As someone who suffers from depression happiness is a feeling I don’t take for granted. Obviously medication has helped! Because low serotonin sucks. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lovely life. It’s wonderful and I am very fortunate. However, since I started having more and more depressive episodes in 2013, I have been learning and developing ways in which to help me stay happy.
I’m going to share what I have discovered helps my happiness and boosts my mood. Oh, and please check out our latest Truth About episode talking about happiness here.
I SOUGHT HELP
Sometimes you can’t do it on your own. Whether it is therapy or medication, you should not feel like a failure because you sought out help. Going on medication changed my life and my outlook on so many things. I was able to think clearly and deal with my emotions a lot better. It’s taken some tweaking with dosages and other lifestyle habits, but it’s been the best thing for my mental health.
I DO WHAT I WANT
For a long time, I did things to make others happy. And I thought that would make me happy in turn. It didn’t. Instead I began to feel trapped and not myself. When I decided that I was going to do things as and when I wanted, how I wanted, then I began to feel free. And freedom is happiness in my opinion.
For too long I followed self help articles and books in order to work out what I was missing, or if I had too much of something. It didn’t suit me. I felt like I was living a contrived existence as opposed to just going with the flow of what I wanted to do.
I’M SAYING “NO” MORE
In connection with my last point, I thought that saying “yes” a lot made me feel like a better person. When in reality it just stressed me out.
I decided that I was going to say “no” more.
If I didn’t feel like seeing someone, I would cancel and just say I wasn’t feeling it that day. If I was asked a favour which would cause me too much grief, I’d politely decline. Sometimes you just have to do things for you.
I STOPPED FOCUSSING ON MY DIET SO MUCH
For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with what I eat. I think this comes from being married to a man who has been doing the same. Now I have come to terms with the fact I should eat what I like in moderation, exercise regularly and stop focussing too much on how I look. If I have a take out and feel sluggish the next day, I avoid fatty, sugary foods. Pretty soon I’m feeling myself again BUT I haven’t missed out on the burger I craved all week.
I’M TAKING EACH DAY AS IT COMES
I’ve always been a big planner. To-do lists have been my thing. But now I have a to-do list for the following:
- Chores that need to be done
- General to-do/Blog admin and posts
- Work to-do
I don’t intend on doing the tasks on any particular day or in any order. I just keep them as a reminder of what I need to. This takes the pressure off massively. Because sometimes life gets in the way. I’ve found I’m a lot more productive doing things as and when rather than forcing myself to do things on a certain date.
It can take some trial and error. Believe me, I have followed minimalist lifestyles, veganism, strict exercise and more in order to be happier. And sadly, none of them worked. Instead, I went what did make me happy. As long as it’s safe, do it.