DO YOU WANT TO FEEL HAPPIER EACH DAY?
Disclaimer: This is not the blog article I thought it was going to be. It was supposed to be about coping with food intolerances and the power of positive thinking but it turned into more of a ‘getting to know me’ post. I often say the phrase ‘but it’s not about me’ but sometimes I wonder how I expect anyone to relate to things I post if they just see me as a goody two-shoes spouting (hopefully) helping advice.
I was chatting to a good friend earlier who reminded me that only 4 years ago I was sat on her settee in floods of tears completely unhappy with my life. My health was suffering, my relationship was in tatters and I was finding my job too demanding. Most of all I didn’t know what to change or how I could do anything about it. I just assumed I was someone who wasn’t one of the lucky ones, whose lives seem so perfect on Facebook.
Fast forward to today and I was babbling on about how much I love my new house, how my husband is awesome and my jobs (note the plural to reflect a patchwork career) are going well. Yes I’m earning less than I used to in the corporate world but my life is so much richer for having changed so completely. The biggest change is that I’M HAPPY EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sounds annoying doesn’t it but you can be an annoying person too!
My biggest obstacle back then? Myself. I was in such a dark place, I couldn’t work out where to go, how to change or even what I wanted to do. If I didn’t have a plan, even just an inkling, how could I take a step forward? I opted for the more extreme version and left my job, my boyfriend and London behind as I headed home to lick my wounds and wonder where it had all gone wrong.
Staying with my parents allowed me a month off work without having to worry about income. I’m pretty sure I spent the first week just sleeping and crying. Then I started reading books of people in far worse scenarios than me who kept going for inspiration (Chris Moon, Jane Tomlinson, Lance Armstrong – before the truth came out). I’ve always been a sucker for a good old Hollywood ‘I changed my life completely’ story and was probably subconsciously looking for a bit of inspiration.
The idea of ‘positive thought’ sounded too American and cheesy to me. Waking up and being thankful for the new day, for a good night’s sleep or for a cooked breakfast? No thanks. But slowly I wondered if there was something in it and although I felt silly, I started to make a list of things I was grateful for and jot down ideas, however outlandish, of what jobs I’d like to have, places to visit and activities to try.
Another friends told me about moodboards and dream planning. Again the cynic in me didn’t understand how making a collage could help but flicking through magazines and Pinterest enabled me to work out a vague idea of what I wanted my life to look like. And it certainly wasn’t living with my parents on the eve of my 30th with a body that felt like it only had 20% battery life left.
So where does that leave me now? Fast forward 4 years and I am:
- Happily married to someone supportive and caring – √
- Living in the countryside – √
- Pursuing my passion of health and wellbeing (having spent the past 3 years retraining) – √
- Helping other people achieve their potential – OK I can’t put check as that feels too big headed but maybe a tiny nod of indication
- Listing things I’m grateful for on a daily basis – hell yeah!
Fancy increasing your happiness? Try it for yourself.
If it’s the left column, try rewording it into a more encouraging statement.
We have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Why not try to chance at least one of them?
Wishing you all a wonderful week,