There are a lot of sad people in the world. It can be tough to feel that no one really cares about you or wants to spend time with you. Or that you aren’t talented at anything, can’t do anything right, and are just an all around worthless person. I know, I’m one of those people.
Sometimes even when you do something that used to make you happy, or go to an event that you have really been looking forward to, or actually achieve something, it’s so overshadowed by all those negative things that as much as you try you just don’t enjoy yourself like other people do, or as you once would have.
And when you get advice, whether it’s from strangers on the internet or one of those ’10 Steps to Being A Happier Person’ articles it’s all about what you’re doing WRONG. “DON’T worry about what other people think of you”, “STOP over thinking things”.
Okay, so that can SOUND like good advice, but how many of us can really control our thoughts like that? Are YOU able to just switch off that voice in your head that is bringing you down? If it were as simple as that then why doesn’t everyone just do it? Easy fixed!
I don’t know about you, but hearing things like that just make me feel worse. And they don’t really work when it’s not just your own mind trying to bring you down. Maybe your poor sales figures, or an abusive parent, or a lack of communication from friends, or little success in your life, or other physical factors are fighting beside that voice in your head, backing up everything that it says.
So instead, here’s a list of things that you can actively DO to try to make yourself a happier person. They won’t automatically fix everything, but they could help give you strength while you fight your way to really meaning that smile you’ve plastered across your face.
1. Redecorate. Reorganise your things. Move all your favourite books or DVDs to the forefront. Buy a different scented candle or air freshener. Rearrange your furniture. Get different curtains. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just different. It’s a new start. Make it look different to that room full of sadness you see in your memory.
2. Make a Happy playlist. Fill it with songs that touch you, that make you FEEL, that make you smile (even if it’s just on the inside) or even songs that just make you FEEL like smiling. Any songs that make you want to dance, that remind you of the good times. Hell, add the pokemon theme song to it if you want!
3. Keep those little things close. If you see a clip on youtube that amuses you, whether it’s The Hobbit cosplayers singing about their long beautiful hair, or a clip of kitten, or someone’s deep reflection on the way the street light outside their bedroom window casts it’s glow on the street below, then bookmark it. Watch it over and over again. Or if you see a picture, the cover of a book, a photo of that street light, save it. Look at it. Print out that inspirational quote. If you hear a good joke, write it down. Review. If it makes you feel good don’t let it just float away, give yourself something to hold onto so that you can relive that moment. If it stops making you happy, if it begins to make you feel bad, get rid of it. Find something new to replace it. Compile it in a scrap book, or keep it in a plastic sleeve, or just loose in your bottom drawer, or hide it around your room so you will be cheered up when you randomly find it one day.
4. Exercise. It doesn’t have to be much, it doesn’t have to be often, it doesn’t have to be for the fitness. Go for a walk, go for a run, take your bike out. CHOOSE to be alone for just half an hour or so. Focus on keeping your eyes on the road, or the beat of your steps. Pretend you’re trying to escape from zombies. Just GO until YOU feel like stopping. YOU are in control of your body. Savour that.
5. Dream. Okay, this one is a little more wishy-washy. Imagine you’re a famous person being interviewed on a talk show. Imagine that you have your dream job. Imagine you’re married with kids living in a cottage in the country. Imagine a life where you are happy. Envision the story that got you there. Then pursue it. Go to that audition. Hand in your resume. Smile at that handsome stranger. It may turn out awful. It may turn out wonderful. If you fail, try again. If you chicken out, that’s okay, there’ll be other opportunities.
Because there IS beauty in the world, and you CAN be a part of that. Just do your best. Keep trying.
Oh, and one last thing...and this is the only DON’T you will hear me say: DON’T give up.