Getting back to being happy


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie

Regardless of what problems you are going through today, you have many  choices, you just need to make them.  You can ask yourself questions like “Will I allow this to upset or annoy me?” “Will I choose to make this good or bad?” “Will I choose to stay or walk away?” “Will I choose to say no or yes?” “Will I choose to react or take the time to respond?”  We all go through pain and anxiety. We all have times in our life when we feel lost, sad, insulted, belittled, abandoned, betrayed, hurt, abused or unfairly treated. When the moment arrives when we feel we can’t put up with this feeling any longer, when we no longer feel as happy, as outgoing or as courageous as we used to be, we can stay stuck or we can choose to change. When we are feeling down and dispirited, it is very hard to get back on track, to let go of the negatives and start to smile again, even if we have little to smile about.

Stop bullying yourself and stop the self-criticism. Stop beating yourself up and find compassion and forgiveness of self. Let go of the need to think you should be feeling a lot better by now, and that it is not alright to feel sad or upset for so long. Try being kind to yourself and maybe have a little pampering. Treat yourself with consideration and understanding, instead of complaining about all the things you think is wrong in your life, and appreciate all the gifts that you might be taking for granted. Having strength, concern, empathy, courage, and resilience is a blessing during times of trials and challenges.

When we don’t make an effort to think positive thoughts we risk being depressed, feeling bad and then living a life from a dark, fearful, unhappy and a useless place. You have to make an effort yourself to confront the things you don’t feel like doing so that you can brush off the sadness, hopelessness and boost your energy. When you make the effort and join with others who are in a better frame of mind than your own, your levels of energy and interest in life will increase and you will become more upbeat. Try and think positive and encouraging thoughts that will turn your sad feelings into a more buoyant and happier way to live. It is very easy to let sad feelings turn into a habit that very quickly escalates into depression that may be hard to redeem yourself from.

Finding happiness is not always simple, but is about keeping your thoughts positive, especially when they are elusive after a downward spiral in life. Being happy is finding satisfaction, fulfillment and contentment, being cheerful, and a sense that your life is meaningful in spite of all the problems we are bound to have.  Nobody is living a life of excitement all the time, but some appear to be more fulfilled and fortunate than others. Many studies found that happiness has little to do with comfort, wealth, status or possessions, and more to do with gratitude, which is the biggest indicator of happiness.

Getting back to happy feelings comes when we accept the issues that made us feel down in spirits in the first place. When things are outside of our control we should start by examining the hard truth that sometimes changing your situation is not possible or simply not possible soon enough. You can’t get a new job in an instant, or get away from people who are negative or hurtful, who may be family or close friends. You can’t make someone else change their actions or how they treat you and you certainly can’t erase the past. But you can always change your stance on how you view them.  By always choosing an attitude that moves you forward, will help you change things from the inside out, and allows you to let go of the things over which you have no control.
Worrying about the future is the biggest enemy of the present time. Your inner peace does not depend on external conditions, so surrender your thoughts and worries to the Almighty, that will bring a change of perspective. When you spend time worrying, you are just using your imagination to create experiences that might never happen and especially ones you don’t want.
Peace of mind arrives when you can rationalise what is bothering you, and happens when you let go of the need to be anywhere but where you are, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally at this moment. This is the only way of accepting the way things are and creates the basis for inner peace and quiet. Identify the thoughts that have been troubling you, and then imagine how life would change if you got rid of these thoughts. Would you treat yourself and others differently? How would you feel?  How would you act if the same thoughts appeared again?  What would you be able to achieve if your thoughts were optimistic? How would it change your outlook on your current life situation?

Occupy your mind with positive thoughts, and train your thoughts to see good in all things. Seeking or working on goals that will give you satisfaction, self-esteem and humming a little tune, for happy effects on the mind and body will overcome most unhappy thoughts. Only when you feel grateful for all the things in your life can you start to regain being happy again.

Peg Hanafin, MSc 11/4/2018  wp