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So How Exactly Does One Make Themselves Happy?


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One solution that people on the internet give to my problems (loneliness, depression, and poor social skills) is to "Just be happy".

I don't really have the knowledge for this type thing. I can easily make myself upset, disappointed, sad, cry, etc...

But I don't know how to make myself happy. I don't know how to turn the switch on my brain to flood my body with happiness.

:ranting:

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Practice gratitude. Take care of yourself. Try to find what makes you LAUGH ... watch comedy, watch your cat chase a fly, read jokes online... etc.

(And this is coming from a hypocrite at the moment, I have fallen into a severe pit this last week... but I also know that I am making myself miserable by practicing bitterness/anger/and to only focus on everything that I am unhappy with....)

There have been a lot of studies on what can make you feel better versus what will definitely make you feel worse. I am in the same boat as you atm, because I am concentrating on what is wrong. "I don't have any friends" "My boyfriend won't stay home with/babysit me, he keeps leaving to go do other things and now I feel abandoned and resentful..." "I can't find a job" (on and so on).

But now I am here. And I am trying. Today I went on a walk. Now at first is was an angry rage-filled walk, I'll admit, but as I kept walking and noticing how nice it felt to be outside, out of my box, away from the drama of home, listening to the birds chirp and smelling the rain filled breeze---I started to feel good. Alive.

I wish I could say the feeling lasted. But I came home and my mood plummeted again (mostly because I had to face the person I am blaming my unhappiness on, even though I realize that I am mostly unhappy with myself).

So I took a nap. This is a rather evasive thing I do, but it does make me feel better. I reccommend naps for if you know you are taking your stress out on others, but probably not a great thing to do constantly, like I have been doing. I did wake up feeling better, and then my mood went down again.

So I took a shower. Being clean is one of those things that always makes me feel good. I have been promising myself that I will keep my hygiene up and start taking better care of my body. (Eating better and doing little things that make me feel like I am treating myself. Like painting my toenails, which I am doing right now.)

Basically, you take babysteps. Do little things that help your mood (it takes a lot of practice). Think about the things that you are thankful for: "I am grateful that I have wonderful parents, who I can call if I need help", "I am thankful that I am in mostly good health", "I apprieciate this beautiful day/the birds singing/the smell of rain". (Those are my things, but yours can be anything.) Be patient with yourself. I have sabotaged my own happiness several times today, and it is hard not to think deragatory things about myself. However, every new moment is a new chance to practice the good.

Also, for me stepping away from the ideal of HAPPINESS is neccessary. Happiness is a word people use flippantly and it seems to imply "only good things are happening to me or everything is worthless/terrible" or "I must smile and pretend everything is good or something is wrong with me". Practicing self patience/kindness/and love is better to me than this flimsy idea of happiness.

Practicing right-action after right-thought is the next best step. Make a list of things you are going to do today/tonight instead of a mental list of everything that is bothering you/or excuses for why you can't do this or that. My plan for tonight is to practice Excel. Boosting my skills makes me feel good about myself and is an investment into my future. What is your plan? :)

~Dread

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Right thought, right action... you're not a Buddhist, are you, Dread?

But Dread is right. Baby steps. We don't get depressed overnight, we can't be happy overnight. Anyone suggesting otherwise is just plain silly.

The most difficult thing to start down the road to happiness is to switch your mindset.

Read some of the posts here on DF. We'll NEVER be happy, we're FLAWED, we ALWAYS screw up, we weren't MEANT to be happy. Truth is, we're a lot like everybody else. Oh, sure, some may be genetically predisposed to depression, bipolar, or other illness, but most of us went out and picked up a case of depression. We had parents who abused or berated us. We were bullied. We were hit with some significant losses.

And we got down on ourselves.

And we didn't realize that we are, in fact, in charge of our moods and attitudes. And that we need to aggressively pursue treatment so that we CAN be happier.

But it'll take time and effort. If anyone tells you to "be happy", ask them if they'd tell someone who'd been blinded to "just see". Difference is, depression is treatable.

Take care!

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This is a phrase uttered by people who've never really experienced struggle... they can't imagine the source of someone's pain being anything more than a broken iPhone, an argument with a friend, or not getting the job they want. To them, it's easy to just "be happy" because there have never been any obstacles that couldn't be overcome by taking their mind off it or trying something new.

Cultivating a better mindset is a thing, but it's not something you just do. It's a matter of things like learning to understand yourself better, challenging needless self-criticism, inspecting problems in a detached way, and being able to redirect your thoughts away from obsessive negativity.

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