Instead of choosing to be happy, I’ve decided to choose to make choices that are good for me. Good for me physically, good for me mentally. I don’t say this lightly, it is tough. It is so difficult sometimes.
I choose to take my medication. I don’t particularly like it. I struggle with accepting I need it. But I know it makes a difference, I know it makes me feel better. So, I do it.
I choose to communicate. With my family and with my friends. Even when it’s hard, even when it’s uncomfortable and confronting. I do it because I have learned the hard way sharing how I feel and sharing the issues I am facing makes them easier to face.
I choose to exercise. My volleyball team sucks and it’s bloody hot up here all the time. But I know I feel better after it. I know playing volleyball makes me happy and I know getting outside is good for me.
I choose to clean my room and make my bed. I am incredibly lazy when it comes to housework. In that sense, I am a terrible housemate. But I know walking into a messy room makes me feel anxious, so I tidy it. I vacuum my floor and I put my clothes away. I do it because it makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. It makes my room feel like a safe place to be.
I choose to only drink coffee in the morning. I love coffee. I could drink it all day. But I know I’ll be awake all night with a racing heart rate. And I know that’s not good for me.
I choose to eat food that tastes good and makes me feel good. This includes chocolate. But I know that I’ll have more energy and I’ll be happy with myself if I am treating my body well.
I choose to spend time with people who are good for my mental health. Even when all I want to do is be alone. I’m lucky I have people who are happy to just hang out without needing to do anything. I know that surrounding myself with people who are supportive will lift me up and reassure me when I need it. I know sometimes all I need is to just sit with someone. I know when I isolate myself, I overthink situations and get into a vicious cycle of negative thinking.
That’s how I’m “choosing to be happy.” I don’t always get it right, I don’t always follow my own rules, but each day I get better at making good choices and improving my mental health.
by Holly Carter Brown
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