Saturday, 7 January 2012

How to Revel in Your Own Life

So far in your Make Your Life Amazing 2012 journey you should have a pretty clear idea of the self you are striving to improve, a picture of what that will mean, and should be living more consciously to better understand your habits and try to kick the bad ones. Now, it’s time to stop assessing yourself, and start enjoying yourself!

That’s right, whatever is going on right now, wherever you are, however the landscape lies, you need to start enjoying it. Think of it as an exercise in happiness; a stretch of your appreciation muscle; joy aerobics...

Things will never be perfect, we can get them close to perfect, sure, but there’s always room for more when it comes to our greedy species. That’s why we need to learn to be thankful and content as we are. It’s not saying we don’t want better; it’s saying we want to be happy now, even if we could potentially be happier.

Look around you; this is your life, going on right now. Start enjoying it! 

Stop fighting against life and accept it for what it is. Ride the wave instead of being the rock it crashes against. Take your day and wander around the full extent of it; soak up the experiences like a sponge and slip and slide through all the little ups and downs. Let the day happen to you, rather than battling to happen to it.

♥ Stop assessing yourself, and start enjoying yourself!
♥ Think of every day as an exercise in happiness.
♥ Don’t say you don’t want better, say you want to be happy.

An exercise in happiness.

I know you’ve been told this before, but it bears remembering: your mind is an incredibly powerful thing. Simply put, you can make yourself happy, if you want to. Don’t want to? Fine, you are the one who will miss out. But you do want to. I know you do. And you can.

This exercise is completely driven by want; by dogged determination to be joyful. It may not happen first time, but if you want it, through and through, it will happen. It requires you to feel at a loss - a low point - and if you’re lucky enough not to have these too often, then you may have put it in your happiness toolbox and save it for later.

When you get hit with that pang of the blues, grumpiness, melancholy, despair – whatever you want to call it – you have to take back the power over your own mind. Just like we reclaimed our individuality, we can reclaim our good mood with focus and intention.

Tell yourself straight: this state of dejection won’t get me anywhere; it makes me feel gloomy, I don’t deserve it and I want to get rid of it. Nine times out of ten, moodiness is simply self-indulgence; self-indulgence in darkness because the light in our life is not shining bright enough. We resolve to make a comfortable home in the depths of despair because we feel in control there, whereas the light – what could be – often worries and scares us. It is time to tell yourself that you deserve the light, and open yourself up to it.

Think about all the reasons you have not to be despairing, against the (probably very few) reasons you have to be. Harness your own thoughts; be the glittering brightness in your own world; cheer yourself up, and be happy because you can be, and because it is always the right choice.

If you exercise in rebuffing negative thoughts regularly, it may take time, but you will eventually learn to become the regulator of your own mind - and that's a good place to be. Take a deep breath, and smile. Write in your journal: be happy! And mean it. 

[Note: this article is aimed at empowering you to tackle bouts of day-to-day blues and not longer periods of real depression. If it becomes out of your power to lift yourself out of dark thoughts, you should discuss this with your GP or a counsellor, and you might want to consider CBT.]


Kathy said...

Megan, I love this post ...After losing my dad , it took me some time and I still have hard days where the grief is overwhelming , but I told myself the best way to honor him was to find happiness in every day because this is what he would want for me and this is what I deserve . Life is too short to waste time on not being happy . And on a side note , I have been practicing CBT , its been very helpful .

kimberley said...

Ive tried this before, and found I end up deeper in darkness being mad at myself for NOT being able to simply block out and stop negative thoughts. ACT helps us learn how to accept all thoughts, let them pass through, but only pay attention to the HELPFUL ones, not "good" or "bad" which is a lot better for me. So thats an alternative for people!

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