Happy has become this year’s black in the fashion stakes, like brown last year and grey the year before.
A while back happy went through a phase of being selfless and martyrish, it was bigger and therefore better to give rather than receive and ask not what anyone could do for you but what you could do for them. Now no has become this year’s yes, whereas before we were supposed to bend over backwards to please other people, now we are being told to learn how to say no to save our sanity. It’s difficult to know where to stand on that one, it’s clear that we often feel happy by helping other people, but, as with everything it’s a question of degree.
Happy is something I actively research as I have a past history of SAD, that is seasonal affective disorder or winter depression if you prefer. While I am lucky enough never too have hit the bottom when it comes to depression, I have been pretty low at times and soon realized that the time of year made a big difference. I went through some pretty miserable winters as a student and came to realize that fresh air, in the form of those thirty minutes of essential vitamin D, as well as the effort required to get up and dressed in order to get that air, gave me the boost I needed to get through the week.
Getting a dog and children (slightly different method, same result) nailed the coffin of winter depression shut as both events ensured I was out of pyjamas and spending as much time outside as possible, also it was impossible to spend all day in a darkened room feeling sorry for myself when I was needed, at least by the dog. Studying for an online diploma brought positive psychology into my consciousness, happiness with a posh name, almost as good as a syndrome really. Since then I have looked into many methods promising instant and everlasting happiness and have discovered a few things.
First of all, there is no instant and everlasting happiness, in fact as it has been pointed out, happiness is relative to sadness just as cold is relative to hot, without some moments of feeling down we would not appreciate the moments of up. However, while we can’t, and probably shouldn’t avoid feeling down at any cost, many of the ideas for seeing the bright side come up again and again and so here are a few:
1. Have a clear out - clutter is not good for the feng shui of the mind
2. Get outside - I've already mentioned vitamin D
3. Get some exercise - all the studies say so
4. Sleep well - again, that's what the studies say
5. Spend time with people - often pretending to be in a good mood is half the battle fought
6. Have plans, dreams, etc, remember if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?
Have a happy Monday!