“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be” - Abraham Lincoln
“I deleted my facebook account” she says. For someone who didn’t really have a facebook account until last year I didn’t think very much of it. “I was getting depressed” she continued. Now she has my full attention. “Oh! How did it do that?” I ask. “My friends are living the life! Every time I looked at their posts it just depressed me. My life just sucks and I don’t need facebook to show me how much!” OK! THAT is not what I was expecting at all.
I was absolutely heartbroken with the news of Robin Williams passing. What made it even worse was, reports he took his own life and he suffered from depression. How could that be? This is the man who made millions cry with laughter and was such a brilliant actor, someone who clearly loved what they did. How could this be?
Depression is a real sickness and it needs to be medically treated. It’s sad that many people all around us hide their sickness and pretend to be ‘normal’.
But let’s not confuse feeling sad or unhappy with depression. Feeling sad is easy – all you have to do is look around you, listen to the news or just hear your co-workers complain.
So today I am sharing with you my little cheats for when I am feeling sad – things I do for myself.. Things that help me bounce back and feel grateful to be alive again.
Breathe - Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed - I STOP - close my eyes and take a DEEP breath. Breathe deep from my stomach and slowly breathe out and breathe in again. Keeping my eyes closed I focus on my 3 slow deep breaths. I open my eyes, smile to myself and I instantly feel relaxed and lighter.
ThankYou – Gratitude is so very powerful. It shifts your thinking and focuses you on the positive. It makes you think of all the things that you already have and makes you appreciate the things you probably take for granted. So I write down a few things I am grateful for right now, even the most smallest of things like, thank you for the sunshine after a week of rain; Thankful for that amazing cup of coffee I am sipping right now, thankful for being alive and having an adventure in a new country…
I immediately feel thankful, grateful and happy, just counting my blessings.
"It’s not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness".
Cry - Most people just hide their emotions, don’t they? They hide them and bottle them up inside, until one day they just blow up! I think a good cry sometimes makes me feel so much better. If that’s what my body and mind needs to let out the emotions, then why not? It’s weird I know, but sometimes when I’ve had a bad day or something sad has happened, a song or a even a voice over the phone from a friend can trigger an emotion. And I just let that emotion flow. Trust me, you feel so much better after you’ve come undone. Then I go back to deep breaths and am ready to go!
Dance – Can I say dancing like a mad-hatter and letting it all go is one of the best therapies EVER! I just turn on one of my favourite songs (recently it’s been “Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing!” lol) and just dance … shake it and go mad. It’s so much fun by the end of it I have no idea what I was sad about and I just want to keep dancing. I just love it, because it makes me laugh at myself and hey I love a good laugh!
SAY NO – Seriously, if you don’t want to do something, SAY NO! Most of the people I speak to are unhappy because they are doing something they don’t want to. If you are not happy doing something stop. If someone is annoying you and you don’t want to hang with him or her, stop. If someone is not adding value to your life and making you unhappy, say NO and move on. It’s your life, you can choose to live it as you want. Be polite and considerate about other peoples feelings, and say NO nicely, but say NO if that’s what you really want! It will make you feel so much better and lighter!
Look, different people do different things to feel better, and these are my little happy trickeries to get me back to being good ol’ me. I hope it works for you and I believe the best way to stay happy is to be true to yourself. Stop living someone else’s life, stop worrying about what people think of you on facebook, stop trying to please everyone and getting everyone to like you, say NO when you don’t want to do something, Say YES to one fun new experience whenever you can!
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Xx