How to be happy

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  • Kylie
    January 18, 2024 at 4:08 pm #1127748

    What makes people happy? I’m having a very time being happy. I was engaged with who I’m pretty sure was my biggest love, but anxiety and depression made it hard for me to maintain the relationship how he deserved (trust me he tried soooo hard to battle my problems with me.) Now after over a year of trying to buy a house, I’m finally clear to close, and I still can’t find any happiness in it, even though it’s such a good thing!!! I just feel unmotivated, depressed, I can’t seem to imagine having this house is going to make me any happier even though it’s what I’m constantly hearing.

    January 18, 2024 at 5:40 pm #1127751

    Buying a house and moving are super stressful. Give yourself some room to feel the complex emotions. We bought a new place a few months ago and it was a stressful roller coaster negotiating with the builder and arranging everything.

    Buying a home can be a good move, but it’s not a ticket to happiness, I think that’s kind of a myth of the American dream. Like, it’s shelter, it can help you build financial security, and it can let you express your style and make a home that is just how you want it. That’s really it, right? It’s not going to make a person who struggles with depression and anxiety, suddenly well.

    Hold on, web page is acting up…

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Kate.
    January 18, 2024 at 5:52 pm #1127753

    Becoming a happier person may mean doing some work to identify what you really want, and then making some life changes to head toward getting there. It might involve working with a therapist, coach, and/or a trainer. Maybe making peace with some things. Maybe even trying medication. It’s a process. There’s no easy quick fix. And finding a new partner won’t do it either. Better to start the work now while single, to become someone who can be a good partner in a healthy relationship.

    January 18, 2024 at 6:03 pm #1127754

    One thing you might want to consider is if you’ve been falling in to the “I’ll be happy when…” pattern of thinking. A lot of people get stuck in a pattern of thinking that happiness is a thing to achieve.

    “I’ll be happy when I graduate college”
    “I’ll be happy when I get married”
    “I’ll be happy when I buy a home”

    It’s great to have goals, but it’s important to realize that they are only a portion of being happy. If you want happiness, you will need to learn how to find joy in the way things are now, not how they will be 6 months/1 year/5 years from now.

    Enter an obligatory “a therapist can help you with this” tagline here.

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    January 18, 2024 at 6:59 pm #1127755

    Hitting milestones along society’s prescribed path is over-hyped, IMO. We’re told we’ll be happy when we achieve them — when we get that job or raise, meet a new boyfriend or girlfriend, hit our goal weight, buy that hot ticket item we’ve been eyeing — but they’re often kind of underwhelming. The happiness they can bring is often temporary. “Happy” is not a final destination. There is no one thing you can buy or have in this life that will do it for you forever.

    I think the path to happiness varies by person. Like, the idea of getting married, having kids, and living my life in a suburb full of McMansions does not appeal to me. But I have friends living that life and they seem content with it.

    Generally speaking I’d say the follow things help everyone with happiness when done in a way that is authentic to the individual:
    – Feeling socially connected (having a sense of community, maintaining/building relationships)
    – Taking care of yourself in a general sense (eating balanced meals more often than not, prioritizing sleep)
    – Having meaningful experiences
    – Treating yourself with compassion (giving yourself grace when you mess up, letting yourself be “lazy” in our hustle culture society, speaking kindly to yourself, etc.)
    – Seeking optimism (and I do not mean toxic positivity… I hate that shit)

    And yeah, please do speak with a therapist if you’re not already.

    January 19, 2024 at 8:16 am #1127757

    Agree – you have to figure out what is actually going to make you happy. Home ownership provides some financial stability, but I don’t think it leads to happiness. For most people it alleviates one stress, but brings other stresses for home management and maintenance.

    I can’t imagine being in my 20’s & 30’s in today’s world. We thought fashion magazines were damaging to the psyche. Today you’re bombarded with the same level of fake but from so many more angles. And picking through the real and the fake is harder than ever. You know that person who has the perfect IG pics spends an inordinate amount of time posing and reposing, missing the actual world around them. The perfect pic of food is eaten cold because it took so long to get the right shot. And the amount of filters and photoshop – oy vey.

    What I’m inelegantly saying is that you should not measure yourself against your peer group. You should not compare your life to social media. And don’t let other people tell you what will make you happy. Their happiness could be seven children, your ultimate happiness may be always having your favorite brand of ice cream in your freezer.

    January 19, 2024 at 9:05 am #1127758

    You have been looking outward to others to find out what brings happiness and you’re trying that yourself. The problem is, you need to find out what makes you feel happy. Do you have friends and hobbies? I will also echo therapy. A good therapist may take a few sessions to get there, but they will be able to help you figure out why this is a hard topic and idea for you.

    People work their entire lives to get those things those socially prescribed harbingers of success, thinking they will bring immediate happiness but that’s not the case. Happiness is something you need to define and describe for yourself. And chase it.

    You need to start dabbling in hobbies, art, craft, athletics- make lists of what you like and what you don’t. Try things. Every failure is progress if you’re just trying to figure out what you like and what will bring you joy.

    Just keep dabbling. It’s a big world out there and there are lots of things to find happiness in.

    January 19, 2024 at 9:40 am #1127759

    I would suggest thinking of what causes you to feel joy and wonder or what did when you were a child. Build from there.

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    January 19, 2024 at 10:46 am #1127762

    I will also add, and I don’t mean to imply that this is a cure-all for mental health issues, but if you are not in the habit of exercising, I’d highly recommend it. It helps with depression and anxiety. It doesn’t have to be anything intense, it can be whatever movement feels good to you within your abilities. And I get it, sometimes when we are depressed, the last thing you want to do is get out of bed and go for a stupid walk… you can start small by taking laps around the block.

    I’m trying a vitamin C supplement for the first time this year cause I live in Chicago where in the winter it can get (and has been) stupid cold, the skies are often grey, and the days are very short. Will it help? IDK. But I’m someone whose baseline isn’t what I’d call happy but always picks “trying.”

    January 19, 2024 at 10:59 am #1127763

    I do think that if you aren’t getting quality sleep and getting some movement during the day, and some sunlight, it’s going to be really hard to make progress on routines that will set you up to feel good. You absolutely have to follow the good sleep hygiene stuff, not scroll on your phone in bed, etc.

    If I have a bad night of sleep, I’m toast. Most of the time I get a good night’s sleep and I can be productive and feel calm and secure and not overeat. Get up at the same time, make bed, walk dog, have a smoothie, do some weights, stay hydrated, do the important/urgent items on my list… All of that sets me up to feel pretty good.

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    January 19, 2024 at 11:39 am #1127764

    *Vitamin D supplement, not C. A lot of people are deficient in it this time of year, if not year round, because of the short, often overcast days. I’m not sure where you live, but if you’re somewhere more temperate and sunny, I’ve read that there are apps that can tell you when to go outside for ~15 minutes to soak up the sun to get your vitamin D naturally.

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How to be happy

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