I have to admit, I haven't always been the happiest of people, and actually suffered quite badly from depression in my younger years. I had a breakdown in my early twenties and was consequently on strong anti-depressants for the majority of the following decade, which in hindsight I strongly suspect destroyed my ability to feel great happiness. I never experience the highs that people talk about, only lows or 'normal'.
At this moment in time, I am content, which suits my life right now. Saying that, my life is pretty boring, and this is because I have had to cut out a lot of the stuff that affected my emotions negatively, to basically avoid becoming unhappy again.
So I have to admit, many of you may not agree with my tips for a happy life because you aren't as boring as me. 😊
1. Avoiding drama. I hate drama and conflict. It just doesn't agree with me whatsoever, and makes me feel miserable, confused and uncertain. In the past, I have been dragged into unnecessary drama for no reason other than certain people wanted to take the blame off themselves. I must have seemed like an easy target at the time, and in the end I just withdrew from those people.
I find it difficult to understand those who claim to hate drama, yet surround themselves with volatile people or situations and then moan when the shit hits the fan. No thanks. I'll stick to my boring existence.
2. Staying positive. Okay, I admit, sometimes this is very difficult to do, especially when you are at a low point. Everything seems bad when you are in a depressive state, and thinking positively is easier said than done. In this case, please seek help and speak to somebody. You are never alone.
I was very lucky to be able to drag myself out of those murky depths after so many years of being down. It wasn't easy. The worse I felt about myself, the more shit I attracted, and I seemed to be stuck in a vicious circle. My relationships were a joke, and it took living with the most negative person I had ever met for 6 years to realise that it wasn't good for me at all. He dragged me right down into a pit of misery, and after hitting rock bottom, I decided enough was enough. I didn't need anybody to make me feel like rubbish. I could do that all by myself. My self-esteem, or lack of it, has always been to blame for my passiveness and ridiculous life choices, and my emotional fragility back then made it so easy for that one negative person to drag me down and make me believe that second best and heartbreak was all I deserved. These days, I try to stay away from negativity because it just isn't good for me.
3. Believing in yourself. I have to admit, this is something I haven't quite conquered yet, but I'm getting there. As I read somewhere recently "Nothing will work if you don't believe in it", and this is so true. Okay, maybe not when it comes to time travel, or turning water into wine (unfortunately!) But believing in yourself and your abilities can take you far. Intelligence and skill doesn't matter in the slightest if you don't have the confidence to see it through. So many of us allow self-doubt, vulnerability, and uncertainty to plague our thoughts, and this can get in the way of success. We just need a confident outlook, and this can only come from ourselves. Instead of telling yourself why it won't work, tell yourself why it will. I suppose that explains it as succinctly as possible. I'm working on this. 😊
4. Do things that you like. This may sound very obvious, but it's amazing how many people allow themselves to get bogged down by boring chores and hated jobs, and forget to use their spare time constructively. Don't forget the things that make you happy, whether that may be a cherished hobby, spending time with the people you love, or visiting your favourite places. Even stamp collecting, train spotting, or hibernating at home to recharge the batteries, as I so often like to do. If it makes you happy, then do it. Although try to keep it legal. 😊
5. Stay healthy. Now I have to admit, healthy people really irritate me. Dieting and calorie counting bores me to tears, and the gym is most definitely against my religion. However, secretly, I admire the motivation it takes to do any of the above. I'd actually love to be one of those people, but I'm far too laid back about my lifestyle. Since hitting the big 4-0 though, I have begun to see the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle. More exercise, less wine. Going for walks in the countryside, surrounded by beautiful scenery. Getting enough sleep. Laughing more. I've been trying to include more protein into my diet, and less fat. But I'm not completely cutting out on the things I like, because that would defeat the object of number 4. I'm just taking more of an interest in my health, by cutting back on the bad things and doing more of the good things. This makes me feel better about myself, which in turn lifts my spirits.
I may sound like I know what I'm talking about, but I really don't. Everybody has their own idea of what makes them happy, and these are my own. I'm just trying to lead a better life than I have in previous years. 😊