Happiness seems like it should come easy, but for some of us it just doesn't.
Sometimes the stresses and struggles in life leave us drained, anxious and introverted. As someone who has struggled with severe anxiety for a number of years, I know how difficult it can be to think about being happy. Such a simple concept- but it can seem so far out of reach sometimes.
I don't know whether any of you guys are in the same boat, or have been, but I just wanted to try and share with you how I got myself out of that stressed and anxious state, and how I now just take each day as it comes with positivity and motivation!
I Stopped Caring What Others Thought
I have always been a smart person, and i'm not saying this in a big-headed manner. I was always top of my classes at school, and I passed my A-Levels well enough to go on and start a Chemistry BSc (Hons) Degree. My family of course have always expected me to do well, purely because I had always done well in the past, but I thin sometimes people can forget that you are only human. Everyone has a limit, and it seemed for me, that my third year of my degree was mine.
Of course this was hard to admit, considering I had been pegged to be a Bachelor of Science by my parents and my friends for a number of years, but it wasn't to be. I knew that everybody I knew would be disappointed, but one day I just woke up and didn't care any more. Why should I spend my time doing something which makes me so utterly miserable? As a 20 year old woman, I had my whole life to figure out my talent, and this clearly wasn't it. After the final year, I didn't care when my results came back with failed units. This was no longer my life. I let go of it.
This was a difficult step, especially facing the pity of my family and friends when I myself was relieved I had failed. But this was my first big step to happiness, and I took it with a sense of anticipation. The world was my Oyster, I just had to find my niche.
I Saved Positive Quotes
This may seem a little silly and you may be thinking 'how can some words help?' but trust me, words are power, and there is power in positivity. Below are some of the quotes which really began to change my way of thinking:
I Realised I Was In Control
After countless days of waking up in a bad mood, and staying in a bad mood until I went to bed, something monumental struck me: I'm in control. There was nobody pulling the strings on my body and soul, nobody dictating how I could and could feel. I was in a bad mood because I didn't choose to be in a good one.
I know that a lot of you may be thinking it's not that straight forward, and that anxiety, stress and depression are complex conditions- and I agree. I had lived for most of my teenage years with severe anxiety, stress and depression at times. And although it seems like there's no way out, and all you want to do is curl up at home and block the world out; I just want to say that you can do it. No matter how bad things seem right now, you need to remember that it is you and only you who controls your destiny.
If you wake up in a bad mood, try these few things:
*Close your eyes and count to 10, clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing. Open your eyes and view the day from a different perspective. Is it sunny today? Are the birds singing? Is your heart beating strong? If so, then it's already a good day.
*Smile. Now I don't mean force a smile if you just can't manage it. But try and think of any good things that are happening today, maybe write down a few things you are thankful for, or excited for. This will help you keep a positive attitude towards the day. Think about what you're going to achieve today, whether it be a deadline at work, a step goal or catching up with a friend. Whatever it is, it's an achievement.
*Let negativity pass you by. I know this is hard, this was what I struggled with the most in my teens, but the worst thing you can do to people who try to pull you down is give them the satisfaction of falling. Think of it this way: that person who is trying to drag you down clearly has nothing better to do, or they are themselves insecure and feel the only way to be happy is for everyone else to be worse off than them. Negativity is poison, and needs to be ignored when possible. I promise you'll feel better letting it slide.
Once my degree was over, all I had to fall back on was a part time job at Costco. And this just wasn't what I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. I am an ambitious person, and I decided to take the leap and change direction completely, applying for a digital marketing and social media apprenticeship. Six Months into that and here I am, trying to share with you how I overcame the most difficult period in my life and finally let myself be happy.
If you ever feel stuck in a rut, I highly recommend a change of direction. Whether it be starting a new job, a new hobby or even going to night school. Let your heart lead the way and you'll find what you were born to do.
I Started My Blog and Kept Myself Busy
My biggest and best decision was to start my own blog. After having a not-so-great 2015, I decided I needed to change my approach to life this year. I'm not talking about some New Year's resolutions I would give up within a few weeks: this was a complete overhaul of my lifestyle. Starting a blog would be a huge commitment and would take up a few hours each week. On the 12th January I launched my blog on Wix- writing 2-3 posts per week. And two weeks ago, I moved to wordpress, transferring my blog over to what is now ginger-fox.com
This is something which has given me a huge focus, and the platform on which to share my ideas, passions and create a network of friends and followers on my own merit.
Of course, I'm not saying start a blog- but what I am saying, is that if you've got a passion and talent- pursue it! Whether you're a keen gardener, runner or writer: find a little time in your week to devote to it.
Because as they say- 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'
In other words:
I really hope that this post helps you in some way, let me know if you have tried any of these things and if they worked for you or not.
This post was originally shared by me on LinkedIn via: Deciding To Be Happy