I have a little confession to make.
I have not able to choose happy lately. I’m so cranky #youalreadyknow.
But it’s because I haven’t been practising what I preach.
I first talked about ‘choosing happy’ here, if you don’t want to click over, it basically a mind over matter, reaction over situation type ramble. It’s a simplistic approach and I still think it’s useful but since I wrote it I have done a lot more research on ‘happiness’ and my attitude has grown a bit.
If you do want to click over, go for it. I’ll see you back here in a minute or two.
Ok… so if this is something I have been thinking about for a really long time, why am I such a crank right now? I’ll try to choose to be happy but about ten minutes later I would be swearing about the laundry basket or getting frustrated about the fact that I have to microwave my tea AGAIN.
(Quick disclaimer; mum, I’m fine, I’m not unhappy, just a bit cranky ok?)
Like basically any issue that arises it turns out just sitting down and spending some time thinking about it (writing a list if you’re a listing type) actually really helps. So I thought, why aren’t I feeling like my happy self?
And then I got more philosophical and started questioning if all this focus on happiness actually helps anyone anyway?
And I came to some conclusions.
a) Sometimes I feel like the emphasis on happiness can put a lot of pressure on people, like it’s just ONE MORE THING that you’re fucking up. So your kids watch too much TV and you don’t earn enough money and you’re a bit chubby and you’re not bloody happy enough either. Ya know? And yeah, I don’t really want to make people feel like what they are isn’t enough. I don’t really want to make myself feel like that either. So I have to make sure that this abstract concept isn’t actually making me less happy. Which leads me to my next point.
b) The concept of happiness is so abstract that it can sometimes feel unobtainable, which is why breaking it down into actual things can really make it much easier. I wrote myself a ‘happy list‘ for exactly this reason. I had the hubby and the kids do it too because it totally takes a village. My list has things like fresh flowers, yoga, going to the beach and lighting scented candles. It seems pretty shallow at first glance but connecting with nature, mindfulness, exercise, calm environments and fulfilled senses are actually some pretty consistent themes in all the science surrounding this topic. And yeah I wrote the list but do you think I have actually done any yoga in the past few months? Nope. Have I been lighting candles? Not really. Have I made the time to really do anything on my list lately? Yeah nah. It’s been a full on month and…insert lame excuse here.
c) I took a moment to give myself props for what I have been doing right. And I totally gave myself some high fives. I have been spreading myself thick as freakin Nutella, I have been consistent on the things I want to teach my kids about happiness and I haven’t been letting perfect’ be the enemy of good. It really is amazing how much a brief self-appreciation session can do for your mood.
d) And lastly, something else that makes me happy is blogging, and I have been doing it less lately. Which is kinda part of the whole spreading myself thick thing but it does stress me out. I love this space and I never feel settled when I neglect it so I made a printable to remind me to ‘choose happy’ and now I am sharing it with you guys because if you want the most foolproof, scientifically proven way to achieve happiness it’s basically to give to others. Time, energy, charity, compliments and free printables. I made that last one up. But I think I’m feeling more chipper already.