So, the last few months I’ve been absent…..not just from BYP, but from life in general. There have been two main reasons for this. 1) Family Health matters, and 2) Setting up a new business venture. The foremost brings anxiety and worry, and the latter brings stress……and in my case lots of it due to deciding to change course in my life and enter a sector of which I’m passionate about, but which I have had no previous experience of!
Seeing a family member’s health being slowly restored is a wonderful thing, and something I am truly grateful for on a daily basis. The worry and anxiety becomes diminished. Initially, this was a situation I had no control over other than to help them emotionally and physically, and that’s why we all worry when it comes to the health of those we love and care for – because we can’t control it. We can only make the said situation more tolerable for others.
And as for the new business? I realise starting up any business venture has its highs and lows, and it’s constant pressure as many jobs are, but I’ve now come to understand it’s something I have much more control over, instead of it controlling me. On reflection it has been sucking the energy out of me, and as time went on, realised that my focus wasn’t as sharp, my mood was low (sometimes very low) , and I’ve not felt motivated to focus on other things as there is so much to do. In a way I’ve withdrawn from life as I believed the business was my main priority and felt I would have to keep pushing ahead in order to get through all that needs to be done. I thought I’d feel more stressed if I didn’t get more done, but that thinking alone creates its own stress as we are putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves by not allowing our mind and body the freedom to come into balance by neglecting our mental and physical health.
In my own head, this led me to decide that I needed to go on a social snacking diet as I felt I needed to put all my focus, energy and attention into the new venture. The term ‘social snacking’ doesn’t apply to social media; I’m talking about knowingly withdrawing from social get togethers, events, other activities and forgetting to appreciate the small delights in life; the little things that make us happy and which make life more satisfying, and in essence, which bring about a more positive outlook and energy to life. I convinced myself being locked away in the office was out of necessity in order to get things done and everything else would have to be put on hold. Wrong decision!
It seems we all do this social snacking to varying degrees. We wake up, get up, do a mental run though of all the things that need to be done that day and then there are some which we never get around to. We keep going with the tasks and errands that need to be done because we convince ourselves it’ll make tomorrow less stressful, BUT all too often we forget to plan our happiness; that one very special and remarkable feeling which uplifts us and drives us to accomplish more.
A lot of us expect happiness just to appear on our doorstep, with thoughts like’ just decide to be happy and it’ll happen’. But WE have to make it happen after deciding to make that choice! Re-reading BYP blogs has been a timely reminder of just that. It’s all about the small actions, making small changes, but most importantly taking action and having an action plan! Nothing happens without self-action. BYP is all about finding ways for you to take action and there are loads of great tips and advice available within BYP to help you create the life you deserve. Researchers believe 50% of our happiness levels are down to genes, and 10% down to circumstances, but YOU are fully in charge of the rest! So if you think about it, we can all develop our happiness to a high percentile, but with effort!
I’ve decided I don’t want to overwhelm myself by setting big plans and goals at this time, but have decided to take small but plentiful steps in building up my happiness gradually whilst still focusing and enjoying more of what I do have to do. I’m re-training my brain, and therefore outlook, by allowing myself to understand and believe this: I don’t need to try and fit happy activities into my days, but fit my days around happy activities. By affirming this it’s as if a load has been lifted from my shoulders. I am more in control of my day and have ultimately planned for happiness. Doing this daily not only goes a long way in grasping back my happy feeling but also maintaining and building on it and I look to the future with more fervour. Yeah, there will be unplanned bad days, but it’s about re-grouping your thoughts and actions and knowing that it’s only a temporary blip and still being determined to find your happy.
Firstly, I had to stop and think about what made me really happy and feel alive. Every happy situation I could think of involved being with other people and sharing experiences with them. Most of the time, these weren’t in lavish surroundings, but just about getting together and creating lots of fun and laughter along the way. You know, the type that creates good lasting memories, no matter how big or small. The best things in life for me are definitely free. So, given this is my main trigger for happiness I now need to take action and arrange more events and say yes to invitations, join a group which interests me, strike up a conversation with a stranger whilst out with the dogs. The list could go on and on. I know what I need to do. When I thought of material items, well, they were great to get, but through time that initial feeling of owning them fades. I also had to think of the small stuff which I no longer was appreciating like enjoying a warm but refreshing shower, appreciating the fresh smell of the shower gel, but instead I was missing out on these small satisfiers because my mind was so focused on the tasks that lay ahead that day. By appreciating the small stuff, it somehow put me more at ease and ready to face daily tasks with a more focused and open approach, allowing myself to be more productive….and happy!.
What ignites your happiness? Before you decide to take steps to find your happy, firstly stop and think about the things that do and/or did ignite your happiness. Write them down. Create a plan to implement happiness on a daily basis and then take action and just do it!
TIPS AND PLANNING FOR BUILDING AND MAINTAINING YOUR HAPPINESS
- Make it your goal to be happy!
- Think about what truly makes you happy and just do it.
- Prioristise it – remember; I don’t need to try and fit happy activities into my days, but fit my days around happy activities. It’s a game changer!
- Appreciate the small stuff
- Increase time for pleasures
- Buy happy experiences (e.g. tickets for a show you’ve always wanted to see, join courses for hobbies you’ve always wanted to try) rather than material objects and create happy memories
- Find feelings that make life purposeful and act on those feelings. Usually you find you’re not only helping yourself, but others too.
- Improve social relationships
- Try something you’ve never experienced before
- Be the best version of yourself!
- Always have a contingency plan for those unplanned ‘bad days’!
Have a HAPPY DAY dear followers!