Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are you happy?

Something is going on in the universe, people. Over the past month or so I've seen many friends post, comment, write, and smoke signal lamenting over the loss of the feeling of happiness. Summer coming to an end? The inevitable shortening of days? I think it's more than these things and I'm just not sure what it is. Many of my friends are of a certain age, so can it be hormonal? What about my men friends experiencing this same phenomena?

For me, it is not a "OMG what am I doing with my life" kind of thing either. I think I'm okay in that department. Anyway, I am not used to feeling this way. At all. Having just a slight taste of this down, blah, depressed feeling has given me more compassion for those who truly suffer with this all the time. You are my heroes, for real.

I guess the why of it all doesn't really matter as much as the how to stop it does. There are countless lists on this same topic so I'm not re-inventing the wheel here. Just thought I'd share what's been working for me over the past few days.

1. Share that shit! Tell other people how you feel and what's going on with you, honestly. Even if it's embarrassing or childish-who cares. A problem shared is, well, a problem shared. I shared this blah feeling with a friend of mine who helped me figure out what I used to do that kept me happy and vibrant.

2. Yoga. I need to do it. The mind-body-spirit connection is so vitally important to me that I get cranky and weird without a steady practice. I went to a yoga class last night and felt immediately better. Being in a room with other women and feeling their energy as we practice together is magical.

3. Get to some meetings. Every recovering person knows that going to meetings is where we hear the message of whichever fellowship you belong. I definitely do not want to drink alcohol again so last night I went to a meeting. Tomorrow I will go to another. Ad infinitum.

4. HELP SOMEONE ELSE. Getting out of my own head is necessary. I spend way to much time pondering how I don't feel like myself and why do I feel this way and oh this is terrible and blah-freakin'-blah-blah-blah. Stop and go help someone, anyone. I spend time each month with a group of women at a shelter in a nearby town. I sent an email and set up my monthly visits to them. (Aside: Here's a link to Beth's story. She is a resident at the shelter/home and one of the amazing women working to get her life back together.)

5. Go outside. I went onto my garden and began the task of cutting and trimming and moving things around in preparation for winter. Being in my garden is always therapeutic. Sushi lays nearby chewing a tennis ball and I get dirty. Ahhh!


Taking action helped me! On Sunday I was not feeling so great and by Tuesday morning things were looking up. As I write this right now I'm feeling like my happy, joyous, and free self and for that I'm very, very grateful.

I got my happy back. How about you? Tell me what you do to get yours back!

10 comments:

  1. Great post, Aims and I agree- something funky is in the air! Lots of people experiencing a low point right now. My hippy-dippy friends will say "Mercury is in retrograde.." I don't know what that means but I'll take it. I completely agree that helping others is one of the best ways to get out of your own head. I have a friend preparing for cancer surgery right now, so my petty problems seem silly when I am with him. I want to pour my energy into supporting him. Making him feel good helps me, too.

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    1. That's a tried and true method of feeling better and useful. I hope your friend is okay, dear Rachael!

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  2. I like your list of ways to get your happy back, Amy. Getting outside to enjoy nature, walking or doing some sort of exercise such as dancing or yoga, listening to my favorite music, seeking out what makes me laugh, doing something creative whether it is writing or cooking or some sort of handcraft, talking to a friend, skyping with my sons--these are all ways that help lift my spirits when I'm down.

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    1. I love your spirit lifters, Daisy! Thanks for sharing them. :)

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  3. I'll add one to the list: masturbation. Not that I ever do that, but I hear it helps.

    Love the list, Amy. You remind us that like anything of value, being happy takes work.

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    1. HA! Excellent addition to the list! :)

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  4. Thanks for the reminder Amy! I have been in a funk lately too. I was out in the garden today myself and am working on being happier! For me a good workout helps, but when I am feeling down it is always harder to talk myself into doing it.

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    1. Oh, the gardening definitely helps, Sarah. I agree, too, that it's so hard to get motivated when feeling down. It's like I know what will help, but doing it is a whole different story!

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  5. Yoga does it for me - I get out of obsessive thinking and into body, mind and spirit connection ... seems like being in a funk is in the air - the hyperactivity of daily life can be overwhelming - meditation helps! The come into darkness surrounding Fall gives me a sense of grief and mourning a foreshadowing the death of Winter.

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    1. My ever-wise yoga teacher says the following about this season:
      "Autumn is a season to slow down and turn inward. I feel it’s a season of building stability in our body and clarity in our mind through our yoga practice. It’s a time to let go of things in our life that doesn’t serve us anymore and create space for new dreams."
      I like to look at winter as a re-charging time. I know you hate it though, Mama!

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