I like to think of myself as a generally happy person. I love my partner, I love where I live, I have a good job, a fun-loving puppy, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, strong faith and clean running water. I am blessed far beyond what I am truly deserving of. Every time I hear a statistic about the world and how its simply a privilege to drive a car as most of the planet does not, I am humbled, and in turn I give thanks thus promoting this happy camper on the other side of your screen. While I tend to see the glass as half full I grapple with days that I feel as though I have lost control of my mind and something sinister has taken over. Days when I’m so deeply pulled into doubt that it effects everything from my appetite to how I dress.
Let me start by saying…this is normal. We are not responsible for every negative thought that passes, however we are responsible for not dwelling in it. Something that I still need to do much work on. Thankfully, with these tools I have been able to bounce back from my various negative episodes and climb back into the light.
Do inventory As I’ve noted before in other posts, I see my life as a bicycle wheel, each spoke being a different value or facet that holds the wheel together and keeps it turning. When I start feeling bad, noticing a droop in my smile of simply feeling “off” I like to review the values in my life and ensure that I am giving attention to all of them. When was the last time I sat with God or did a bible study? How many times have I exercised this week? How much time have I spent journaling? Have I spent any time with friends lately or do I have anything social on my calendar at all? How’s my diet – am I getting enough protein, vegetables, water? Most of the time I can determine what has been missing and voila! I’m well on my way back to happy.
Is there someone you need to forgive? We have all read the quotes about forgiveness being for ourselves, not necessarily for the person you need to forgive but how often do we actually come to terms with forgiveness? I realized there was someone in my life that I had yet to forgive and I realized this because I noticed that I did not truly trust them. Why? (We’ll call this person Sam) Sam has gone above and beyond to make personal changes and has even apologized for their hurtful actions. But for some reason, something in me did not want to open up fully again to Sam. As soon as I opened my eyes to the lack of trust stemmed by missing forgiveness, I knew I needed to make a change. Did anyone come to mind when you read this? Pray about it. Pray for your healing and pray for theirs.
Take a nap Sometimes we are just TIRED. Being someone with huge dreams of being entirely my own boss someday I am always thinking, writing, planning, revising, enacting, moving, doing and going. Of course you’re not feeling as peppy today! You. Are. Tired. (Which truly leads back to point #1 – doing inventory of the areas of your life). Self-care is inherent to happiness. If you don’t take care of you, who will?? Self-care comes in so many forms! My favorites include writing, enjoying face masks and listening to music our audible books. Whatever self-care looks like for you, make it as important as the meals you eat. Put good in….get good out.