My eating disorder led me to a dark unhappy and ultimately destructive place, I could literally go days without feeling any emotion close to happiness! When I think about all the happy things which happened that I was numb to, it saddens me to my soul.
I am only at the start of my journey to recovery, but already I can feel flickers of happiness, the warm feeling when something makes you smile or when you simply remember to just sit, listen and breath.
Happiness can be called many things – For instance a few well known books in positive thinking are great examples; The Secret, The Magic, Discover your gift – all could easily be called ‘The Happy’ or ‘Discover your Happy’. (All very interesting reads by the way)
Happiness expert I ain’t, but I have read many books, blogs, attended yoga, meditation and can claim all will have a place in my recovery and ultimately my happiness.
Happiness takes work, to believe we wake up with a smile on our faces every morning is just not true, however your very first thoughts of the day will shape how you react to what life throws at you for the next 24 hours.
As I continue to find my happy, I want to share what has worked for me – Again this is personal experience only and I am not a qualified ‘Happy Dr’ but the last year has sent me on many a happiness quest, so I feel I know a thing or too!
How to find your happy! This will take time and effort. We all know deep down in our core what makes us happy, admitting it and accepting it without shame or guilt will take you one step closer to achieving it. Taking time each day to really think about our happy will set you on the right path to finding and accepting it.
How am I finding my HAPPY?
Happiness is a state of mind! Boring I know, but really it is. I wake every morning and quietly say ‘Today will be a fabulous happy day, I am ready for you and I am grateful for what you might throw my way’. OK it might be a bit much for you, find your own daily mantra and try it, it really sets your mind up for the day. Some days you will struggle to say it, but those are the days you need to say it! Be positive and believe in yourself, if we all followed that simple pattern, the world really would be a better place….we would also save a fortune on self help books, coaches and medication! Just saying!
Meditation This has been a big one for me, it goes hand in hand with Finding your happy. I know mindfulness and meditation have become fashionable of late but for 1000’s of years both have been practiced for inner peace and compassion. I joined a local meditation/buddha group who follow the teachings of ‘Thich Nhat Hanh’ within this group I am finding my happy. I was made to feel welcome, not judged, appreciated and valued all within the first two hours. We all sit and meditate together, read inspiring quotes from Thich. I leave feeling calm, happy, sometimes sad and enlightened. I also meditate at home and I cannot tell you the benefits it has personally given to me.
Compassion & Tolerance. Ever been sat in your car and the person in front is hesitating, clearly lost and all you can do is TUT and BEEP your horn for them to move? You feel annoyed, angry, judgemental and in a negative frame of mind. Practicing compassion and tolerance is one of the biggest challenges to finding your happy. It takes time to change your mindset, but start small. When something starts to annoy you, STOP think about the situation. Like the lost driver! Imagine how they are feeling, worried, anxious, cannot find where they are going – they could be late for a DR’S appointment or to meet a loved one, for someone to then BEEP their horn will only make their day worse. Once you start practicing tolerance and compassion, your happy will natural bubble to the surface, trust me!
Healthy Lifestyle. Urgh, I know nothing new right! I get so frustrated with our modern society and our apparent lack of knowledge about food and exercise. Their are so many TV shows, books, websites, superfoods & exercise regimes, yet we are all still getting fatter and unhealthier. Ultimately it comes down to your happiness – My eating disorder was driven by my lack of happiness in my life, lack of compassion for myself & self esteem. Most of us use food as an indicator of our happiness. As I start to practice the above I naturally want to look after myself and feel healthy and appreciative of my body. As you find your happy, you will also want to look after your body. It really is as simple as eating a varied diet and moving in whatever form that maybe. If you do use food to dictate or measure your happiness, use this as something you want to concentrate on in your meditation – look at food in a positive way of fueling your body to sustain your amazingly fabulous & happy life.
I am still working on finding my happy and as I have been writing my blog, it all sounds so easy! It isn’t, as with most things you have to work at it to achieve it, but once you are there the opportunities and possibilities for a happy life are endless. Lets face it, its what most of us want – To be happy! I am so excited for my happy future, I hope you can be too.