It’s always easier to be unhappy. Misery is simple: allow your ego’s natural instinct to focus on the negative to take over, and boom! There you are. Saddled with sadness, riddled with wretchedness, feeling utterly inferior and wallowing in your woe. (Also: alliteration!)
In fact, one of the most Instagrammed pages of Radical Self-Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dreams is this one:
“Any old fool can find something to moan about, but it takes skill and effort to see the good in life. Being happy requires strength and intelligence.”
It’s said that nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so. That means that there are no inherently terrible events: what matters is our perspective on them. Some people seem to be able to find the silver lining in everything, and guess what? You could be one of them, if you wanted! Optimism is a learned skill. Negativity is a choice.
Here are a few ways to flip the script in your head. If you use any of them, I’d love to hear about how it turned out on my Facebook page!
“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself – what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.” ― Warsan Shire
LOOK BACK AND RECREATE
When you first start thinking about what might make you happy in this moment, you might feel overwhelmed. You may not know where to begin. But don’t freak out — you already have all the information you need! Your history holds massive clues as to what — and who — really makes you feel good.
Like Warsan Shire says, keep notes about the times you felt happy. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you wearing? What were you doing? Then make an effort to recreate those feelings.
Of course, you don’t want to be in some kind of Groundhog Day loop for the rest of your days, but when you’re really stumped for how to put a smile on your face, plumb your past for gems, polish them up, and bring them into your present.
GRATITUDE, GRATITUDE, GRATITUDE
Work the practice of thankfulness into your daily routine. Write what you’re grateful for in your Instagram captions, name five things you love before you get out of bed, send your best friends regular messages telling them how much you appreciate them, keep a gratitude jar, say thank you to the universe before you go to sleep, talk about the best parts of your day with your family at dinner… You get the idea!
Stop making excuses and get on the gratitude train TODAY!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Take time to tally up what you love about yourself. It’s okay to start with one tooth. Your love will grow from there! Keep a running list of things about you that are awesome, and add to it whenever you discover a new attribute or achieve something you’re proud of. This might sound cheesy, but I promise you, it does the trick!
As much as we would all love to get constant compliments from the people around us, that isn’t always a feasible situation. You need to be able to generate your own self-esteem, rather than relying on others. Feeling good about yourself makes you mentally strong, physically healthy, and enables you to take the risks that you need to take in order to create the life you’ve always wanted!
SING AND DANCE YOUR HEART OUT
It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet or sing like a cat caught in a garbage disposal unit, singing and dancing is guaranteed to make you feel good! One of my favourite ways to blow off steam is to turn up my favourite songs and dance turbulently around my living room, or call up one of my friends and head to a private karaoke room! (I recommend kicking off your session with Fleetwood Mac. Always a good time.)
So next time you’re feeling stressed, don’t hesitate to crank up the tunes, wail along, and throw your elbows around like you’re at a New York sample sale!
The research on sex — and masturbation — show that the more you do it, the happier you are. In fact, getting laid once a week makes you feel as happy as you would if you earned an extra $50,000 a year. Not too shabby!
Sex, whether with a partner or with yourself, is a way to exercise your creativity and imagination, get your heart rate up, indulge in fantasy, and abolish stress and anxiety. A thundering orgasm is just a bonus!
P.S. If you’re looking to switch up your routine, try this for size!
Photos from the American Beauty lookbook by Wildfox.