Learning to be happy

I feel like this post has been a bloody long time coming. Although my blog is a "lifestyle" blog, I do love to share a little bit about me every now and then. I've been really public and used my blog as a platform for speaking out about depression. I endured many of my teenage years being physically unwell which in part, contributed to me feeling exceedingly unhappy. Although depression is something in itself, the huge sense of unhappiness and discontentment which comes as part of the 'depression package' is a struggle which seems to face many women in their early 20s. 

Over the past few months I've seen such a huge change in myself, physically as well as emotionally. I didn't just wake up one morning and feel dramatically happier but rather, it was a learning curve. I think you can get yourself so deep into wallow and feeling like the world is against you that you forget who you are. The last few months have consisted of me making small changes which have contributed me in feeling much happier. 

I thought I would share some steps I have taken to help make me feel a little more positive. I hope that some of my tips help you in your quest to be happier.

1. Surround yourself with inspiration
I have found that surrounding myself with happy, positive people has really started to rub off on me! Although I'm in my 20s, I naturally gravitate towards people who are a little older than me- maybe it's because they always seem so much more settled and grounded with their life (And they can frequently remind me that I'm wiser than they were at my age!). I also have felt so much more creative the past few months- looking at photography, reading quotes, finding new blogs to peruse and exploring the city around me has been hugely rewarding. 

2. Come to peace with things that have happened in your life
Sometimes you have to grieve for things whether that's people or a situation. For me, this was the hardest thing to do. I constantly had things from my past that would upset me but recently, I've realised that what has happened has made me a much stronger and dynamic person. If there is something that you can't work out, write it down. Reflect on it. Cry about it. Talk to your friends about it. I had so many things which I kept bottled up- so much so that one night at a friends house when something came up, I broke into a rash all over my arms and chest. But for the first time, I opened up about a bad situation and it freed me. Nothing is too shocking and your true friends will never judge you.  

3. Stop hating yourself
Online, I come across as ultra-confident but like every woman, I struggle with how I look and what people think of me. However, I've come to terms with what I am. I'm 5ft10, a size 14 and have an arse the size of a small country but so what!? People tell me I look like Nigella Lawson and it makes my heart fill with joy. But as cheesy as it is, beauty starts on the inside. I've had many comments  on Instagram recently about what I look like physically but it's 100% due to the fact I feel happier. Unhappiness, stress and sorrow really do come through in a persons face. Feel happy on the inside and you'll learn to be happy with your outside. 

4. Remind yourself of what you have
a.k.a. take time to smell the roses! I think it is true of everyone that we are so busy rushing around that when we have time to ourselves, our instant thoughts turn to what is missing from our lives rather than what we have in our lives. Start with the basics. A roof over your head, food, clothes. Sometimes what you don't have can make you feel unhappy but there's no point in wishing your life away. See everyday as another step towards a goal- whether that goal is saving for something or working hard at uni. 

5. Get moving
A huge part of my unhappiness was that I was sick and couldn't physically move. Years of being unable to exercise meant that I almost had a fear of doing anything! However, over the past few months, I've been going on long walks along the beach. I stick my hair up, take my makeup off and allow my brain to have a time out (See picture above of me at my local beach!). It's hard but leaving my phone in the car and taking some "offline" time can really help to rest the brain. Walking is such a great way to aid a good night's sleep or to start your day on a positive note. If you are finding motivation hard, grab a friend and bring them with you. Often a good mid-week bitch with a chum whislt walking will do you the world of good! AND don't make excuses. If you have time to go online, you have time for a quick walk! 

And lastly, never ever let your happiness depend on others. People can assist in making you happy but they aren't the reason you feel happy. Say goodbye to toxic friends. Be brave to get yourself out of a bad situation. Let yourself know that when you are on your own with your feet up and a cuppa tea, that you are happy. Learning to be happy is not easy- it almost feels like retraining your brain as you've fallen into bad habits. Start working on one thing. It'll make all the difference.