Happiness is a decision, not something that comes naturally to all, deciding to be happy is a process a journey and it’s not an easy one. As many of you know or don’t know I have depression as well as a few other conditions. When I was going through the worst of it I remember talking to my therapist while crying my eyes out. I call this moment my pink slip moment.
It was when my therapist gave me my permission slip, they told me it was my life and I can do whatever I want with it. During that time I hadn’t realized I wasn’t living life how I wanted to. I then had another idea, what did I want? How am I going to do it? At the end of it all, I just wanted to be happy. But what is deciding to be happy?
Deciding to be happy
When I was deciding to be happy I know the “me” that I was then had to die. She was my comfort, my friend, and my greatest enemy. I had been “her” for so long that I didn’t know who else to be, and it’s so easy to fall back into when they’re still alive. Now I have to decide who am I going to be. Who is happy Kim? I had to find out who I was and where I wanted to be.
I drew a lot of inspiration from TV characters I admired, what my values were, and my aesthetic. What did I want to stand for and what do I care about? So I decided I wanted to become more environmentally cautious, and I loved plants and wanted to be someone who eats, breathes, and lives plants.
Also, I’ve had a passion for self-care and being well-read, active, healthy, and living more mindfully. I mixed them up in one big bowl and found many things that I cared for and about that made me happier and gave me something to care for and live for.
Identifying My Triggers and How I Cope
This is where it gets hard. Being happy when life is going good is easy, it’s when it’s hard that we learn who we really are. I have many triggers, more than I would like. When I get triggered I get very sad and get emotional and even a bit irrational. I used to think I had to talk it out as that was the way I processed things. If it was too much I would drink, listen to sad music, and do self-destructive behaviors all the things that make me feel worst thinking that I was helping when all I was doing was numbing.
I had to figure out a way to feel these emotions so I didn’t bottle them up as well as a way to cope with them and not hyper-fixate on how I’m feeling. Here’s what I’ll do. If I was slightly triggered like I have just a strong opinion on something I can talk if I choose but I wait until the time is right, like when I’m home. If I’m very upset and start getting emotional I will remove the trigger, and start a hobby. I’ll tend to my plants, and scroll on my phone.
When the tears come and they do come it’s time to cuddle with my dog and go for a walk. The worst it gets the harder I do to take my mind off of it. I do things to put me back in my happy mindset. I’ll play my depression playlist it’s full of uplifting music that makes me feel strong and powerful. I know we’ve been taught to feel our emotions and that is valid but the feelings pass so to must our thoughts.
Learning How To Not Give A F*ck
The best thing that came from my ‘deciding to be happy’ journey was learning who I am, fully accepting myself, and learning not to care what other people thought. Not only have my stress levels gone down my life is more peaceful and I find myself smiling more because I live authentically.
I started asking myself if this will make me happy. I kept my focus on the big picture not focusing on the little things like fitting in and worrying if such and such is going to get me XYZ. Happiness is insuring that nothing that I’m doing purposefully jeopardizes my happiness permanently. I got more experimental with my look and I find myself smiling at myself thinking I look cool instead of picking apart what I don’t like.
I follow my intuition which has never started me wrong, by doing that I have a job that works with my schedule and an easily manageable workload. It no longer made me worried about if people liked my career or what people thought or said it’s something that I like, and that’s it.
Choosing Joy, Happiness, and Peace
It’s time for the results after two years of deciding to be happy, what happened? Well, I’m good. I feel great, I’m happier and more confident than I had been in years. I don’t feel like I’m over-compencating for what I do or don’t have. I feel more authentic and I think before I speak now so that’s great. My negative coping habits have all but disappeared and I have healthy coping mechanisms to fall back to get me through it all.
Using these tactics I was able to get a hold of my depression I listen to myself and when it’s not for me I remove myself. I’m deciding to be happy by doing things that not only help me better process my thoughts but helped me discover who I am. I am shocked at the progress I’ve made and I couldn’t be happier with who I am and what is possible.
Deciding to be happy is more than just forcing yourself to be happy all the time. You still feel and deal with your emotions but learn how to process them while doing things you actually enjoy doing. Even if it’s not convential as long as you’re not hurting anyone then what’s the harm?
It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, but when the days get hard. I remind myself life is like the ocean, sometimes the waves get rough but the water will calm down soon. It’s not always about what happened or happens to us but how we view it. Good luck to everyone on your own journey deciding to be happy was the best thing that happened to me and I’m sure it’ll be for you too!