Hello everyone! Today I thought I'd take a step away from the usual theme of my blog posts, and write something a little bit different. The last year has been a really important time in my life, and I have a learnt a great deal about myself (I know, so deep right?). I understand that for a lot of people, this period of life is a really hard one. I, as well as many others, have been through a great deal of ups and downs in the past few years, and so I thought I'd share some of the things I have learnt, in the hope that they might help some of you to begin to become happier within yourself. (This is beginning to sound like an advert for a hippie retreat - I promise I'm not about to don a pair of hemp Jesus sandals and start lecturing you about finding your inner "zen". )
1. Firstly, you have to rid yourself of negative influences. Although this may be hard sometimes (the negative influences in your life can often be those you cling onto most dearly), you will feel better in the long run. If something or someone is getting you down, ditch it and move on. The first step might be painful, but the relief will outweigh the pain tenfold. The moment that you realise you can live a happier life without the negative influence is the moment you can really move forward. Then, if you have to encounter the negative influence again, you'll have the power and confidence to overcome it, as you'll have realised you don't need it!
2. Happiness comes from within. Doing things for yourself is really important. Spending time alone can actually be really relaxing and enjoyable - it's not sad to hang out with yourself! Being able to have fun alone is a really important step in finding happiness. Why not take a trip shopping, or to your favourite museum? Even something as simple as having a night in alone (turn your phone off!) can make you begin to realise that you don't need to rely on outside influences for your happiness.
3. Make others happy. Once you've realised you can be happy within yourself, why not spread this to others? A simple gesture like surprising your best friends and family with cookies (or even a hug!) can go a long way. Not only does this make them feel appreciated, it makes you feel good too. Try being extra helpful to customers at work - nothing makes me feel as satisfied as helping others out.
3. Take control of your future. Nothing is as motivating as a plan! Set a goal, and begin to work towards it. For example, I started this blog as a step towards my future career goals. I also spend a lot of time drawing as I want to improve my portrait skills. Perhaps you'd like to learn a musical instrument or learn a foreign language? Doing something productive is a real achievement and is a great way to make yourself feel good.
4. Wallowing is the worst thing you can do - get up and stay busy! The amount of times I've found myself lying in bed scrolling through social media sites is really quite depressing. Find something to do. As soon as you get up and start doing something worthwhile with your time, you'll instantly feel happier. Even if it's something as simple as tidying your room, the smallest amount of exercise is scientifically proven to make your feel better!
5. Be spontaneous and say "yes." Try new things, even if they scare you. Make life interesting and don't worry about what other people think! Join a new club, do some volunteering, start up a YouTube channel. Go travelling! Do something you've always wanted to do but have always been to afraid to. Life's too short to miss out on opportunities because you're worried about how people might react. Most of the time, people will support you. If they don't - they're not worth your time (or they're just jealous of your confidence!). What's the worst that can happen? You'll regret not doing something and never knowing how it might have gone.
At the end of the day, the only person that will always be there for you is you, so you may as well love yourself and make the most of every minute. Be yourself (even if that means doing interpretive dance to entertain your flatmates every evening.).
Lots of love,