some problem areas in my life. Speaking to a counselor can be scary but it is their job to listen to you and to help you understand what you can do to feel better.

Sometimes you might need help cleaning your house, learning to cook a new dish, or some other task. The people who love you and care for you will likely want to help you when they can (within reason)

I set boundaries for when I help others

This one can be difficult as well. It is in my nature to want to be helpful. However, it is important to set boundaries so you don’t overwhelm yourself and so that people do not take advantage. It is okay to say no to any request that you are not comfortable with. You don’t have to give a reason either. Sometimes if you give reasons other people will argue with you. It is important to put your foot down. If people don’t respect your decisions, then you might have to rethink some of your relationships.

I have a job that I love

Finding a job that you like that can also keep a roof over your head and keep you fed can be difficult. Fortunately, I currently have a job where I love what I do. I don’t dread going into work and I don’t count down the hours until I can leave. No amount of money is worth being unhappy over. If you are in a position where you’re able to change jobs, then go for it! If you have to give up some luxuries it might be worth it. If your mental health suffers because of your job, no luxury is going to make you feel truly happy.

I listen to A LOT of music

I don’t play any instruments. I sound like a dying cat when I sing, but do I ever love music. There is a lot of amazing musicians out there. I love that feeling you get when you hear an amazing song for the first time. It’s the best when you’re in a group of people and you can tell everyone is thinking the same thing as you are.

I love to go to see live bands. I like to go see DJs and sometimes attempt to dance. I listen to music whenever I walk or take the bus anywhere, Music is awesome!

 I started to write again!!

Writing makes me happy. I enjoy sharing my thoughts with other people. It helps me relax. Writing can also be therapeutic for me. I don’t share everything I write. Sometimes it feels good just to get something out. I know not everyone is a writer. My suggestion is to spend more time doing something you enjoy. Whether it is knitting, art of some sort, singing, dancing – just spend more time doing that! Other activities I enjoy are reading, watching movies, and binge watching series on Netflix. I am currently watching The US version of The Office.

There are some other things I do to be happy but the points above are the most important for me. Your list might look a little different. The important part is to try to figure out what makes you happy and do those things. My ideas might not work for you but it is always worth it to give something a try if it might make you happy.

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