Hello beautiful readers!
Let’s talk about optimism and finding the silver lining or the little bits of happiness in our everyday lives. This is kind of a foreign concept for me, being a huge pessimist (sorry, but it’s the truth) and I sometimes struggle to find the good in my everyday life. But being human and all, I am constantly working on improving myself and when I think of the kind of person I want to be, being an optimistic and positive person is definitely important. But how do we do that? How do we change something that has become such a habit and in some ways a crutch? I’ve learned to define myself as a pessimistic person because I’ve been doing it for so long that it has kind of become second nature but it’s not who I feel like I am deep down inside. Add on to that struggling for years with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, when you are deep in that chaos it becomes difficult to see the good, the light, the beauty that surrounds you every day. It’s easy to get sucked into the darkness of the illness and it takes work to wade your way through that darkness to that small sliver of light I like to call my hope. It takes even more work to take that hope and turn it into something beautiful, something I like to call my small bits of happiness or optimism.
For a little while now, I’ve been practicing (emphasis on the word practice, only practice can change a not-so-good habit into a better one) focusing on the good and the happy in my life even if the things that produce those feelings of happiness are small or seem insignificant. For me, waking up and knowing that at some point there will be a cup of coffee waiting makes me feel happy, even if it’s just for a few minutes. It’s amazing how those small moments of happiness quickly turn into positivity, because no matter how crappy my night was I always know that when I wake up there will be my cup of coffee which immediately equals a small moment of bliss. Positivity and happiness are literally each other’s definition, so wherever or whatever makes you feel happiness, that immediately taps into that small source of positivity flowing throughout your body and mind. It really is that simple. Take a minute out of your day to just breathe, look around and find something you find beautiful like the sunrise or sunset, a sunny day, a couple in love, a baby laughing, anything that attracts your attention and it will immediately send a wave of happy feelings through your body, allow that to soak in and tap into your well of positivity (yes, I went there with the cheesiness, you can thank me later). If you do this several times throughout your day, soon enough it will become a habit and everything around you will suddenly become a little bit more beautiful. This has been the easiest way for me to find that positivity within that has been dormant for so long and is quite possibly the best thing I’ve done for myself (just try it, I dare you). Now, I need to be honest and admit that there are days where I am just not capable of tapping into those feelings of happiness and there will be days where you will struggle but that’s okay. We are all human beings here and we will slip up and struggle but that’s life, as long as you keep at it that is all that should matter (Note: I like to collect simple moments of happiness or memories and keep them in what I call my mental jar, so on days that are rough I can open that jar and have those memories remind me that there are still magical and beautiful things in this world and it gives me hope for better days ahead).
Optimism, for me is a two part process, the first step is to find your little moments of happiness then it’s taking the time to be grateful for those moments, I believe it’s life’s way of showing you that magic still exists in this world. The magic is just a little different from the stuff we’ve seen in Disney movies growing up, the magic is having a simple moment make you feel something so profound that it slowly changes your outlook on life. So take a moment to be thankful for the reminder and allow yourself to bask in that feeling of gratitude, it will make any day feel a little bit happier. I also think it’s important to point out that we live in a world where our ideas of happiness are magnified to impossible proportions. We are taught through the media and society (and constantly being involved in each other’s lives through social media) that in order to be happy we need all this stuff, we need a large car, a big house, lots of money, loads of material things and sure, these things will bring you happiness but that is all fleeting. Those things will make you happy for about five seconds before you begin to need something bigger and better, all of these things in the grand scheme of life really mean nothing in terms of your level of happiness. Only you can control that. And in reality, when you really get down to it, it’s the simple moments in life, the experiences, the people, the love we share with each other, the adventures, these things are what will truly bring you real happiness and in turn allow you to find positivity that is long term instead of fleeting. Then take the time to be grateful for those simple moments, it will change your life.
Just remember that everyday is a great day when you focus on the little bits of happiness.
PS: I just want to give a big shout out to my aunt and my mom, who have been patiently waiting for this post. I hope it didn’t disappoint. Thank you for taking the time to read our posts and believing in what we have to say here. The support and encouragement means more than you know.