Another thing that I have learned over years of trying to get healthy is happiness is not something that comes when we accomplish something or meet the right person or any of the other things we tell ourselves. Happiness does not hang on an object, person, career, success, etc. It is something that must come from within. If we cannot find happiness within ourselves, we cannot grow and make those changes.
It is hard to pinpoint why we must be happy with ourselves, but it does help with self-esteem. It helps with confidence and motivation and the way we look at life. And, it is hidden within us to find or cultivate.
It doesn’t’ have to be the extreme happiness of teenagers laughing and carrying on for no apparent reason. It can be being happy with petting a cat or eating that first bite of a food we only get occasionally. It can be going to bed in clean sheets or holding a loved one’s hand. There are varying degrees of happiness, but we must see them to realize that we are happy.
Without recognizing the happiness in our lives, it is easy to slip into despair. It becomes natural to think negative thoughts and talk down to ourselves. This is why a gratitude attitude is important too. We look for those little things in our lives that make us happy; the things we tend to overlook. With this a change comes to us, and we have fewer negative thoughts.
Our bodies and minds work much better with the positive and with happiness. It is like fuel to them. It helps us do what we must to continue to find the happiness in our days.
I don’t always recognize that I am happy unless it is something big like my husband offering to fly my family over to the coast for my birthday. That is big and obvious. But, I am also usually in an even keel not feeling negative about much about me. But I don’t notice the things that make me happy often either. I am trying to change this because I know that there is a lot to be happy about in my life.
I spent some time in my 20s and 30s trying to chase happiness. I didn’t feel happiness like I did in my teens, so I believed that I would find it when I met some goal or when the bills were paid or when my husband would come home from a mission. But, this never happened. Things kept knocking me off track or proving that I was hanging my happiness on the wrong thing. I finally learned my lesson and started enjoying moments and gifts like I never did before.
But I have become complacent. Now it is time to teach myself to see the things that make me happy and the things I am grateful for. It is time to stop and notice the sunset or sunrise. I try to go outside several times a week just to see the sunset. I try to stop and really taste that special dish I made. I am still learning to be happy about how I look or how I can hike up hills like I haven’t done in years. I need to learn how to accept me and be happy that I am not in someone else’s shoes. We all have our problems, but they are special to us, and we can be happy about that.
It is time to smile and be happy that I am just the way I am supposed to be.