Happiness. Everyone is in pursuit of it. Most people drive themselves into deep depression trying chasing it. I was one of those people. Following the tragic loss of two very important people in my life, two grueling months of slipping in and out of severe melancholia, and gaining nearly 20 pounds from binge eating and insomnia, I didn’t think I would ever see happiness again. I tried every popular self-help book on the market, to no avail. Trapped in my self-inflicted misery, I felt that only one person in the world would understand my woes – was my journal. This actually proved helpful as it gave me the chance to reflect as well as project my feelings. And in that, I think I’ve finally found the secret to happiness. Or I at least figured out why most of us can’t seem to get it.
Thought – Do you ever notice that a simple thought in head (even unsolicited) has a huge impact on how we carry ourselves? It’s even worse when we try to convince ourselves that we aren’t feeling a certain way and we hold in our true feelings. We never get a chance to truly heal from whatever is bothering us, and do you know what happens to wounds that don’t heal? Yes, they fester and become infectious. Learn to let things go, even if that means swallowing your pride and admitting to being hurt. Also remember that everything in life is temporary, shit happens and like everything in time, it will eventually pass. Don’t waste your precious time here holding on to what can’t be changed.
Move – Go outside child! Even if it’s just for ten minutes. Fresh air, exercise and sunlight can do wonders for depression, this has been scientifically proven. Take advantage of the fact that you have clean air to breathe and get moving. You don’t have to join a gym, but invest in a bike and go ride it through your neighborhood, have a picnic in the park or in your yard. Get off your butt and get moving!
Detox – I don’t mean those vapid diets everyone does for 4 days. I mean a real, life detox. Turn off your phone at night (they still make real alarm clocks, you know), leave yours at home sometimes, and get the hell off of the internet! I try to limit my social media use to three days a week for no more than an hour. I’m pretty sure that this alone has helped my insomnia. I also have “me” days, where I simply don’t answer my phone for a few hours and take time to be by myself. This helps me recharge for the next week.
Balance – We as humans seem to truly lack balance. In a world where most people live to work, it’s very easy to neglect everything else. Don’t let work get in the way of your life. I know it’s scary to read that, but think of it this way, if you die tomorrow, your job already knows who will replace you. So why are you killing yourself over someone who doesn’t find your life worth more than a couple thousand dollars a month (if you’re even making that much)? This doesn’t mean be reckless, as an adult you have to be responsible. Yes it sucks, but it’s life. All I’m saying is, enjoy the small things in your life. Fresh food, a pretty view, people who love you.
Reflect – Take a moment every week at least to just reflect. Think about who you are as a person. What do you love about yourself? What can be improved? How do most people see you? What legacy are you leaving behind? Thinking about these things have helped me become a more logical person, and things that use to bother me no longer have any affect. Life is all about learning and growing, so if you’re in the same place spiritually (I don’t care about your finances or anything else that can be bought), you have a lot of reflecting to do.
Love – give it, receive it, pursue it, be it. Love is more than just doing for those in your life. Love to me means having compassion and empathy for those people you never met, and will probably never see again. Love is simply smiling at stranger for no reason, striking up conversation with your quiet coworker, or forgiving someone who isn’t sorry. True love is when you can look at a person and see God. Be a giver and receiver of love in all of it’s forms, and watch how quickly life starts to turn around.
Written by Tiara Lertrice, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad