#MentalHealthAwarness — Tip 6 Find outlets that feeds your JOY.

It’s a strange one joy. Happiness.

A lot of people suffering with their mental health feel like they don’t deserve happiness. Or a lot of people feel like that have to earn the chance to be happy and it’s not something that just comes out of the blue. This mindset is honestly way more common than you’d realise. It is no wonder somebody may think like that if they are constantly thinking negatively, constantly putting themselves down, forever comparing themselves to others.

I mean, just trying to define happiness is hard enough. Does something majorly positive have to happen in your day to signify happiness? Do you have to be doing well in work? Do you have to be hitting the gym everyday? Do you have to be in a relationship, or have a house, or the latest Nike trainers or whatever the hell social media is telling you that would make you happy.

I said in previous posts that for me true happiness starts from within. If you’re not happy with who you are then you are going to project that in to the world. I was unhappy for a very long time and what’s worse is that I didn’t even realise it. Either that or I didn’t want to face it. It was too hard. I didn’t know where to start.

From the outside I must’ve looked fine. Better than fine, mother fucking happy as Larry! Friends, family, good job, fit as a flea, always going out to the pub. However, the longer that I didn’t address the anxieties that were going on in my head, the less and less that those things mattered. I started to replace them with crutches that acted as temporary fixes for my brain but gradually ground me down.

The late Chester Bennington said that “I find myself getting into these patterns of behavior or thought — especially when I’m stuck up here [in my head]; I like to say that ‘this is like a bad neighborhood, and I should not go walking alone.”

I can wholeheartedly relate to that because that is exactly what I was doing. I would over think absolutely everything and instead of doing things to make me happy, I was in this pattern of doing things to make me look happy. Now that’s a massive difference. I was catering my life to make sure I didn’t show my real feelings or vulnerabilities. I’m a guy that likes metal, football and booze; I CAN’T be vulnerable….but that’s totally what I became —I’d work the week to get smashed all weekend and watch sport, go running every single night in attempts to try and clear my head, then do it all over again the next week.

Bad patterns are easy to fall in to, especially if you are not keeping on top of your mental health. Once I realised this, once I gave in to the fact that I was vulnerable, I knew I had to change things.

I wanted to replace these bad patterns with good ones. Now these can be as big or as small as you like and again I can only go from my own experiences. So firstly, booze had to go. Then I wanted to add more outdoor activities, they’re good for the soul! I took up gardening, even bagged an allotment plus we rescued a cat called Wij. The idea of having to care for something and nurture it, be it my rhubarb or the cat, does wonders for my well being.

However, maybe these are not your bag or are too much responsibility at first, they were for me and something I worked up to. So why not try walking, cooking, reading, learning a language, knitting, rock climbing, yoga, any outlet that feeds your joy, helps nurture your soul and gives your mind a rest from negativity.

Find the things that are right for you .YOU deserve happiness. We all do.

Thanks as always