Amy Ryan explores happiness and choosing life in her blog post from This is a Real Girl's World.
Hey, guys and gals!
 
I wanted to share some of the positive vibes.
 
This blog is about the journey to happiness; some people aren’t a fan of this kind of thing. If it’s not for you, that’s ok. I hope you find happiness in your own way.
 
No one can predict the future, so why do I try?
 
Quite often, I find it difficult to be happy and positive. I may not seem that way on the outside, but I worry about ridiculous things all the time.
 
At the moment, I’m in college, absolutely loving life but I’m super stressed about what the hell I’m going to do once this is over. I’m the kind of person who likes to know the next step.
I enjoy planning things for the near and pre-distant future and when I don’t really have an idea set up to loosely follow, hello anxiety! I like having things to look forward to. It helps as you wade through the day-to-day dung.
 
Living in the past isn’t living at all
 
I used to spend lots of time fretting over the past too. I was just allowing myself drift into daydreams of various horrible memories of the things that made me feel really awful at some time in my life. I would feel overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, sadness and anger.
 
Then one day, fresh tears were flowing down my face as I was reminiscing about one bad day. I was surprised to see how upset I still was about this day, even after so much time had passed. I dried my tears and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked at the tears that felt like old friends.
 
“Why are you doing this to yourself?” I asked myself.
 
I was choosing to resurface this memory. Nothing had prompted it. I was choosing to dig up my demons each and every time these tears returned.
 
“Why do you bring up the bad memories all the time?”
 
Why don’t you every look back at the positive things that have happened in your life?” I said.
 
“Remember the day you stood before the Taj Mahal?"
 
“Remember the marshmallow sky as you watched the sun set in Kinsale?"
 
“Remember when he told you he loved you and your heart felt like it would burst with butterflies!”
 
I felt a wave of realisation come over me that day as I stood in front of the mirror.
 
That was the day I chose happiness.
 
I’m sure that other people can relate to this type of negative thinking. Our egos are constantly trying to make us evaluate every social encounter so that we can gauge how we might be perceived by other people. Our ego is our biggest enemy in life.
 
Everyone is driven by this, especially nowadays. The people who are at the top of the game are those most afflicted by this terrible curse.
 
So, where the hell is this going? To start being happy, you need to choose to see your life in a more positive light.
 
Appreciate everything.
 
If you have a nice coffee with a friend, briefly acknowledge the positive experience you just had.
 
If something great happens, tell the whole world about the amazing, happy thing that happened.
 
We spend so much time and energy dwelling on the shit things about life and the negative crap. Then, you spend some more time telling your parents about the awful thing, then your sister, then your friends, then your colleagues. You get it.
 
What has happened? You have created the most gigantic mountain of manure out of a minor bump in the road. You did that. You ruined your whole day over that.
 
So what should you do the next time?
 
Choose happiness. Choose smiles. Choose laughter. Choose friends. Choose your unique and crazy family. Choose music. Choose dancing around your room. Choose singing in the car. Choose a great meal. Choose quality time. Choose interesting conversations. Choose learning more about the world. Choose a story. Choose art. Choose expression. Choose love.
 
Choose what makes you happy and focus on that.
 
This is essentially the philosophy behind ALL of the mindfulness and positivity books, courses, apps…..everything. I think half of it is a money making racket, so why don’t you stop wasting your money and start with the simple things.
 
Stop complaining. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop gossiping. Stop comparing.
 
Then, you might see your world in a whole new light.
 
There are lots of ways of helping you to remind yourself to be positive (and we need to remind ourselves every day).
 
You can try mood boards, happy jars, gratitude journals, mantras, keeping a diary…..the list goes on. 
 
I started a happy jar last year and it was so nice to see it filling up and it was even better to sit down and read through everything at the end of the year.
 
Hope you enjoyed this, just a little food for thought.
 
Yours truly,
 
Amy
 
This article originally appeared on Amy's blog, This is a Real Girl's World, which you can read more of here.