This week has been good. Had you asked me that a couple of weeks ago I wouldn’t have believed I could have turned a corner so quickly. Yet here we are, second week in October and I am starting to feel much more like me. As a result, I have been thinking about the word happiness and what it means to me.
A Light At The End of the Tunnel
As those of you who sometimes struggle with staying mentally healthy will know, when times are tough it can feel like there’s no way out. Whilst I haven’t been feeling completely hopeless, up until this week it has been a challenge to see an end to all of this. Now I’m not saying that I am ‘cured’, but I do certainly feel a lot better than I have done in recent times.
So how have I achieved this? Well mainly, by being a bit selfish. I have concentrated on doing just the things that I am passionate about. I have been concentrating on looking after me and not worrying about anyone else. This can be really hard to do when people rely on you. Saying no to people can be the biggest challenge when thinking about your own mental wellbeing. I just remind myself that those people who are decent and understanding will be there when I am feeling better. Anyone who cannot see this are not important enough to waste breath on.
What IS Happiness?
So I thought it would be interesting to find out what the definition is of Happiness when writing this weeks post. Google defines it as:
‘the state of being happy’
Yes, thanks Google, really helpful! But also suggested the following alternatives:
‘contentment, pleasure, contentedness, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joviality, glee, blitheness, carefreeness, gladness, delight, good spirits, light-heartedness, well-being, enjoyment’
This I found quite interesting, mainly because I think there’s quite a wide variety of words there which describe different aspects of what it means to be happy. For me, this explains a lot as to why it isn’t as simple as trying to cheer yourself up or spending more time doing things we enjoy.
One word that particularly stands out for me is satisfaction. This is because I have often heard people that whilst they enjoy a certain aspect of their life, it doesn’t give them satisfaction. One of the reasons I started this blog is because not only does it provide me with a creative outlet I enjoy, but hearing how other people enjoy reading my articles and watching my videos gives me great satisfaction.
This is a word I often throw about on this site, and I like that it comes up on the list above as a word similar to happiness. A lot of people have been telling me for the last few weeks that it is so important to prioritise well-being in order to be happy. They could not be more right! I have often thought that well-being and happiness were two very different and separate things. Now I realise that actually this is not the case, and you cannot have one without the other.
Having a greater understanding of what it means to be happy has helped me a lot. I think we are all so pressured into thinking we will be happy if we have more money, are thinner and have more friends and stuff, but it is way more complicated than that!
The Only Way Is Up!
The journey towards complete happiness is a long one, but I know now that I have found some valuable tools to help me improve my mood. I am also developing resources for those times when things get particularly tough (look out for my post on my emergency self help box). All of this reassures me that I can get through this, and you can too!