I live on the edge of “happy” and “unhappy” and it only takes one or two things to push me into the dark. Things like, sickness or being run down, but lately it’s been sleep deprivation due to my daughter being sick. AGAIN.
I pretty much struggle with my pessimism and anxiety at all times. Some days and weeks are easier than others, like I don’t even notice it. But eventually, my little dark cloud comes back and I have to actively seek the good in life. I started to wonder how the hell I could be having such a hard time when my husband, who was living the same life, was seemingly immune to it!
It was around about that time, that I started to watch the doco series “Why am I?”. I mainly started watching because I’d heard a bit about it a while back, and curiosity got the better of me. I’ve got a BSc and I love a good scientific study but it also turned out to be the missing piece in my chain of thinking about happiness… The series is about the Dunedin Longitudinal Study, and although I already knew that genetics AND life experience can shape a human being, I had never applied that thinking to myself.
If my genetics are unchangeable, what then about my environment? What about my attitude? What about my outlook on life?
I asked my husband one night if he chose to be happy, or if he just was (thinking he’d say it was the latter) but he said it was definitely a choice. That, although it wasn’t always a conscious effort he had to make each and every day, it was all the same something he knew he had control over. That conversation was amazing for me, it was like finally realising that I didn’t have to be unhappy or “neutral” by default. I could be happy a lot more than I currently was. I had the power.
So I started to research and read, like I love to do, about happiness and I went down this super trippy rabbit hole of learning how to rewire your brain for happiness, and there are four little things at the bottom of this article that I’ve been trying to do everyday, or as often as possible.
I also realised that all the HuffPo etc articles on happiness told me one thing: I already had some of the tools and skills to work on my happiness, I’d just forgotten about them.
Things like getting outside, exercising, spending my time on experiences rather than things, slooooowing down (which I still hate to do), and taking a deep fucking breath every once in a goddamn while. Geez, I get so freakin down on myself in my secure little world, and I only really have first world problems.
Wanna know a big key in my goal to finding peace? Getting some freakin perspective on my life.
Like for example, accepting that I have hard stuff I have to deal with, and my own weird chemical imbalances I have to get past, but overall my challenges are nothing compared to many others. I really need to stop all the angst about my “stuff”, make a plan to change what I can (like keeping up with my self care) and accept what I can’t.
After all, that’s what life is like, right? Accepting the hard, the exhaustion, the pain and seeking the good, the energising, the love?
“(Life is) about doing the things that feel right without worrying about the eventual outcome; real or imagined.” – Shannon Mackey, my husband, my happiness idol