I am getting a lot of emails from people who read this blog who are going through tough times, whether it be through illness, relationships or just life in general. Firstly thank you to everyone who emails or messages me, the reason I started this blog is that I wanted to help people. I wanted to give a voice to people with IBD or who are living with a stoma. To get people talking and the break the ‘poo taboo’ so it means so much to see that it is doing that. And more!
Though my blog is about life with IBD and a stoma, Im realising that many people who are reading it don’t have either, but are finding strength and inspiration through the topics I talk about. Wow! You have no idea how much that means to me. It makes my blethering into the ether of the internet feel worth it. If I can help one person, I will be the happiest person alive!
So I thought I talk about happiness. Ive said before that I think happiness is a choice. No matter what shit we are going through, no matter how dark our mood, we can all make the choice to be happy. Even if that happiness is one fleeting moment through an otherwise crappy day. I really believe that trying to be positive, looking for the silver lining and opting to smile rather than frown, laugh rather than shout makes us feel better.
Sometimes that is hard. A bereavement, an illness, a divorce… Of course there are times when we feel life is against us. In those dark times, thinking of something positive can feel impossible. And feeling sad is a natural thing, we need to feel sad, to cry, to shout to deal with the situations we go through in life.
Having a moment of happiness, or gratitude, or pleasure does not take away from the gravity of whatever problems you face. But thinking positively and trying to be happy, whether it be the hug from your child, or ten minutes sitting with the sun on your face, or a phone call with a friend, or just a damn fine cup of tea can make you feel better even if it is just for a minute. In being mindful of these moments you can give yourself the choice to be happy.
Plate by MBart Studios
There have been many studies about happiness and optimism, and it has been found that positive emotions can undo the effects of a stressful negative experience. You can read a great article about The benefits of Optimism here.
I think we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves, we say things about ourselves that we would never say of a friend (or even foe!) If when we are feeling down about ourselves we could try just for a moment to think of the positive things about us and say them I think we could be happier. We are very British though and hate to be seen to me immodest, but screw that! What is fantastic about you? Are you kind? Are you a good friend? Are you loyal? Or brave? Or hard working? Do you do the BEST Tina Turner dancing in the world? Are you funny? – Seriously, think about the characteristics that you admire in others and ask yourself if you have them too. If you do, then celebrate that! If you don’t, think about why not.
Think about what makes you happy.
I LOVE having friends round for dinner, a bottle of red wine, the fire blazing, a great dish in the middle of the table that everyone tucks into. Sitting around the table, talking, laughing and being together.
Sitting in the garden with my eyes closed and the sun on my face. Listening to the noises around me and just being.
I really love being curled up with a book. I like to be totally snuggled with a blanket and cushions and just sink into the book.
A cuddle with my children and the smell of their neck.
A date with my husband.
Painting my nails.
A really good nap!
Listening to music. SInging loudly. Dancing wildly.
Walking the dog.
Watching a good film – we have ‘cinema night’ where we all pile on the sofa, lots of blankets – a film on, and lots of goodies to eat.
Think about the things that make you happy. Its not about money, its about the small things you can do that make you feel happy and good. Think of those things and then DO them!
Of course we all have time and money constraints but we can do one thing a day that makes us feel good. Whether it be getting up before everyone else and having a cup of coffee or wearing your favourite pair of shoes. We can do it. But it means making yourself and your happiness a priority.
You are worth it. You deserve to be happy. Make time for it.
So today, my mission for you if you choose to accept it, is to think of one positive thing about yourself and celebrate it. And to do one thing, no matter how small, that makes you happy.
I was told today by someone that I inspired them. I feel really bloody proud of myself for that.
I ventured out into my garden with a cup of coffee and sat in the sun. I had 10 minutes of just being outdoors, alone, in the quiet. Not worrying about things that need to be done. Just sat… And it was heavenly!!!
So go on, get to to it. It would be lovely to know how your mission goes, so please leave a comment.
Love Sam xx