The world can appear to be a frightening and upsetting place at times, but the more I read about the attacks and tragedies surrounding the places and people that have been hurt, the more I realise that we cannot live our lives in fear. The negativity is unavoidable as it is broadcast on the radio, read on the news or plastered all over the papers.
After being exposed to atrocity after atrocity, finding the positives in life becomes a struggle, but living with a sense of dread should not be the path that we follow. Instead, we need to find the sun amongst the storm, no matter how big or small the rays might be. These inputs of happiness may not be life-changing moments, but they allow us to appreciate and embrace joy that should be a large part of our lives. They refocus us when we are dejected, and help us through each day when the going gets exceptionally tough.
Finding your happiness in general can sometimes be a challenge, which is why it is wise to start by looking for it through what we experience on a daily basis, starting at home. If it’s raining heavily and you’re tucked up in bed, cuddle up to your pet and enjoy listening to the sound of the raindrops beating furiously against the windows as you drift off to sleep, taking the time to appreciate the shelter and sanctuary. When you have a day off, love every minute of the relaxing morning lie in as you snuggle down under the covers in the warmth. In the evening, run yourself a hot, bubbly bath and relish a calming soak.
Why not embrace the great outdoors? Wrap up and head out for a long autumnal walk – heartily kick through the crunchy golden leaves and breathe in the chilly air. Sit down quietly on a bench and enjoy the tranquility of nature. As the sun breaks through the clouds, close your eyes and face towards it, letting the warmth sink into your skin. As your walk draws to a close, appreciate a hot cup of coffee in a cosy café as the wind howls outside.
Another vitally important way to let positivity in is to open your eyes to the precious individuals that care deeply about you. This could be a loving family, a supportive partner, or thoughtful friends. For some, it is all of the above. Welcome the quality time you have with your loved ones, especially during the festive periods when being together is really all that matters.
Try taking a step back to remind yourself how fortunate you are to have those particular people in your life – people that you thoroughly enjoy spending your time with. If loneliness strikes, pick up the phone and reconnect with an old close friend that you’ve been worrying about recently. Organise a catch up and reignite the goodness that they once brought into your life. Smile, laugh and appreciate their company, treasuring the memories you have shared together along the way.
As you continue through your day-to-day routine, change your perspective on the tasks and situations that can usually appear tedious, repetitive or uninteresting. As you head to your place of work, make the effort to say hello to that fellow colleague who often appears slightly distracted. Remind yourself that even though work may seem tiresome at times, the employment allows you to pay your rent and keep a roof over your head. It may not be your dream job, but it provides you with a sense of security and stability, which in itself creates a positive impact on your daily life.
The simple fact is that we should start by turning our attention towards hunting down the slightly less obvious instances of happiness, rather than desperately seeking momentous life changing experiences; the small rays of sunshine are consistently shining throughout your seemingly cloudy day. Remember those food items on sale that you purchased in your local supermarket that saved you some money on your bill? That stranger in the car park who offered you their ticket as they had finished their shopping early? What about the excitment you felt when you discovered that brilliant new book to read, or the smell of freshly baked bread that wafted out of the bakery down the road? When you were driving your car recently, your favourite song was played on the radio, and on a recent visit to your family, your sibling gave you an extra long hug as you’d been away for so long.
It is crucially important that we all search for happiness in our own individual ways. Even with the distressing events taking place in the world, there are still multitudes of kind hearted, loving, and selfless individuals who are willing to support and help others – particularly those in need.
Being alive and well is a blessing in itself, and we can adjust our outlook in order to remind ourselves that joy is still accessible. We must strive to find it even when those black clouds are fast approaching.