I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about how to be happy. First off, is it possible to create happiness? I’ve always been a firm believer in fate and that everything happens for a reason. Yet at the same time, surely if you want things in life you should work hard and put yourself out there because opportunities need to be fought for.
Get to know yourself
Since moving into a flat on my own I’ve had to become more independent than ever before. There are parts of the experience which are fabulous like having friends over, adding little touches to make it mine and walking around dressed in whatever and listening to the music I want, whenever I want. However, there are also parts of living alone which I’ve found insanely difficult. It took me a really long time to fully get used to my own company. At times I’ve felt lonely and loneliness can feel like the complete opposite of happy. I’ve gotten to know myself and how my brain ticks a lot better over the last few months. In doing so, I’ve realised that I am ridiculously emotional (haha who knew) and that I do everything at about 100mph and sometimes need to just see how a situation plays out or wait an hour before I react.
Figure out what makes you happy
Happiness can mean different things to different people. For me, happiness is epitomised by laughter and love. If I have people in my life that I love and who can make me laugh ‘til I cry, then what could be better?
It’s not just people that make me happy though, I find happiness in running over hurdles, in musicals (especially The Sound of Music or Les Mis), in rubbish films like Angus Thongs or Wild Child or Chalet Girl (which really are the best things ever created), in chocolate buttons, in baking, in fresh flowers (especially tulips, peonies or yellow roses), in romantic novels and films and in anything Harry Potter related. When I’m feeling down and can’t just call up a friend I choose one or two of these things and just try and forget all of my crazy thoughts and enjoy them.
I’ve never really thought of myself as much of a risk taker. I like to feel comfortable and know exactly what’s what and what I can control. However, a lot of people would say that I’ve pushed myself majorly out of my comfort zone by moving to a new city and starting a job which has meant I’ve had to attempt to learn a new language and how to work within a different curriculum. Mainly, I just hate the thought of regretting missed opportunities and thinking ‘what if?’. I do not regret moving to Cardiff one bit, it has already brought me so much happiness which more than makes up for the anxiety and loneliness I’ve felt. As I’m a bit of a control freak (I get that from my mum so thanks Hels), it is sometimes difficult to do things and not have a clear idea of the outcome of that situation. I feel like that’s usually when amazing things happen though so it’s important for me to do.
Communicate with people
Regardless of the outcome, if I’ve laid everything out and gone for it (even if I’ve ended up feeling rubbish or embarrassed) at least then I know that it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s where fate comes into it for me. Not just letting opportunities pass by because they clearly weren’t meant to be, but trying my hardest to achieve, loving whole-heartedly and seeing what happens at the end of it.
I need those positive endorphins to function. I can go to the track feeling like all I want is to be cocooned in my duvet with a chick-flick and some chocolate and come out feeling fantastic. It’s not just the exercise itself that brings me happiness, but the little family of people who I train with and who are all basically therapists and comedians.
It’s okay not to be okay
Some nights, I sit on the sofa under my duvet with a bar of chocolate and my Netflix account and deliberately put on a sad film as an excuse to cry and get all emotional. When I do this, I’m usually texting one of my best friends and having a good old moan and once I’ve gone to bed and woken up the next morning I usually feel a whole lot better and more optimistic. I read a Beyoncé quote once about how she allows herself a day to feel sorry for herself, then uses it to motivate herself to work harder. If Beyoncé can have a sad day then I can totally have a sad day.
What is the overall goal?
At the end of the day, all I want in life is happiness. And to get it I plan on focussing on the little things as well as really trying to enjoy and be grateful for the things I do have. Hopefully then the bigger things will fall into place and I won’t even have to tell people how happy I am because they’ll see it in my face.