This weird sensation came over me the other day while driving.
I found myself to be content in my surroundings: music and other motorists.
This isn’t always the case for me. I may be one of those people who suffer from road rage. In fact, I often find myself suffering mood swings from happiness to anger. Off the road, my temper is usually at bay. That is, unless you ask my significant other or my best friend; they get the brunt of it. I do realize that none of this is healthy or safe, but alas, it is fact. I often struggle with keeping my temper low. During this struggle, I am often very high-strung and stressed. This has been referred to by others in a multitude of ways. Two of which are “poking the bear” and “being on thin ice.”
Again, I realize this isn’t safe or healthy. Truly, it isn’t fair to myself or others around me.
I have taken note of my behaviors. I’ve tried to make significant changes to my life because I don’t want to live on edge always. I don’t always want to be late. I don’t always want to battle with my temper. I don’t always want to take it out on those around me. I want to be better.
So, I researched. I spent more than six months (and counting) researching what could help me be a better me. I’m not going to say I found it. I am also not going to say this will work for anyone else in a similar situation. However, I will say that the reason I dedicated my March blog post to my newfound happiness and very public admission to being stressed and sometimes ill-tempered (sorry Babe, BFFLE, and some family members) is that maybe there are some of you out there on a similar quest. And possibly this blog might help you, whether it be an exact fit or it guides you to a direction.
Tip: It’s never too early or too late to start. I decided that on January 1st, 2017 I would complete activities to help me every day. The solution I yearn to find will likely never be a one-and-done fix. I may never be “fixed.” It will most definitely be a daily challenge for me to maintain peace and happiness, because emotions are daily things. After talking with others, reading things on the Internet, and reflecting on the past, I put forth a plan:
I had to figure out what would make me happy. For me, I’m happiest when I am writing often (both prompted and naturally). I was happy when I was doing something which not only came naturally to me, but actually made me happy. It is also a healthy activity. I encourage everyone to find the time (if not daily, then weekly) to do the thing that makes you the happiest and keeps you healthy. It doesn’t have to be creative or an art. Please, make time to indulge in a happy thing. Heck, it could be multiple happy things. One Monday you write. One Wednesday you quilt. One Friday you hike.
I had to figure out a goal or three. I realized that time spent achieving a goal makes me just as happy and proud as the moment I actually achieve the goal–or even the moment when I realized I tried and failed.
I needed to start reading every day. I’ve known that reading every day is good on so many levels. It would help my writing. It would help me in school or getting back into school. It’s a social event. It’s quiet time. It’s a learning experience. The list goes on and on. So, I started reading every day.
Another goal for me had been going back to school; I returned to school at the end of January. It was a goal completed and a goal beginning. It’s given me purpose. It’s given me drive. And it’s given me hope. Purpose, drive, and hope make for a great happiness cocktail. School is where I was driving from when I noticed I was happy.
For the day-to-day happiness: No matter how happy a person can be, stress comes into life in all shapes and sizes. It comes out of nowhere. I am trying to meditate every day to help me sleep, to help me find stillness and peace, to help me stay calm, to help me relax, to open myself up to a higher power, and to allow me to be aware of my surroundings. I would suggest a still meditation or a motion meditation (like certain body modalities) to anyone living a stressful life.
I’ve also spoiled myself with massages. Spas can have an effect on the wallet, sure, but putting oneself first is worth it. Stress can kill. Massages are wonderful.
It’s a daily struggle, and nothing is one-size-fits-all. I do hope happiness and health for all reading this today. Good luck on your journey! I am optimistic in mine.
Megan Andreuzzi is an animal lover and a traveler from the New Jersey Shore. She earned a degree from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA in Liberal Studies with a dual concentration in writing and a minor in theater.