As I walked home after an epic day of op-shopping, hitting up a new gym and exploring my local surroundings, I couldn’t help but think how happy I was.
It was raining and the clouds were darkening the sky, but this overwhelming sense of contentment captured me and I just couldn’t help but smile and sing at how good life was at this minute. Despite my recent concerns and consistent habit of overthinking every single little thing, in that moment I realised how far I had come. How much I had grown as a person. And I loved that person I was becoming, even after all the emotions I had been through after the break up.
But trust me, it has been a long journey to get here. And believe it or not, chronic fatigue and my recent break up has been a huge catalyst for the discovery of this extreme level of happiness.
This may sound crazy, but I truly believe chronic fatigue was inflicted upon me not only to test my strength, but to make me slow down and find the meaning of life, and in the process inner peace. Life is full of tests that help us redefine our lives and guide us in the right direction. On the spiritual quest that chronic fatigue has led me to, I have become a firm believer of this and the workings of the universe. And it has made me a much more grounded and grateful person as a result.
I may still be working through the recovery stage of my illness, but I am very blessed to have found this level of happiness that fuels my passion for life and love. And all I want is for others to experience this same level of joy.
So here a few of my secrets that can make you a happier and more positive person, not only for you but for those around you. Give it a whirl and watch the magic mushrooms of happiness encapsulate you.
- Practice Daily Gratitude- Every morning, while on the commute to work, I take 10-15 minutes to write down what I am grateful for. The people, the food I eat, the sunshine, a roof over my head, my health and just life in general. No matter what it is, even if it is something as simple as waking up this morning, I make sure it is reflected in my gratitude journal as writing it down helps you appreciate it that much more. After writing it down, I close my eyes and think about how grateful I currently am and like the volume knob on a stereo, I turn it up full ball as if I am exploding with so much gratitude, I just cannot contain it. The amount of happiness even just this little daily task gives you is overwhelming and it is the perfect way to set yourself up for an amazing day! So next time you are at the shops, grab yourself a book or journal and get writing about what you are most grateful for.
- Change Your Thoughts- It is so easy for us to think negatively these days with the amount of toxicity that pollutes our minds. Well how about challenging that? When I first got sick, the constant disappointment from medical professionals, support groups and others around me who didn’t understand what I was going through resulted in so much negativity, I became even more depressed. But when I got to a point one day where I was faced with the choice to give up or keep fighting, I chose the latter and decided to completely change my frame of mind. I started reading self-help books, listening to positive affirmations, self-help videos and podcasts and exposing myself to as many inspirational quotes as possible to get the positive juices flowing. Over time I have trained myself to change almost all of my negative thoughts to positive ones, even on my darkest days, to keep myself in the most uplifted and optimistic frame of mind possible. Although it takes time and can be challenging, the accomplishment of altering your entire mindset is by far one of the greatest achievements you will ever experience. Check out Tony Robbins 7 Day Mental Diet- Eliminating Negativity on You Tube. It all starts with small steps!
- Become a Minimalist- It wasn’t until I got unwell I realised how overwhelmed I was by meaningless things that surrounded me. As someone who was admittedly very materialistic and a ridiculous over-spender, my decreased energy levels not only forced me to stop overspending, but to enjoy life with less belongings. I stopped spending so much money on shoes and clothes, instead rotating among a core wardrobe. I condensed all my furniture down, decorating in with simple items and setting all areas up as clutter-free spaces. I organised all of my paperwork into one folder. I decreased all of my books to only those that still held meaning or value in my life. I changed my diet to rotate between key nutrients and ingredients to not only make planning easier but to avoid the stress of decision-making. I got rid of my car in exchange for utilising two of my most useful tools- my legs, which allowed me be one with nature. I traded over-complicated gym routines for basic, core exercises, yoga and stretching. I developed routines which my life centred around and planned more. I learned how to do more with less money. I traded excessive TV watching for meditation and brain yoga. Not only did taking these actions reduce the complexity of my life, making it more organised and cohesive, but it allowed me to divert the consequential conserved mental and physical energy to the more beautiful things in life. And the clarity that comes with it is incredible!
- Take a Step Back- As somebody who is naturally very loud and always try to be the life of the party, this was possibly one of the greatest challenges that came with getting sick. No longer was I able to be the crazy, social person I once was, but was instead limited to listening and being alone with my own thoughts as I struggled with the energy to be my usual rowdy self. But this was actually the greatest thing that could have happened to me. Instead of being so self-centred and ignorant, I focused all of my energy on carefully listening to others rather then being so caught up in my own nonsense and found myself learning more about others and life then ever before. I became a wiser, more empathetic and compassionate person and developed deeper friendships and relationships that had so much more meaning then I could have ever predicted. Not only that, but I found that when I conserved so much energy from avoiding self-obsessed or one-sided conversation, I became a lot more intuitive. I was more receptive to non-verbal cues and could pick up on other’s thoughts and emotions without them even saying a word. It’s amazing how much you can read and discover with the absence of conversation. So next time you want to prove to the world how big your personality can be, try to peel back the layers a little and listen. Speaking from experience, you learn more about yourself from what you learn listening to others then you do from talking yourself.
- Get Out in Nature- Nature is truly the most precious gift that the world has to offer. After so many years of being so oblivious to the world around me, this illness has allowed me to embrace the beauty that encapsulate this magnificent place we reside in. And it has given me a whole new appreciation for it, particularly after months of being confined to bed and the indoors. The sunshine, the clouds in the sky, the trees and flowers, the rain, the sand and the ocean. It is the most incredible gift that we have been given on earth, so why waste our time inside not embracing it? Walk barefoot in the sand feeling the sand between your toes, stand on the grass and feel the tickle on your feet, walk in the sunshine, run in the rain, breath in the fresh air. Nothing will feel as good as those moments that you have in silence, enjoying the beauty that surrounds you.
- Been Authentically You- So many of us are holding back our true potential to be the most real and authentic person that we can be, and it truly makes me sad. We are falsified by the burdens of this fake world and are forced to mask our true emotions and feelings that make us who we are. Cry if you are having a shit day, ball your eyes out and get it all out of your system. Scream into a pillow when you are angry and frustrated at the world. Dance and sing in public if you are happy and high on life. Go up to that stranger and make their day by complimenting on their incredible shoes. Hug the stranger who is crying over the loss of her husband. Smile at the angry customer who just yelled at you and wish them a good day. Laugh like you have never laughed before. Emotions are there to be expressed, not only as part of who we are, but to show the world the truly incredible person we were born to be. Don’t get caught up in what other’s think or the negativity of those who are different from you. We were all born unique.
So stop being bitter about life. Get out there and find your inner happiness. Show the world all the goodness you have to offer.
Your life is just waiting to be lived with all the joy and happiness possible.
Go live it.