Being happy in challenging times

How can I be happy with you staring at me?

Let’s face it – 2020- 21 has not been easy. In such difficult and everchanging times it can be hard to stay positive and even harder to feel happy.  All studies show the more resilient you can be the more likely you are to adapt and be able to cope with day-to-day challenges.

Now I must disclaim here, I am not talking about major life challenges – for these I recommend seeking professional help and support – I am talking about day-to-day trials. So how do we be resilient? What is resilience? The dictionary’s definition is – “Being able to with stand or recover quickly from difficult conditions” Why are some people more resilient than others?  I have done some basic researching on this topic and have come up with what I think is the best advice in a nutshell to share with you. I have given it the acronym of S.H.I.F.T. , which sits beautifully as we need to shift our thinking and actions to change our thoughts and behaviours.

S – Serenity poem “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference” Some things are out of our control, we can only change what we can control and have the courage to change, otherwise we have to learn some level of acceptance. Courage, acceptance, and wisdom are all key to being resilient. This saying really helps me on a daily basis.

H – Harmful or helpful – is what I am thinking, doing, saying harming me or helping me? If it is harming you – change it. You may need to ask yourself this question many times a day, always choose what helps you not what harms. Be honest with yourself.

I- Interactions – connect with supportive, nurturing friends and family. In these times this might not be able to be in person – call, zoom, facetime or whatever way you can connect. A trouble shared can be a trouble halved. If you are feeling overwhelmed you should seek professional support – there are many free counseling hotlines to help,  support and guide you in the right direction.

F – Focus on gratitude. We always have something to be grateful for and focusing on what you are grateful for instead of what is bothering you has proven scientific results in improving happiness and well-being.

T – Train your thoughts. Our thoughts are often set to what I call “negative FM radio” – we need to change the channel to “Positive FM radio”. Of course, this is not always easy and some techniques in mindfulness can really help here.  If your thoughts are on negative repeat cycle, choose your favorite mindfulness activity to reset. I like the five senses model – what am I seeing,  tasting, feeling, hearing and smelling right now – I do this for several minutes to stop my overthinking brain. I know many people like meditation, exercise, reading or some favourite music. It is important to do what suits you – we are all different.

As always look after yourself with adequate sleep, exercise, heatlhy nutrition and positive habits.

Here’s being as resilient as we can be and supporting each other through these hard times.

How resilient are you?

6 responses to “Being happy in challenging times

  1. Positive and inspiring post Michelle. Life will be so simple and beautiful if we all learn how to live this life of meaning and living.

  2. So upbeat, thank you Michelle. Connecting with nature, love of sleeping and doing yoga helps me to stay resilient. If we can manage to stay resilient during these hard times just think how strong we will be for whatever doom comes our way.

    • Thank you Michele. Connecting with nature also helps me stay reilient too – it is so important to find what helps us and move away from anything that is unhelpful. Your posts always help me too.

  3. Thank you Michelle. I think we help each other 🙂

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