I seem to be on a kick about happiness. I’m struggling with it during the “most wonderful time of the year”. I tried…I’m trying so hard to get into the Christmas spirit. Too feel jolly and non Grinchy. It’s not working. I can’t stand to listen to any more Christmas music. Even my holiday trifecta of the Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”, John and Yoko’s “War is Over”, and Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I even got the Principal here at my school to let the staff do an Ugly Holiday Sweater Day for Friday and I just don’t care.
So, why am I just so…..blah?
Some mental health experts give/gave some tips on how to be happier.
#1 – Realize that happiness doesn’t mean having everything you want and being problem-free all the time. No, we can’t always be problem free. Having a perfect life in itself is a problem. If you have everything that you want all the time, you have nothing too strive for or look forward to. In the same tone, we don’t have to be the victim of the bad things (as we percieve them to be) that happen to us. We need to take what happens to us in both negative and positive and see what we can learn from them.-
#2 – Cut “should” from your vocabulary, because it basically guarantees whatever you think “should” happen, won’t. The would should makes us try to live up to something that isn’t always atainable. Then we feel guilty about not being able to reach those expectations. Our behavior changes us to act in a way that is opposite than what we want to achieve.
#3- Remember that your negative thoughts are not true. They’re just thoughts. People like me believe that their inner voice tell them that the thoughts in their head are true and are most of the time the negative ones are the ones we..or I in particular … overthink and focus on. While in my heart of hearts, you know these thoughts are just thoughts and there is no basis in them.
#4 – Start your day by reminding yourself one positive thing about your life. I mean when you struggle with depression and anxiety, just getting out of bed and taking a shower and getting dressed is a major positive thing you should be proud of.
#5 – Actually take the time to plan short-term pleasure AND long-term goals (make your life the way your want it to be) I’ve never been one to plan out my weeks, but I do plan out my workout/gym time. I have to stop and see if I have doctor’s appointments and if my children have things that need me there and then I plan my week out. I always like to have some type of goal to work towards even if it is something like cleaning a room or meeting a weight goal.
#6 – Treat yourself with compassion and lots of love. I’m not very good at this. I am bery bad at self talk in a positive manner. I always go to the negative and no matter what it is, even something I am currently struggling with in my head – I know it’s not true, but I’m pushing the negative thoughts in my head. When people turn to me with problems, I’m the first one to tell them to cut themselves some slack and how there is nothing wrong with them or their self believed flaws. While I, on the other hand, see all my flaws and magnify them making me feel like a monster that should be shunned.
#7 – Don’t forget that your physical health has an impact on your mental health, too. I have heard this from my primary care doctor, my therapist and my trainer. Less so on the last part. But he and I did discuss that my going to the gym has helped me with my anxiety and depression. Well more like he asked and I told him that. Even when I struggle with things at the gym, it has been my zen place. When I don’t go I feel it and I don’t mean in my muscles.
#8 – Several times throughout your day, take a deep breath and tell yourself that everythingis OK. Eventually, your brain will get the memo. I’ve had to learn to do this. I’ve had to just stop my brain from carrying on and going crazy with my overthinking and with the thousands of things whirling around in it and take a breath to clear things out.
#9 Make a conscious effort to take care of your mental health the same way you would your physical health. I have just now started to do that.
#10 BE childlike