According to the Oxford English Dictionary, happiness is defined as ‘the state of being happy’. Well this makes it all sound fairly simple: happiness is achieved by being in a happy state. But how do you get to be in that state? Some people might argue that being happy is achieved by living a good life and being a good person. To a certain degree I can understand this – maybe good people have a more positive and enriched outlook on life and that makes them happy. Other people might argue that being happy is a choice, and again I can see their point. One of my favourite quotes comes from a wonderful colleague of mine who says to me encouragingly “choose to have a good day”. Whenever she says this to me I find myself instantly in a better mood, smiling to myself as I walk down the corridor.
However, my experiences with mental health and well-being tell me that getting to be in a happy state is not always that simple. Sometimes even the kindest, most positive people are unable to choose to have a good day because they haven’t even mustered up the energy or enthusiasm to get out of bed and actually start the day in the first place. Unfortunately they are being hampered by beast that is the black dog of depression. Nowadays, this is an illness that is much more widely accepted and understood by people and I am so glad that it is becoming much more ‘normal’ to talk about it. One of the worst aspects of any mental health problem is to feel that you are totally alone and can’t explain how you are feeling because people won’t believe you…or even worse they can’t understand why you don’t just ‘get over yourself’.
I didn’t really want to start this blog with such a serious post but I feel like I need to because really this is the reason the blog is here in the first place. I’ve spent a long time reflecting on the concept of happiness and it’s something that I am adamant can be achieved by everybody if we search hard enough for it. Maybe if we try enough weird and wonderful approaches, eventually we’ll find happiness in abundance and roll around in it like a pig in….mud. So here is my latest weird and wonderful approach – The Blog of Happiness, a place where I can record, organise, revisit and remember all of the places I find the happy moments in my life. You never know, it might help you find some new happiness hiding places too. x