- Please note that regardless of my issues with anyone mentioned, I love them, have the most respect for them, and a lot of issues are based on culture. I write these posts to share my struggles as well share how I’ve grown. Any negative comments about those mentioned will not be tolerated.
Happiness is something we all seem to chase, and while it surely isn’t measurable, there are specific things and activities that boost our happiness. I’ve been struggling with having truly happy moments for some time but the past several months I have been making some pretty solid changes in not only my daily life, but also the way I react to things (that’ll be a separate post). Today I am sharing what makes me feel true feelings of happiness, where all my stresses and negative thoughts seems to subside, even for a short period of time.
The struggle with a lot of us is that we tend to keep ourselves busy thinking that it will alleviate any feelings we have. Yes, being busy allows us to push down our feelings and just focus (sometimes) on the moment. However, suppressing your feelings isn’t healthy either. Over time, they tend to form a dark ball inside of you, desensitizing you and eventually harming you more than healing you. I always say, in order to heal it, you must feel it.
Happy moments vary from person to person, and there is not enough information on what happiness truly means because we all interpret it differently. For me, happiness is being myself. As crazy as that sounds, I am not ALWAYS able to be myself. In my culture, we put up images to keep others from knowing what truly is behind door number 1,2 and 3. Image is everything. I personally hate it. I hate having to pretend. It’s inauthentic. Of course, I have family who already pretends, and I can’t always call them out, because then, it ends up in a war. The biggest struggle for me is just having my family accept who I am, without having to explain myself.
I have always struggled with explaining what I’m doing, who I am, why I choose to do certain things. Turkish culture, for the most part, is not an individualistic culture. Families and friends are very enmeshed with one another and they know every little detail about you, and if they don’t, they investigate. Imagine waking up feeling like you’re living under a microscope. Every move you make, awaiting judgment. It’s a nightmare.
Only recently have I started breaking away from what I think I should be doing, and focusing on what I want to do. I’m not making bad choices, I’m not harming myself, I just want to wake up and say ” You know what, do you. Be yourself. Be content”. That to me is happiness. That’s not a way to live. The thing is, after awhile, you become hypersensitive to these negative interactions and processing them ends up being a lot harder.
These 5 things helped me feel a lot happier. Of course, they’re not superficial and obvious things that make us happy like “buying a new bag” or “taking a vacation”. Those things are quick fixes, which are fine, and I think they help in the longterm, but these tools helped me change my mindset and help me get rid of the guilt and torment I put on myself. I can’t live life pleasing everyone.
- Using My Voice: We all have one, and sometimes, we use it to defend ourselves, to share our likes and dislikes, and of course, to make a point. I’ve found that speaking up, even if to myself, was super helpful. Instead of allowing someone to affect me, I changed the way I responded. Instead of fighting back, I just used my voice to change the situation. I stood up for myself, and used my words to create a balance in my conflicts. When I would be told I looked terrible in a certain dress, I would just respond differently than normal. Instead of defending myself, I would say “Thank you for your input, but I personally love it!”. Which then follows my next step…
- Walking Away: This is probably the hardest thing to do. As humans we HAVE to speak our mind and say the last word. Sometimes, it’s better to just walk away from an unwanted situation or simply excuse yourself. We have choices, and sometimes we have to make the choice that is best for us. No matter how hard it may be. I’ve walked away from conflicts to avoid escalation, to avoid getting upset and potentially ruining my mindset. It’s hard, but once you do it for the first time, it becomes so much easier, and so much better.
- Saying NO: This is probably the HARDEST of them all. We love to make those we love happy, we love to feel like we’re doing something…but sometimes, we do things even though we may not be 100% sold on it. We do things to feel connected, to feel different. There are countless times where I forced myself to go out, or to do something for a friend I didn’t truthfully want to do. I ended up being a debbie-downer or just didn’t enjoy myself. That was time wasted, and when you feel like you wasted your time, by choice, it never ends up well. We have do things that make us feel good, sure we have moments where we sacrifice, that’s normal, but when we feel like we are giving up more of ourselves than not, that’s when it can be an issue.
- ME time: It’s essential to take time for yourself. Do things that bring you joy or allow you to utilize your skills. I love to write, so actually writing these blog posts, alone, in bed, is therapeutic. I feel free, sound, and truly happy. Whether your alone time includes reading, painting, or even just getting your nails done…it’s so important to just do things that allow you to be ourselves and we should savor them. It’s important to be a little selfish. At the end of the day, we live our lives, for ourselves! Nobody can fill our voids, nobody can make us happy, nobody can make our life perfect. Our happiness always starts from within. Our friendships, relationships and what not add to our lives, helps us grow and fills us with experiences. But at the end of the day, nobody will ever love you, like yourself!
- Be Grateful: Take time every moment to say 5 things you’re grateful for. We tend to get caught up in this fast-paced life where we forget to truly stop and smell the roses. We focus on the negatives, because it’s easier. It’s easier to complain to than be grateful. We may not all be where we want to be just yet, but we are all working toward something. Nothing is easy, and we can’t compare ourselves to others because we don’t know what other people go through. We have to remember that we have right now, is what we have. We will have more, we could have less, but we have so much to be grateful for. We have a brain to think and analyze, legs to walk on, air to breathe, and of course, a world full of opportunities. We chose to take what we want, but we must always remember to be humble and grateful.
I hope you guys are enjoying these posts, I know they’re not fashion, but I think using the internet and social media to be open and relatable is equally important. We are all human, we are all unique yet we all go through things that sometimes we can’t imagine. It’s hard to open to up, it’s hard to share, but I hope that if you can relate this, that it at least made you feel something. I don’t believe in not being authentic, and sure, I can post an outfit photo today, but I wanted to share who I am.
Thank you so much for reading, and course, your positive feedback. I know a lot of you opened up on my last post (check it here), and I appreciate you for doing so. It’s beautiful.