I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few months about happiness. It’s the feeling most of us spend a lot of time striving for and a lot of money trying to manufacture, but I’ve found that the more I try to create happiness for myself, the less authentic the feeling I’m left with is.
So much is written nowadays about positivity and what to do to just ‘get happy’, but I don’t think it’s something you can or should fake. Sure, there are definitely benefits to focusing on the positives and working through crappier days with a smile on your face, but I think when I generally feel most happy it kind of creeps up on me. I also think the good days feel that much sweeter when you are comfortable feeling the bad days; not spending your time desperately trying to get rid of your more negative emotions.
I recently went for a walk on a cold, windy day to a place my husband and I went on our second date. We hadn’t been back in almost 8 years, and we were right in the middle of a stressful time moving house, so I had lots on my mind. I wasn’t feeling entirely well that day or particularly energetic. Anyway, we packed a picnic and headed out. It was windy, cold, and overcast.
By the time we arrived we’d been in the car for over an hour and I was hungry… and I’m not me when I’m hungry. So we started walking and found a bench to eat at. It was as if the clouds parted just for us. The sun started shining and we closed our eyes, basking in it. I was suddenly struck by the memories of the past 8 years, and reflected on how far we’d come since the last time we were there together. In the midst of all the stress and chaos of the past few days, we were just there. Being present. Together.
I had a lovely time despite the weather at first, and whatever pain I was in that day. I was reminded how much I love spending time outdoors, especially in the sunshine, and I longed for Spring. I was happy.
When you’re feeling stressed, not yourself, or in a rut, take time to remind yourself what makes you feel truly happy. Not just short term happy (chocolate… you know what I mean), but what fills your happy reserves back up? What makes you feel relaxed and grateful to be alive?
If you’re not sure, find out. I dare you.