Have you ever asked yourself what you want to be remembered for when you die? What will be your legacy?
Until I was attending a dream day retreat last year and that was one of the tasks – to write down the answer to that very question.
As we went through the group with everyone reading out what they had written down I kept looking at my page where all I had written was ‘that I was happy’.
Right before the teacher got to me the lady before me was reading out what she had written and it evoked the response from my teacher “all any of us really want is to be happy isn’t it?”
I giggled to myself because I had been sitting there judging myself, feeling like what I had written was somehow wrong, even if it was all I could think of at the time.
Maybe because I’ve spent most of my life depressed that for me being happy and being remembered for being happy really would be the best outcome?
To be remembered as a happy person would mean my journey had been a success, wouldn’t it?
I’m not saying I will never have bad days or down days. Those are the days that make me appreciate the good days more, and show me how much growth I’ve had. But to get to a place where I could be remembered for being happy; where the depressed, struggling, sometimes victim days are behind me. Well that, for me, would definitely equate to a successful life.
Happiness is about the journey not the destination.
Ignoring the parts I would rather forget I can honestly say that the past year has had more happy moments than I could ever have hoped for. And how has this been possible?
Well it’s thanks to these few lessons I have learnt:
- Put yourself first – It’s okay to take time out and relax in a bath or read a book or watch a movie. My routine is doing an hour or two of work, whatever that may be and then relax for 15 minutes or could be an hour or two. Doing things for yourself is not selfish. It may sound cliché but you really do need to fill your own cup before anyone else’s.
- Get Moving – Yea yea I know, believe me I know, that sometimes it isn’t easy to get out there and do some exercise. I go for a walk every morning now, even getting up when its pitch black outside. Why? Because it really does make me feel good. You don’t have to go smash out a massive gym workout, unless you want to. Hell you can even walk around your backyard if that suits you better. But getting stagnant energy moving seriously helps.
- Get rid of negative aspects – Besides spending less time on social media I’ve un-followed all celebrities on my personal Instagram (unless they actually post inspiring things, but they usually don’t), I’ve un-followed/unfriended anyone on social media whose vibes bring me down. I no longer want to participate in things that I know will only cause me upheaval. Lets face it: the less triggers I have the better.
- Laugh at your own expense – Have you ever had a silly dance party at home by yourself? I have and I love it. Laughter really can be the best medicine.
- Get ticking – Set some goals. Whether that be to exercise 3 times this week, catch up for a coffee with a friend ( or a tea like me because I don’t drink coffee), do the dishes, write that blog post etc. The action of setting small goals and achieving them triggers the feel good feeling and that’s what we all want.
- Nobody is perfect – So stop trying to be. We all make mistakes, we all wish for something to change, but when you stop trying to be perfect something amazing happens. You become free to be you. Truly authentic and beautiful.
- You are what you eat – Easier said than done when you are in the depressed state of mind but did you know that the happy hormones are made in your gut? So if you are not eating healthy foods that fuel your body, and instead are eating chips and ice-cream (yep that’s what I do) then you are in fact setting yourself up for more down days. We need healthy good fats to keep our brain in great shape!
- Repeat the things that bring you joy – once you find what works for you, keep doing it. Simple.
And Remember: Your feelings are valid, you are valid, and you deserve to be happy!