Some people spend their whole life searching for some idea of what they believe will bring them success and happiness, never satisfied with what is right in front of them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the crazy rush of everyday life and forget to take a step back and really appreciate all the little, easily overlooked blessings. While some people are unavoidably more well off than others, there can be positivity in every situation if you just stop and look for it. If you’re reading this, even if you feel like you have nothing else, you’re blessed enough to have been given an education to be literate, access to the internet, and the necessities to get you through your life every day up until now. There will always be those less fortunate and more fortunate than you – but you are your own person with your own unique life and collection of experiences that no one else has. Everyone endures rough patches – but you just have to remember that you just have to push through that reach better times.
Really being happy is a mental state that only you are able to achieve for yourself. While surrounding yourself with amazing people is an important component of living a full life, you also need to be able to find a place where you can rely on yourself. You are the only person that is guaranteed to be there for your whole life, so why wouldn’t you want to have the best relationship possible with yourself? Not only will this help you, but it will noticeably improve your relationships with those around you. After all, how are you supposed to love other people or they love you – if you don’t know how to appreciate yourself in the first place?
This is where the day to day effort comes into play. Make a conscious note to set aside a part of your day for some quality personal time to unwind or do what you love. Try something new, get out of your comfort zone, go try that workout class you’ve been putting off or buy what’s been sitting in your online shopping cart for weeks. If you’ve had a grueling work or school week, reward yourself with a hike or beach day or have a movie and ice cream night. Make a playlist of songs that make you happy and write down a bucket list and start trying to check items off as often as you can. Wake up half an hour earlier in the morning to run and put yourself in a good mood for the day. Even if you just take a few minutes before you go to sleep to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to start, read a few pages every day and you’ll eventually finish it.
Of course, it’s normal to procrastinate and have days where you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. But as long as you’re consciously reminding yourself to put in the effort towards happiness, you’ll notice the difference. Pick up old hobbies you miss and forget the excuses you’ve been making. That’s how I started writing again – just spending several minutes here and there has put such positivity into not just my mood but my constant state of mind. People always comment on or tease me about how I’m always smiling (which half the time is my coping mechanism in awkward situations), but we all go through times where we have no drive or motivation. As cliche as it sounds, the little things have really helped me find myself and an optimistic perspective of life. Remember that the key to life is maintaining a balance – so don’t neglect your responsibilities but don’t let them consume your life and push aside your passions. Put your all into everything that you do and work hard so you can have the time and resources to pursue the things that make you smile and make your heart happy.
Photographer: John Salamat