Tag Archives: community

Happiness

In times of trouble and unrest, it’s hard to think about happiness, yet, that’s exactly what I’m blogging about today. Because, in life, we go through a myriad of emotions and states of being, and it’s important to know nothing strange is happening to you. It’s simply life! When I used to be clinically depressed, I thought I would never ever be happy again. Boy was I wrong! However, once I got over the depression and other symptoms, if I ever felt down, I thought I must be slipping back into it. It’s simply not true! There will be events in our lives that brings elation and there will be others that will bring us down. And here’s another point, I learned to make peace with the waves of emotions that I feel each day. Peace is similar to happiness but you can have peace even if you’re sad for a reason.

Happiness is a state where you feel elated, free and light. You’re on top of the world. If you’ve ever had a runner’s high, you’ve got endorphins bringing you into a state of ecstasy running through your body. Laughing brings on a steady stream of happiness. Happiness is in a hug, a kiss, a smile, a job well done, a new birth, a new beginning, an ending, and so much more! Happiness is different for everyone and an inside job. However, surrounding yourself with happy and positive people will generally help you to feel good inside.

I am big believer in living life authentically and within my power by looking on the positive side. I strive to see each day as a brand new one to live fully, explore life, and look for the good. My childhood and much of my adulthood were some my worst days, and now it’s my mission to live the rest of days as my best days. I put the past in the past by confronting it, feeling it, processing it, releasing it, and moving on. I had many reasons for depression and now I have discovered even more to be happy. In order to be happy, I engage with life, do things that matter to me, I speak up, sing, dance, sleep, show compassion, experience and express all of my emotions in a healthy manner. See, it’s being authentic and not suppressing so called “bad feelings.”

I do my work with happiness. I can see work as drudgery or embrace it as a means to eat and live. I can sing and listen to upbeat music or be angry and complain while doing it. It’s all a matter of choice and perspective. Happiness is unique for each one and everyone has different things that brings in more happiness. These are some of the things that I do:

Attend laughter club

Meditate

Sing

Dance

Exercise: bicycling, walking, hiking

Read

Writing/blogging

Play with my grandkids

Crossword puzzles, sudoku, cross sums, anacrostic

Jigsaw puzzles

Listen to music

Spending time with others

Collect crystals

Hospitality

Watching birds

Daydreaming

Watching favorite TV shows

Think about what makes you happy, and do it. Make time for it. It’s the best way to balance out the chaotic lives we live. If there’s not enough happiness in your life, you may need to cut out some activities that are draining you or ask for help with it, like if you’re grieving. Let’s not be lone rangers when there’s a hard job to do or situation you’re dealing with. Life is meant to be easy and done within community of others. Find a group of people who mutually lift one another up, to share positive energy and bring more peace and happiness in our lives.

Some good books I’ve read about happiness:

Happiness Is A Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman

Happiness For No Reason by Marci Shimoff

Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta LaRoche

The Healing Power of Humor by Allen Klein

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Showing Up

When I used to struggle with mental illness, I felt very lonely. Besides my counselor, I didn’t know very many people who understood what I was going through. Sometimes it was self imposed isolation. I avoided people because I didn’t trust them. I worried about triggers and being judged. Now, many years later and I no longer have those problems. I show up for life and I’m not lonely. Today, I know that if there is no one around me, life still shows up. The sun still rises. When it goes down, the moon greets me and the stars twinkle brightly that there is life and there is hope for me. The leaves on the tree cling or fall. The water flows or is stagnant but it’s there The flowers bloom. They’re saying, “We are here!” At times when feeling utterly alone or lost in our head, it’s important to get outside and notice nature. Notice who shows up. Is it the sun or the moon? Is it the snow or rain? Is it the wind? Is it simply the ground on which you stand? And to cement the idea you re not alone, speak with nature with a hearty “hello” and “thank you!” It makes a difference because no one is ever truly alone.

While on the subject of feeling lonely, I might as well say that there are others who are lonely as well. When I was struggling with mental illness it’s true there were some who didn’t understand. And some I just didn’t trust. I didn’t need to expect everyone to be too busy for me and not understanding. Some are not too busy and are understanding. If someone is brushing me off, I understand now that they are not the ones for me. It doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone. It’s just that one person. I didn’t need to give up on people.

There is another element to this. Someone out there is depending on you and me to show up. Someone who is accustomed to seeing you whether happy or sad. It lifts their spirit to know you are alive. They want to hear and know about you during the good and the bad times. These are those precious few to hold on to and seek out. They are there but sometimes I was so caught up in my own stuff, I didn’t notice it. We learn, grow and heal within the context of relationships and community. Interacting with others is important as long as they are the right ones. I personally try to seek out positive people to hang out with. I take a positive attitude everywhere and smile at others so they know they are not alone. We all need to show up for our lives. There is only one me and one you. No one else can do what I do or you. I’m one of a kind. Oh and I am awesome at being me, too! No, I’m not a perfect person but I’m perfectly me.