Continuing on from my previous post on depression, let's take a look at happiness. Not that depression is the absence of happiness but it is difficult to be happy while suffering with depression. Some people can just be happy - I envy them. Other people, like myself, have to make an effort to be happy. Don't get me wrong, I have happy days that just come and it's wonderful. It's those other days, the days when I have to work at it that are a bit more difficult. You see, I believe happiness is a choice. We can choose to be happy but it does require some effort on our part.
I have days when even getting out of bed is difficult. Being self employed makes it even more difficult as I have no one to answer to but myself. Sometimes I just stay in bed and work on my laptop - that way I still get some work done without having to find the strength to get up. Other days I have to force myself to get up and have to find a reason to get up. I am not lazy I just struggle sometimes with the will to get through a day. This is not an everyday occurrence, most days I get up between 5-6am, spend time with God and get on with things, but some days are just plain difficult. These are the days when I have to work at being happy. Then there are occasional days, maybe one in a month, when I just clear my diary and cry all day. These days are a write off but if I allow myself time to just get it out of my system then I am ok for another month or more. However, if I try soldier on through I will start leaking tears at the most inconvenient of times and often in public, so I have learned just to allow myself a day of crying all my tears out.
Here are a few keys that I have found helpful when doing my best to find happiness:
There is always more than one perspective of the same situation. If you are having difficulty with a particular situation it is always helpful to try to see if from different angles. Many times a change in perspective can really lift the weight.
Work on your thoughts as they carry power. Whatever you think you become and if you are constantly thinking negative or unhappy thoughts then you will remain stuck in unhappiness. Force yourself to think about positive things even if you don't feel positive at the time.
Finding things to be happy about by choice is a great way to lift the weight. Again it is a battle in the mind but if you force yourself to think about happy things by choice then you will feel better. Usually when I feel particularly depressed I find myself thinking about depressing things. However, if I have the strength I can choose to find things that make me happy and force my mind to meditate on these things.
Hope's Journey has quite a few more powerful keys such as eating spicy food and chocolate, sunshine, exercise, eating and so much more tips for finding happiness, so I do recommend reading it and seeing what works for you.