The Pleasure And Pressure Of Hunting Happiness

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There are a lot of articles on the internet about the subjects of happiness and positive thinking. Positive affirmations crop up on Twitter on a daily basis and I have retweeted some of the better ones myself. It set me thinking about the pursuit of happiness itself, the expectations these days that we must bombard our minds with positivity daily and, if we don’t, then we are somehow lacking.

The last millennium was all about perfecting the body; going to the gym, eating healthily, jogging before breakfast and lunch hour Pilates. This millennium is all about training the mind; positive thinking, the power of suggestion, expanding mental horizons, thinking ourselves to wealth and success.

For some, these new expectations add to the pressure of trying to be more than we are. We are expected to do it all; have a career, have children (educate and expand their minds with extra curriculum activities, the more the better), go to the gym three times a week, keep the home looking nice and make sure the Jones’ aren’t doing better, push for that promotion, network-network-network and then the hardest thing of all, think positively and present a balanced, healthy, happy, content front. All the time.

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The number of people with stress and stress related illnesses has increased. This is unsurprising. It takes a rare person to be all things to all people. Then comes the guilt because of the perceived failure of suffering from stress and the thoughts of self-loathing. In the past we would share our concerns and worries with our families, who would all live in arms reach and a problem shared was a problem halved. Now, of course, families tend to be further apart geographically from each other and often we find ourselves handling everyday life alone with our thoughts. We are told we are weak minded if we can’t handle life. We are told to be positive. Look at the positives. There are always people worse off. Count your blessings. In other words, put up, shut up and go and get therapy.

I do believe in meditation, the benefits of alternative therapy such as reiki and massage and the value of positive affirmations. I count my blessings and have gratitude for my life, my family and the people I love. I just can’t subscribe to the theory we have failed if we aren’t permanently positive, ambitious, seeking self improvement and enlightenment and are a size 6. I measure my worth through the happiness and contentment of the people I love, not my material possessions and self ambition.

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Chilling Out – Meerkat Style

I believe it is okay to take time to breathe. It is okay to have a bad day. It is okay to eat a piece of chocolate cake covered in fresh cream. It is okay to indulge in ‘me’ time. In short, it is okay to take the time to be yourself and to stop trying to live up to the media and others expectations.

1. Give yourself permission to be true to yourself and be kind to yourself.

2. Give yourself permission to be human with all the flaws, pleasure and gratitude that embodies.

3. Find time to meditate and relax. Quieten your mind, even if you only close your eyes in a quiet room and think of a peaceful place.

If you can do this then balance, happiness and contentment will find you eventually but don’t force it, don’t try and be perfect, don’t try and live up to everyone else’s expectations. Do something every day which makes you feel as if you have achieved something worthwhile and makes you feel good about who you are. It can be as simple as getting round to clearing out a cupboard, phoning a friend in need of an ear or taking a walk by the sea. Happiness really is a mixture of joy, love and fear.

These points are worth pondering on too –

What seems like the norm, the mundane and possibly the boring in the right now is when life is easiest. Make those easy times a place where you find the happiness which has been there all the time, disguised in the here and now, the presence of The Perfect Moment In Time. Just there, waiting for you to see it.

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11 thoughts on “The Pleasure And Pressure Of Hunting Happiness”

  1. This is such a brilliant take on life in 2016 – so true! I love your ‘pondering’ suggestions at the end – find happiness in the normal things and recognise that the ‘boring’ times bring opportunity and space to think and learn.. Fab! If it’s ok with you I’d like to re-blog this post?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So so true and me too – I’ve spent too long rushing and missing out on what’s important. Ahhh – taking a breather to get life on track! ‘Re-blog’ on the way.. cheers! Have a great day x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ps – thanks for tweeting the latest poem. So sorry if I’m not responding correctly – I haven’t got my head around twitter yet – Please let me know if I’m doing something wrong… x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome.

      Giving the bare bones I would say you are doing fine. A retweet of one of the tweeters own posts is always a welcome reciprocation (please don’t read that as me saying you must retweet mine or I will confiscate your KitKat stash…lol) and much better than clogging up your own timeline with endless ‘thank you for retweeting’.

      You can always do a #FF hashtag (Follow Friday) for some of your more prolific retweeters on a Friday only to give them a shout out by mentioning their names.

      I am going to stop now before this becomes a post in itself haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yikes – Thanks for the advice – I’m going to give it a try… soon… I don’t know why I feel more nervous about twitter than my blog – I will overcome this.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

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