You may have heard the saying “happiness isn’t a destination it’s a way of life” and over the years I have come to realise how true that is. We all want to be happy and fulfilled in life but do we do enough for ourselves to make that a reality?
I have been trying a little experiment for the past month that was suggested by a friend of mine to help the relationship I have with myself. I have to say I love it! It has been a way to bring a little sunshine to my day and remind me of all the positive things I am, especially when I have a tendency to think of all the things I am not! As someone that often suffers from low mood, I can sometimes find it hard to see the good in things and be positive.
Sometimes we have to take ownership of how we feel and try to resist the temptation to blame others for our unhappiness. We do not have control over others, but we do have control of ourselves and how we react to things. There can be many situations or events that can impact how we feel. There may also be medical reasons which can contribute to the feeling of unhappiness and changes in mood, such as depression and various cognitive disorders. Most can be treated with conventional medicine however, I advocate the more natural root. If you can and are willing to remain open minded plus put the work in, the reward will be great.
Filling the Jar
Yes, I do mean an actual jar! Filled with pieces of paper highlighting positive and true statements about myself and for good measure some inspirational quotes that would help uplift me. The first hurdle was thinking of true and positive statements about myself! I found it hard to self myself to myself! But then a lovely friend helped me change my perspective when she asked me to think about what friends would say and it became much easier! I filled the jar with as many statements that it would hold and each day I picked one out. It reminds me that I have lots of great qualities, especially on those days where the dark clouds are over me.
Our brains are naturally wired to take the easy route and be negative. In fact, it probably takes more energy to be miserable and angry than it does to be happy and positive! I think as we get older we naturally become more cynical and tend to view the world in a more tainted way. We no longer look at the world unbiased like we did when we were young. Often, this is due to our experiences and over time we evolve and become different versions of ourselves. We are constantly changing, as is the world around us.
It shouldn’t take a jar full of paper to remind me of my own value but sometimes we need a bit of help on our journey. When I see the jar sitting on my coffee table each day it just makes me smile. It gives me a little something to look forward to and only good can come from it – I wrote what’s in there after all! Even if I don’t open one every day, seeing it there encourages me.
What’s the Upshot?
There is huge value in doing something every day that makes you smile, lifts your spirits and brings a positive focus. I have been consciously making an effort to do a small thing each day to make myself happy. Simple things like cooking myself a nice meal, listening to an uplifting song or even going for a walk. I wouldn’t say watching trashy TV makes me happy but has been putting a smile on my face, most definitely! As I realised a couple of years ago, this is something I did very rarely. My colleague would come in in the morning and say to me “Sheleen, did you watch First Dates last night”, to which my answer would often be, “no!” I never had the time to just sit and relax with the TV. I have found in recent months that being outside my own reality really helps.
We have a lot of things in our lives to be grateful for and we often lose sight of that, we sometimes lose faith in ourselves and that can be the hardest thing of all to overcome. Self-esteem is essential to how we function in day to day life, so we have to nurture it. Doing something simple yet so effective can help us change the way we see ourselves and start breaking down those barriers we put in our own way.
If you are someone that often has low mood or struggles low self-esteem, I would highly recommend this. Got to be worth a try!?
What positive things could you write about yourself and put in your happiness jar?