I want to collect the things that make me happy and to share them with you all. Try a few out. They might just work for you too. x
The biggest thing that I have learnt so far on this path of becoming a happier, more fulfilled person is how important it is that we stop relying on others to make us happy. It has to start from within. This is something that I was reminded of on Friday.
I spent the most wonderful day with my friend James. We got hot chocolates, went to the cinema and ate sushi. I was so happy. We bounced ideas and conversations off one another and laughed incredibly hard. Then I got home and faced a long evening alone. I crashed on the sofa and felt a heaviness settle in the lightness’s place.
Happiness became negativity. Friendship became a crippling loneliness. Light became dark. I was very much alone. Scrap that. I wasn’t alone. I was sat with myself and man she wasn’t in a good place. I sat for hours this way, eventually falling asleep on the sofa and waking in the early hours to retreat to the safety of my bed.
I woke in the same funky mood and grabbed my journal and the darkness started to spill onto the page. I was recognising how I was feeling and that felt good. Acknowledging my emotions is something that usually takes me days, weeks, months and even sometimes a whole year to do, but this time it was different. I acknowledged how I was feeling and I realised that there was something that I could do about it. I didn’t have to depend on a friend, or a loved one to do it for me.
I could be kind to myself. I could depend on myself. I could be a friend to myself.
With this realisation I felt a little bit of the gloom that had descended suddenly lift and I got ready for the day ahead. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting ready for but I had a feeling that it was going to be great. I hopped in the bath, got changed and sat to put on my make-up. I flicked on a recommended video in my YouTube home page and watched Brooke Saward explore the Cotswolds. You can check it out here:
It reminded me how insanely beautiful the English countryside is and how lucky I am to live in it. I knew instantly what I had to do. I grabbed my wellies, cosy scarf and filled a flask with hot chocolate and head out into the middle of The Chilterns (around the Marlow, Henley, Oxford area). I switched off my mobile phone and told nobody where I was going. That felt good. Knowing that I was alone, in charge of my actions, my feelings and ultimately my happiness. I was taking a couple of hours to spend time with myself and to be gentle to myself after a truly horrible evening of self doubt and anxiety. With each step that I took I got shook it off and got a little closer to a happier mind.
I walked for close to 4 hours exploring a little part of my local area. I said ‘good afternoon’ at the top of my voice to passer-bys. I stopped for soup and crusty bread in a small country pub and played with the dogs in front of the fire. I walked up to the top of the hill to get closer to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang windmill. I explored the Vicar of Dibly church. I sat at the top of the hill with a flask of hot chocolate and just took in where I was and how lucky I was to be there. It truly was beautiful. My favourite part of the day? Taking 20 minutes to stop and talk to the cows. They are such beautifully funny creatures.
I enjoyed the silence. I enjoyed getting lost and not knowing where I was or how to get back to my car. I needed reminding that the world was mine to explore and that I love to be outside and active. I like to take a few moments at the top of the hill to just stop, breathe in the fresh air and be thankful.
I truly think that it is important that we get outside. That we make time to visit new places and that we realise that they don’t have to be at the other side of the world in order for them to make us happy.
Most of all I think that it is important that we know and understand what it is that make us happy and that we can do these things alone. When we start treating ourselves with the same tenderness that we treat the people that we love we will ultimately feel happier and enjoy spending more time alone. We need to make time to do these things. We need to not be afraid to do them.
For me happiness is adventure, exploring and coming back home.
What is happiness for you?