You wake up in the morning refreshed and energized, feeling that your life is real, not a dream.
You smile at your reflection in the bathroom mirror and say hello to a busy blue titmouse in a birdhouse outside. Then you enjoy your morning yoga routine while bathing in the sun flooding the room.
Feeling strong and capable of facing whatever challenges life throws your way. That, no matter what’s going to happen, you will be fine.
Instead, you wake up tired and overwhelmed. You drag yourself out of bed, log in to your Facebook account, and get stuck. One more day in a prison of the past.
Your childhood wounds are still bleeding. Living with the consequences of a childhood emotional abuse makes it hard to live in the now and find happiness.
Happiness isn’t for you. At least, not before you’re healed… right?
Dancing in the Rain
Have you ever met someone who has been waiting for the better times all her life?
She buys a beautiful vase and hides it in a closet: “We renovate the apartment first.” Or she doesn’t allow herself to have fun, because “There’s no time now—so much to do.”
Or, “I can’t travel as long as my mother is alive—what if she needs me and I’m far away?” That was me, postponing one of the biggest joys in life. For years.
Living on standby isn’t living. It’s waiting.
Healing from childhood trauma takes time. You may even never fully recover. Does it mean you can’t live a fulfilling life?
Not at all.
And here’s what you can do.
Happiness Is a Choice
Let me ask you something.
Have you ever given support to a friend who was feeling anxious, depressed, or not good enough? Did you tell her how strong she was and encourage her to keep going? Did you tell her that life is worth living, and help her to see the good things in her life?
It’s time to take your own advice.'Happiness is a state of mind, not a destination.'–Steve MaraboliClick To Tweet
It’s an ongoing feeling of wellbeing: feeling good about yourself, other people, and life. Feeling comfortable with whatever happens in your life, and confident that you will find a solution.
It’s a state of mind you can adapt.Choose “happy in spite of,” because “happy if only” almost certainly means never.Click To Tweet
Life can be tough and joyful at the same time. Maybe your job sucks, but your kids fill your heart with love. Perhaps your body aches, but excitement about your new project helps you to forget the pain. Or your relationship with your mother is a source of perpetual frustration, but your loving partner gives you strength. Nothing seems to work in your life, but looking at the shining sun fills you with hope.
Can’t see anything good at the moment? Ask your partner or a good friend to help you.
Have a Goal
Caught in fight/fligh or freeze mode, many of us live on autopilot, more surviving than living.
With no idea what we want life to be like.
No goal to strive for.
Read more about goal-setting here.
But here’s the thing: your brain has to know what you want in order to get you there.
Want your life to be different?
Help your brain to get unstuck from the past by showing it your sunny destination.
Do you want to finish your studies and have a successful career? Be financially independent or spend more time with your family? Find love and build thriving relationships with your partner and kids? Start an online business or travel?
Make a visual board illustrating your ideas. Cut images from magazines, print them from Pinterest or make a collage on your computer.
Want to lose weight and take dancing classes? Find images representing these goals.
Learn more about creating visual boards here.
Let your brain search for information to support your goal.
Meditate and visualize your sunny destination for at least five minutes a day. Make it a part of your morning and/or evening routine.
What Helps You to Feel Good?
Find out and do it!
Think of all the healthy activities that do you good.
Does walking by the lake help you to feel at peace for a while? Does cleaning or fitness help your body to release stress? Have you already tried yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong?
Can’t think of anything at the moment? Think of what you used to enjoy in the past.
Cook your favorite dish or bake morning rolls. Make a drawing, watch a Disney movie, or just breathe mindfully for a while.
By focusing your energy on things that make you feel good, you are helping your body to produce more of your own, free happiness drug: serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphin hormones.
Don’t (over-)think, just do.
Tweak and Thrive
The time you spend waiting for a better future is wasted. Live your life now. There is always something good—allow yourself to enjoy it.
Your life is good enough, and so you are.
Happiness isn’t something you get served, ready to enjoy. You have to build it with your own hands.
Although it is harder for you than for someone, who grew up in a harmonious family, to be in the present and enjoy the life, you can do it.
One little step at a time.
I’ve made my choice.
What about you?
Let me know what you think in the comments below, or send me an email, or a message. Visit my Facebook page. And if you enjoyed this article, share it with your friends. Thank you!
Images by Pixabay