Happiness Habits – Day 13: Finding Happiness in a Sea Of Sadness or Overwhelm
As human beings, we all go through hard times. There are periods in our lives where it is hard to find much joy and happiness (if any) amid a sea of overwhelm. We have times when we feel like we’re in way over our head and can’t think straight. It feels like we’ve fallen into a deep, dark well, and sinking fast.
There are also incredibly sad times in our lives. Relationships end, and we lose loved ones. Grief is a natural response, and we need to process that loss. We also need these sad moments in life to contrast the happier ones. Without sadness, happiness would be very meaningless. Think about it – if you’re never sad, always happy, happiness becomes the new normal, not something to appreciate and strive toward.
It Wouldn’t Be “Happy” Otherwise
That being said, there are things you can do to find a little happiness during these tough times. Often that is all it takes to help you make it through that period in your life. You can’t expect to flip a switch and suddenly everything is rainbows and roses. And why would you want that? We need time to process and grieve when we lose someone, and the overwhelm and stress help us stay on our toes and get stuff done. What we need is to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. We need that little bit of happiness to give us hope. And please, be gentle with yourself during those times – it’s okay to find some happiness amid the dark times; it’s how we stay sane.
Let’s talk about how you can go about creating that little bit of happiness to get you through the hard times. We’ve looked at the best one before: focus on gratitude. Whenever you feel particularly bad, sad, or overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn, take a deep breath and think about the many people and things in your life that you can be grateful for. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, be grateful for the time you’ve had with them and the things you’ve learned from this special person. If you’re stressed out at work or in your own business, be grateful that you’re growing and making progress. It may not be easy, but sometimes overwhelm and stress means that much better things are ahead.
Start with the Little Things
I find it’s also extremely helpful to find the joy in the little things. Maybe you’re not ready to be grateful and that’s ok. Instead, pay attention to your surroundings and find a little joy in what’s around you. Let that toddler playing in the park put a smile on your face. Enjoy the first warm rays of sunshine in the spring, or notice how beautiful that flower in your garden is. In other words, look around and find a little joy and happiness where you can. Above all, remember that even during hard times, it’s ok to find and appreciate these little moments of happiness.
And do remember, and I can’t stress this enough, if you find that you’re sad or overwhelmed the majority of the time, for a long period of time, please go seek professional help. Personal reveal: there was a time in my life that I cried for three weeks, pretty much 24 hours a day. I’d wake up and cry, choke down breakfast and other meals through the tears, go to work and have to escape to the bathroom and sob several times during the day. I’d cry on the commute there and back again, and fall asleep crying. I finally got myself a therapist, and stopped crying. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to not cry for several hours at a stretch. So just do it. Get help if you need it.
What do you do to stay out of the Dark Side? Share with the Happiness Habit Facebook group – if you haven’t joined, now is a good time!