Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Things to Smile By

Yesterday I had a long conversation with my best friend. She is suffering with depression and anxiety and it is getting worse everytime we speak. She is seeking therapy and has been on a concotion of medication for years. It hurts to see her like this, and I know how low she is because, at times, I have struggled with mental illness and crippling anxiety too. I like to think I have overcome a lot of my demons, and have learnt to control those that will never leave. Being with David has helped me grow and having a child has given me perspective, strength I never knew I had and an abundance of joy. Leaving Birmingham has been so good for my soul and all the travelling, counselling, bottles of wine and soul-searching I have done in my life have contributed to the person I can call 'happy'. My friend sees this change in me, we have known each other for nearly ten years, she has been there in my darkest times and now I regale her with stories of love and kindness and inspiration. I think this may be why when she calls me she asks for answers, she wants to know my secret.

I know I don't have the answers, but there are tools that I use to help me see the bigger picture, help me smile and ease out my shoulders. Every day this week I am setting her an assignment - and you readers, please participate too.

This morning I sent a message asking her to make note of at least five things that make her smile throughout today. I told her to reply at the end of the day with her list, and I sent her my list from yesterday for inspiration.

1. Vinny laughing hyterically while I jump around trying to swat a wasp
2. Roast potatoes for dinner
3. Painting my toenails
4. Buying plants at the garden centre
5. Having a two hour conversation with my best friend

The beauty of this exercise is recognising little moments of happiness and instead of letting them slip by, actively noticing them and holding onto them. You can either start the day by promising to do this, which is great because it will increase your happiness levels throughout the day, or look back before your sleep and find some joy in even the crappiest of days.

1 comment:

  1. great list- I write down things in my journal to remind me of the best and worst part of the day- the worst is never really bad- good luck and nice to meet you!