Definition: a memory, situation, or activity that makes you feel happy.
One of the things my therapist and I have been/are working on is me finding “my happy places”, which is basically just the places I feel the most safe, calm and happy as well as the things that make me feel happy, and thereby help recharge my body with positive energy. But we have also been working on figuring out what has a negative influence on my life right now. She told me how important it is for me to not only know what makes me happy and gives me a positive energy, but also what does not make me happy.
Knowing what my happy place is, is one thing I have been struggling with for as long as I can remember. I am what can be classified as a people pleaser. I think that because I am a people pleaser I tend to do what I think other people want me to do, instead of what I want to do. When doing this I end up having a feeling of being both mentally and physically drained from energy and just have a feeling of being sad and annoyed with myself, my friends and family. But I can’t be the only one who does that, right? At least I like to think that I am not the only one who acts and feel like that.
During my last session with my therapist, she asked me a very simple yet very difficult question; “What do you do that makes you happy?” it took me a while to think of anything, because I didn’t know what actually makes me happy. And then she asked me; “what do you do that uses all your energy and doesn’t make you happy and leaves feeling drained, and just have a negative impact on your life?”. Funny enough, this question was easier to answer compared to the first of question. Sometimes it feels like my mind is such a negative place, with so many negative thoughts and emotions, which is mostly directed towards myself. To be honest with you, it is actually really scary that my mind is so negative, and it automatically thinks of all the worst-case scenarios that could happen at any given time.
The fact that it was so difficult for me to answer the first question makes me really sad, and I feel like I somehow is letting myself down. Because, how can I ever expect to be truly happy, when I don’t know what actually makes me happy?
Even though it was super difficult, I managed to come up with some points for both what makes me happy, and what drains my energy. I have been working on this list since my last therapy session, and I have been trying to be more aware of doing more of what makes me happy and less of what drains me, these last few weeks. I would like to share these two lists with you;
What makes me happy?
- Spending time with my close family (my parents, siblings, niece and nephew), but I can’t spend too much time with them, otherwise I get overwhelmed.
- Being alone. Some days I don’t mind spending the entire day by myself, but I know it is really bad for me to spend so much time alone. But honestly, I don’t mind, I never have.
- Reading, when it is my choice to read, and I get to choose when and what I read.
- Writing, and again when it is my choice to write, and I get to choose what I want to write.
What drains me?
- Negative people.
- Too many people at once.
I know that the lists are not that long yet, but it is a good start. When I was writing this list, I realized that every time I thought something that makes me happy, there was a “but” right after, as you probably can see above. For example, I love spending time with my parents, siblings, niece and nephew, they are my favorite people. But I can’t spend too much time with them, because then I get overwhelmed and I feel drained from energy.
Another thing I realized was that I don’t being told what to do, or at least in most cases I don’t like being told what to do. I have always had a difficult time reading chapters in books when it was homework, but as soon as I choose to read something, even if it is the exact same book I have to read for a class, it is not problem reading it. I don’t know if that makes any sense to you? I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I guess it means something, right?
I have become a lot better at doing more of what makes me happy and cut out what doesn’t make me happy. And I am actually really proud of myself for that! Even though it has been really difficult, and it probably will continue to be very difficult for me to do, I have started the journey of figuring out what actually makes me happy. And most importantly, I have started doing what makes me happy. For me one of the most difficult things have been to cut out people who were bringing a lot of negativity to my life. I know that I need to be surrounded by people with positive energies right now but cutting out friends you have had for a few years is not easy.
But one of the good things I have been doing for myself, is choosing to do what makes me happy at times where all I want to do is feel sorry for myself and cry, and then being able to see the positive impact it has had on me. For example, these last few days all of my old classmates have been posting pictures from the graduation ceremony, which I chose not to attend, seeing all of those pictures left me with a weird feeling and it made me feel no so great. But I am proud of how I chose to deal with it! I decided to spent time with my family instead and watch the world cup in handball instead, and that helped me keep a positive mind.
I read this somewhere;
A daily dosage of positive energy so consuming that it wears out every negative doubt, helps close the gap between dream & reality
I don’t who said it/wrote it, but I feel like it is important to keep in mind. And after seeing what choosing positivity over negativity does to me, it makes me want to do that more often, and reading the quote above only makes me realize that doing this is only going to help me get closer to my dreams.
So now I know that, when something bad is happening, it helps distracting myself with something positive. I know it is probably not the healthiest way to deal with bad things, but right now it works for me.
Right now, I am actually very feeling very optimistic (for the first time in a long time) that everything is going to be okay and that everything is happening for a reason, and I am going to find my path life. But that being said, the other day I was scared of what the future holds, and I was the furthest away from being optimistic. And I am pretty sure I am going to feel like that again maybe tomorrow, or maybe in a week or a month. But one thing I am beginning to realize is that I will probably always have those feelings at times, sometimes they will be there often and other times they won’t. and sometimes I will forget what makes me happy, and that is something I need to realize is okay, and I can’t be too hard on myself when I forget (I have a tendency of being waaaay too hard on myself).
I am beginning to realize that it is not about how many bad days I have, it is about how I react to the bad days.