When we’re wondering how to feel happy again, we’d do well to return to our “basics” – meaning, the most fundamental things that we know bring us joy.
What are the most basic things you do for yourself in order to feel pretty ok most days?
(I say “pretty ok” here because I think in 2020 if you are feeling pretty ok most days, then you are doing GREAT).
For some of us, it’s getting to bed by a certain hour.
For some of us, it’s starting each day with gratitude.
For some of us, it’s getting outside at least once a day.
For some of us, it’s keeping devices out of the bedroom.
For some of us, it’s eating salads a few days a week.
For some of us, it’s simply remembering to be kind to ourselves each day.
Whatever those things are keep us feeling pretty good in our day-to-day, they come into our lives by way of our habits.
And the funny thing about habits is that as soon as they can be formed, they can be unformed over time without us even realizing it. Sneaky! (For more on habit building, check out How to Build Healthy Habits from NY Times).
Speaking personally, if I’m going through a period when I feel really good, it’s easy for me to stop doing my basic things, because I feel like I don’t necessarily need them.
But when I do stop them, eventually, the inevitable always happens.
I wake up one morning and it hits me like a bolt of lightning:
Why do I feel so crappy??
And then I remember: Ohhhhhh, of course. I feel bad because I haven’t gotten outside in a week and my gratitude journal has gotten dusty and I’ve been staying up way too late … and on and on and on.
But there’s good news! And it’s this:
You can always, always, always start again.
You never run out of opportunities to start again, and when you DO start again, you can begin feeling better almost right away.
So the next time you find yourself wondering how on earth to feel happy again, ask yourself:
1) What are those things that allow you to feel “pretty ok” most days?
2) Are you doing them right now? Why or why not?
3) If you’re not, what is one small way in which you can start again today?
If you enjoyed this post, here are some other quick reads from Janelle (that’s me!) at Ellanyze: