When we think of mental health, happiness often gets overlooked. By it’s nature, mental health can be about struggling and suffering and coping and maybe striving for happiness, maybe feeling desperate for it.
Most of the time I am happy – when life is balanced without stress, worries and anxiety, I am happy. I have a happy, settled little life – husband, kids, business, house, friends which I am thankful for – but I am also blessed with a brain which overthinks, which worries and which can hit me with anxiety when I least expect it.
I have learnt to appreciate my happiness, my happy periods, those days when everything is aligned and blissful. But I have also learnt to appreciate the times when I am not particularly happy but I am settled, safe and just ok, when there are normal stresses, frustrations and lows; I have learnt to see these moments as what they are – a normal part of life and not a spiral into anything deeper.
I guess happiness can be described as subjective – different things will make people feel happy. I am a simple creature and I have become aware that the markers of happiness shift. Being with the people I love – laughing, cuddling, supporting, looking after, sharing and loving – makes me feel happy, full of endorphins and probably some gin, my heart feels full and I can smile until my face aches. Being on my own also makes me happy – feeling peaceful and calm and rested. Solitude is not for everyone but headspace to think or to switch off or to just be is as essential as oxygen and I need it to function.
Knowing this about myself and being fortunate enough to let it happen means I can have happiness and that I can enjoy it. Happiness has become easier with age – my 40s has brought with it the peace of being happy in my skin, I like who I am, I like what I like and what I do with no comparison to other people.
And happiness is something to cling to when anxiety takes over and my coping strategies have to kick in; or when depression hits and I need to ride it out because I am unable to focus.
Allowing and enjoying happiness is important progress for me – not that I’m a miserable sod, I’m just a sensitive bugger who overthinks everything. Happiness is about me just being.
And I am writing this because I am not unique, I am not special so this may resonate with someone else. It can be important to be proactive, to find what makes us happy, to cultivate it, to let it happen and to appreciate it because it will get us through life’s tough patches.
Life Coaching for Parents – thinking space, goals, life balance, plans and solutions