In a world riddled with so many difficult-to-hear stories and difficult-to-experience happenings, finding happiness can feel like a tall order. Your view may be muddied by a constant barrage of social media posts and politically slanted news channels. After all, sensationalism and clickbait sell. The ordinary is not worth being in the six o'clock news. You may currently feel like you are in the midst of the millionth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is possible that you might be having a hard time finding their happiness in these trying times.
If you are of a more empathic nature, this can really take a toll on your emotions. Empathy is a much-needed trait when so much seems to be going on, but it can be draining if you have a lot of it. It is hard not to wonder if such immediate and all-encompassing news coverage is a good thing when it is only full of bad things. It can seem as if it is a constant reminder that more unfortunate souls lost their lives on this day from disease, war, street violence, you name it, and who you should begin to blame.
Happiness can be especially short-lived or hard to find in the winter months. As the temperatures dip and daylight hours get shorter, life becomes a series of sleeping, eating, working, watching television, and sleeping yet again. This routine can and does become somewhat monotonous. As beautiful as your scenery might be, being outside for more than a few minutes at a time becomes difficult with the cold and the dark.
Yes, there is a lot in the world right now that wants to take your happiness away, but that does not mean there is no happiness to be found. Some days, happiness must be a choice you make. Other times, you must learn to let the good things that come your way buoy you up for awhile. No matter where you are or what is going on, you can find happiness.
Happiness is not something that you can be given. Happiness is not something that can be bought. Happiness is something that you have the power to create for yourself. Yes, you absolutely have the ability to create your own happiness. At times finding happiness may feel like finding Waldo. You know it is in the picture somewhere, but you cannot see it.
Finding your happiness after heartbreak, disappointment, death, trauma, or any other tragic life event may seem impossible. Emotions such as grief, guilt, anger, and despair often cloud the path to happiness, but it is there. When these emotions come up, you must remember that you can create your own joy and accept responsibility for your well-being and overall happiness. It is important to then do something about it. Start with baby steps. Start small: you are probably not going to be the most happy-go-lucky person in one afternoon, but you can take steps to feel better every day.
Below are some ways in which you can begin practicing and incorporating happiness into your daily routine:
Start your day with positive affirmations: Doing this can include waking up every morning and stating something positive about you and your upcoming day. Be sure to speak your affirmations in the present tense. For example, "Good morning beautiful, you are going to have a great day," or, "Hey there handsome, you're gonna crush that job interview today."
If you feel yourself sinking into self-doubt or find that you are comparing yourself to others, look in a mirror and repeat these words, "My name is _____, and I am perfect just as I am." When you begin to use positive affirmations, you will see that your levels of sadness and anxiety decrease. When negative feelings decrease there is more room to focus on the positive aspects of your life. You can find lists of positive affirmations to get you moving in the right direction online.
Smile: Yes, smile, even when you do not feel like it. Smiles, even yours, are infectious. In a masked-up world, smiles have been missing. Smiling is one of the best natural drugs that you have. Essentially it is a natural pain killer. Smiling can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. One smile can relax your entire body and elevate your mood. Maybe you do not feel like smiling, ever. Like most goals, you should start small: give yourself a goal of at least two smiles a day. You do not even have to smile at anyone. You can smile at the cat, or the kitchen table, or yourself. It does not matter what or where the smile is directed at, as long as you are smiling.
Be kind: Being kind to yourself will help build a solid foundation to build happiness for yourself. When you have been kind to yourself, you can pass that kindness on to others. Kindness, much like smiling, has a way of spreading like wildfire, so be the spark.
Finding our happiness in troubled times may seem like an impossible task. All too often, we are reminded of all the reasons that we have to be unhappy. You have the power to change that. Your happiness begins with you and only you. At times, finding your path to happiness can be confusing and painful. Try using positive affirmations, smiles, and kindness to boost happiness and spread it to others. You may just be surprised at your progress. If you're truly struggling to fight your way out of unhappiness or depression, seek help now. It is okay to reach out for help from people outside your immediate circle. SokyaHealth has empathetic staff members ready to help you create a customized plan to treat many kinds of mental health challenges and get you on the path to finding happiness. We are here for you whenever you are ready. Call (619) 375-3977