Lists seem to be very popular in the blogosphere, so I thought I might compile one:
A list of Great Ways to Feel Better.
This seems like a good List to start with because, after all, we all want to feel ‘better’, don’t we…?…Leaves a moment for provocative question to sink in…
Why? Why are we all torturing ourselves with Self improvement and Searching for happiness? What the hell happened to make us all feel so downright wrong?
I myself have suffered with depression for most of my life, since childhood in fact, so I have actually been searching for ways to feel better. And I know a lot of us are actually dealing with mental health challenges from undiagnosed Aspergers to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so yes, there is a quantifiable number of people who ‘really’ need to find ways to live and feel happy, because they struggle, and it can get dangerous to feel bad for too long.
But…and I add this with all the love in my heart, the rest of us a healthy, humans with healthy lives who, for Goddesses sake read too many magazines, watch too much TV and believe what the Ad- Men are trying to sell us!
We have been duped into believing we are not good enough. And this universal we is WOMEN!
Men never used to follow this line of thinking, until recently, with the invention of the metro sexual and the launch of Garnier for Men! Now the poor boys are falling for it too.
Recent programming (yes I watch TV, Don’t judge me!) called Blinging Up My Baby, showed the extent that media infiltration has had on our psyches.
Young women were determined to make their babies ‘glamorous’, with spray tans, pierced ears and designer outfits. One stated that her baby had ‘always been a glamorous baby’ which was just laugh out loud ridiculous!
As a parenting coach, amongst other things, I work really hard to make parents understand that the under 5’s, without exception, will copy and value, whatever they are exposed to. Therefore a child raised with animals (Bindi Irwin) will value animals and her main activities will be centred around them, not for her the day-glo pink nails and hair extension of a Barbie Doll baby from Essex!
Whereas the offspring of two well-read Professors who curate a museum, will undoubtedly be fascinated by books and antiquities, possibly amassing a wonderful collection before they hit puberty!
These poor children are being raised to value nothing more than being ‘pretty’ (which was sad because not many of them actually were!) rather than being raised to value their minds, their hearts and their souls. Not for them the reading books and toddler groups full of wet play and goop on trays. ‘What if they got all dirty! She hates getting dirty!’
Not for these children the joy of climbing trees, making mud pies, running naked in back gardens chased by a hosepipe and a scruffy dog, no, these young girls were being manicured and pedicured, ‘putting their hair on’ and choosing matching outfits to their juvenile mothers. So sad.
So my list, for those of you who stuck with me through my little detour (thanks, great to have you here) is for REAL ways to find happiness every day.
1. Get Outside! No Not into town to trawl round Primark, I mean REALLY outside. The countryside or at least a local park with grass and trees, flowers and possibly animals. Layon the grass, watch the clouds float by and remember what you are a Human Being, not a Human Buying.
2. Dance. Get off your butt, switch off the TV and put on some Really Good Music. Dance Music – no not that modern rubbish – I mean Real Music made with instruments and sung from the heart. Shake,
twerk twirl move your limbs; get your heart pumping and your feet moving. I swear you will be smiling by the time you finish!
3. Make Some Art. Yes really, even you! Grab some kids pens and paper and get playing! Paint like a 5 year old, using all the wrong colours for a rainbow and leaving a gap between the sky and the ground (Love it when they do that), buy a craft kit and get cutting and sticking, or, my favourite, and slightly more grown up Make a Dream Board.
4. Make a Dream Board. Using old magazines, cut out pictures that you are attracted to. Collect leaflets of places you want to go, or use newspapers to cut out letters and form words (which may look slightly like a ransom note- but hey ho!). The simple act of crafting, using pictures, words, paint, glue, cutting a sticking; without any judgement or requirement to be ‘good’ is nourishing for the soul. (great diet tip – being creative stops you eating, fills you up, makes you happy and helps you lose weight!)
5. Try Something New. Seriously! If you are feeling flat and bored and fed up…try something yo have Never Done Before. Be it juggling (use satsumas); knitting; handstands (please warm up first) or baking a cake! I GUARANTEE you, (in capitals so it must be true!!!) that you will feel proud of your efforts, however frustrating it may feel at the time.
6. Create your own mantra! Nothing too weird or spiritual required, unless you like that sort of thing of course, in which case Go For IT. Simply adopt a phrase or saying which encapsulates your philosophy and use it as often as you can. Write it out. Share it on FaceBook, tell it to your children and bore your friends with it. But above all, Use it! Make it your number one rule of life, and stick to it. I sear, it works!
7. Do something nice for someone else. Start small. Hold a door for someone where you can, buy a homeless guy a cup of coffee, offer a new mother a break from the kids, anything that means a lot to someone else but takes little or no effort on your part is almost a Golden Rule. Personally, I can go overboard here, and tend toward the People-Pleasing, but if you are not one of life’s little helpers then bringing a sense of ‘giving’ into your life can make an enormous difference to your well being.
8. Drink Good Coffee. Eat Good Food. Seriously, this one is a doozy! If you are a little short on cash (and aren’t we all) then it is likely that you do not eat as well as you would like, and by ‘well’ I mean: ‘Wow! That was Amazing, what’s in it?’ well’ To indulge yourself in something utterly delicious, something seasonal, fresh and cooked creatively can boost your mood and make you feel a million dollars. I have a friend who served me a simple salad topped with griddles asparagus and finished with parmesan shavings, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was divine! Not expensive at all and such a change from my usual fair that I felt utterly spoiled.
I hope this list has started you off on celebrating the wonderful life you have, and encouraged you to STOP searching for happiness and realise its HERE! Right now.