Today's post is something that's been playing on my mind for a while now. For those who've not seen +Inthefrow's video (watch it here), she talks about something we all need to focus on once in a while - being happy.

We all have our ups and downs - sometimes we have 'upper' ups and 'downer' downs than others - but there's always a time in everyone's life where we struggle with various things. It's so important to look after ourselves and others, and by making ourselves happier or bringing a smile to someone's face, we not only break the harder things down so they're more manageable, but we feel more positive in the long run and we learn more about ourselves.

I have a psychology background, so naturally I'm going to bring some of it into this (you have been warned!). There's a field of psychology not a lot of people know about, and I myself didn't know much until recently. It's called Positive Psychology, and it's focusing on how to make the most of your life and your experiences. It's a little similar to mindfulness, but it's not primarily used to treat mental illness - more of a useful approach everyone could learn from!

It talks about how we find happiness through lots of different ways, and that whilst sometimes there will be negative things that happen to us, equally there will be a lot of positive things in our lives. The happier we are with life, the happier our lives will be. Easier said than done, right?

Chances are, you might already be picking up some techniques. You might have heard people talk about writing down 3 things they're grateful for every day. This is called the 'gratitude exercise', and it's actually a part of positive psychology. It reminds us all of the things we have that we take for granted rather than the absence of things we don't have, and by doing so, allows us to focus on the positive rather than the negative. (#psychologyinreallife #wedontjustreadminds)

The reason why I've been looking into happiness a lot recently is because I've not been happy; I've been very stressed out. I won't go into it here, but not feeling happy is taking a toll, and I've realised how important keeping happy and healthy is in everyday life. Some may have seen I've done a few posts talking about 'The 16-week challenge' which seem to have dwindled - this is because I genuinely haven't been well; but when I was, and I was writing those posts, I felt so good in my own skin, and making progress for myself.

That's why I'm doing the best I can to focus on the little things that make me happy. I'm a big believer in appreciating the small moments - like the fact that in a couple of weeks time I'll be on a beach reading a book, or that I'll be seeing friends at the weekend, or even that tonight I'll treat myself to a bath and a cup of tea. I always try and write about things that make me happy; the process of writing about it and creating that content makes me happy in myself! This is why I have this blog - because it's my little creative corner of the internet, like a diary, that I can use to remember my happy moments.

I really love the whole idea of positive psychology, because really, we all do it whether we know it or not. It's inbuilt into who we are, we just need to access it! Yes, sometimes life does get in the way, but those are the times we need to be kindest to ourselves; we're doing the best we can with what we've got and that's pretty good.

So really, today, I'm grateful for:

  • the fact that I'm going on holiday soon
  • the fact that soon it'll be September and into Autumn, which is one of my favourite times of the year
  • the fact that I have a day off work to work on my Master's degree

Happiness is apparently the key to success, after all...