The last six months of my life have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster…to say the least! After my Breast Cancer diagnosis in November 2015, my life fell apart in an instant.
Suddenly, everything I loved was under threat. Family life, relationships, my health. Actually being here.
Over the past six months, my blog, lovefrommim.com became my therapy, my outlet and my solace. I documented much of my journey and the many varied emotions that have played out in my mind - fear, anger, gratitude and humor to name but a few.
It hasn’t been easy and I certainly haven’t always felt happy but I’ve done my best to display a positive attitude outwards, in the constant hope that I would convince myself to feel positive too. “Fake it ‘til you make it” works for me and I wanted to share my thoughts on ways to fake being happy with you too.
1. Find an outlet
When bad times hit, keeping it bottled up inside is one of the worst things you can do. Find an outlet.
That might be a family member, a best friend, a diary, a blog or a psychologist. Find a person or place where you can share everything that’s going through your mind, all the good, bad and ugly. Someone who won’t judge you, that will let you vent, overshare, get it all out.
Of course I’m not suggesting that you use anyone as a 'punching bag’ but with their consent, lean on them. They do not need to have all the answers or have the right things to say. They just need to listen.
2. Find something to laugh at
Whether it’s your favorite comedy show, funny YouTube videos or hanging out with a friend who always has you in stitches, laughing is the best therapy for some.
When you’re feeling sad, upset or overwhelmed, it can be so hard to clear your mind of those negative thoughts so try and find something to completely take your mind off it.
Think of a funny story or event that has happened in the past and make that your go-to happy place.
3. Create a Happy Playlist
You know there are some songs that just uplift you, make you smile or make you want to dance on the spot? Well why not pull them all together into a 'happy playlist’ so you have an instant happy soundtrack to play whenever you need to feel better!
If music isn’t your thing, consider meditation. I meditate often and the process of focusing on my breathing really calms my mind.
Whilst we’re on the subject of music, crank up that happy playlist and sing along at the top of your lungs!
For me, this is in the shower, doing household chores or on a rare trip to a karaoke booth! Singing is such therapy and you don’t need to be any good at it to feel the benefits.
So pick up your hairbrush and sing, sing, sing!
5. Make someone else happy
Although it’s sometimes hard to stop focusing on whatever is making you feel down, try and think of a way to cheer up a friend who might also be going through a tough time.
Give them a call to see how they’re doing or pop round with their favorite treats. Or create a Happy Playlist just for them!
Doing lovely things for others is often a great way to start feeling better about ourselves and in turn, feel much happier.
All of the above have helped me feel happy when I’ve been at my absolute lowest. I was so aware in the beginning that I was forcing myself at times to put a smile on when I wanted to cry.
Then one day, I realized I just wasn’t pretending any more and I was genuinely happy. There are times when I wane and I revisit the tips above.
If I pretend to smile, fake a laugh or say I’m feeling positive, I might not feel that way on the inside. However I try to accept that whatever I’m going through is just a phase that will pass and genuine happiness is just around the corner.
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What are your tips for making yourself feel happy when you’re not?
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Michelle Meyers, a well-know physician, author, and professor of physical therapy at the University of Kentucky, published analysis for both the layperson and for educational on fat loss nutrition topics, including gluten-free, low-carb and paleo.