Friday, March 20, 2015

Practical Happiness



You know the feeling...may mga araw when you simply don't feel positive or happy. When you feel like Charlie Brown or Lady Edith. When all you want to do is curl up in your bed.

Pa'no bang maging masaya? 

Much as I want to dish off my usual crappy banal lines, like "The fact na nagising ka kaninang umaga is a reason for happiness" or "Having [insert something obvious, like kids, wealth, roof over your head, food] is happiness in itself", we all know that doesn't work. If you're anything like me, self-help books never help either. Pagbukas ko pa lang ng book, my eyes glaze over and my mind flies. Motivational seminars neither work. I'd get so pumped up at first, but the glow of the inspirational talk seems to fade as quickly as the seminar is over. Plus paying for a pep talk seems stupid for a kuripot person like me.

Paano nga ba?


 

Disclaimer: I think the most important of all is knowing what gets you down. So much of what I will say here is based on MY experiences and might not work on somebody else. 

1. Lack of sleep drives me batshit crazy. It does. It gets me down and makes me short-tempered and mean. All my bad thoughts happen when I'm puyat. Bad and/or stupid situations that I can deal with gracefully and with aplomb when I'm well rested just devolve into World War III when I lack sleep. Anything shorter than eight hours is a ticking bomb. So you can just imagine this week -- final examinations ni Sharkteeth, deadline ng book, scheduled checkups -- siguro around 4 hours of sleep lang lagi ako for four nights. Grumpy to say the least. Plus my throat itched like hell and I was getting the sneezies. BUT last night, nakatulog ako ng 8 hours straight. Now, here I am, chirpy as a bird. Everything is right again in the world.

2. Do something you like each morning. I feel happier when I do a little crafting (bag repair, sewing, anik-aniks) in the morning. Kaya lang busy-busyhan, so no crafting for me in a long while. It might not be crafting for you. Might be praying. Or playing with your kids or your pets. Or exercise. Just do it. Kahit 15 minutes lang. Actually, me saying that I'm busy that I don't have time isn't true. I can spend hours chatting online. Hehehe. Tamad lang talaga ako kung minsan. 

3. You know the cliché about shopping when sad? So true. But I don't buy high-ticket items, hello?! I'd be broke, then I'd be truly and majorly depressed. Hahaha! Favorite kong bilhin pag malungkot ako is a bottle of nail polish. My nail and cuticle care ranges from bare to nonexistent, so it doesn't seem to make any sense that I'd buy nail polish, but it does -- buying that bright neon yellow polish is my f*ck you to sadness and it does make me happy, even temporarily. Hayun, napakarami ko nang nail polish sa bahay. Not totally useless though. I use them as touch-ups sa chipping paint, sa scratched bags or shoes, anything that needs color. Sharkteeth once used an entire bottle of gold nail polish for her project.

4. Most important of all, umiwas sa inggit. You know the scene: You're scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed, then you see your friends' post on their beach trip or winter trip, her outfit of the day/makeup of the day/whatever of the day, somebody's Blahnik/Jimmy Choo/Otto/Rusty Lopez/Parisian/Sanrio/Polly Pocket/Lallaloopsy/Lego/Barbie/Hermes/LV/Chanel/Secosana collection, the breakfast/lunch/dinner/merienda/elevenses they're having...then you get that all too familiar feeling of envy and jealousy and the day turns sour. Why can't it be me?! Why can't I have that bag, those shoes, that pretty, oh so pretty, Miranda Kerr x Royal Albert collection? Why? Why? Why? Kung ano-anong bagay ang gusto kong bilhin pag nakikita ko sa Instagram. Dati naman Johnson's baby powder lang okay na sa akin, ngayon may Guerlain pa akong nalalaman. Just turn off that damned thing. Or unsubscribe altogether. Out of sight, out of mind. And don't sign on again till you can stare at those pretty, expensive, envy-inviting posts with clinical detachment. Or when you are uber-rich and can buy those things with wild abandon.

So there. Forget about platitudes and start doing something about it. Literally. If you can add anything, please leave a comment. Let's help each other.



*Obviously, I'm not talking about major depression here. Go to a real shrink for that. 

23 comments :

  1. Wow, this is so me except for no.1. I always lack sleep. Number 4 I can fully relate to. As in. When I catch myself doing that, I pray to God to let the feeling pass. Much as I'd like to go to the supermarket each time I'm gloomy, I have to restrain myself as the freezer begins to groan quietly until husband and son see it, then they make parinig and I feel so bad, I fume quietly. If I didn't go grocery shopping, I'd say to myself, what would they eat? And ultimately, I'd like to say I'm not into self-help stuff either - books, talks, etc. I'd rather talk or chat with a friend like you than read/attend such. Thanks for this post, particularly for no. 4. Akala ko nag-iisa ako.

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    1. At least makakain ang binibili mo. :) Hehehe.

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  2. Dahil hindi naman ako kinukulang sa tulog, tamad ako bumangon ng maaga (buti na lang 9-6pm ang work hours ko), at kontrolado ko ang shopping ko (so far, ehem), pinakagusto ko yung no. 4. Iwasan talaga ang inggit. Pwede mainggit, natural yan, lalo na we are girls. Basta sabi ko sa sarili ko, dapat laging healthy levels lang. It's not just in social media eh, pwede nga from stranger na masalubong mo lang sa labas. Wala tayong takas. We can't control these things, but we can control ourselves, our feelings.

    Ang maganda lang siguro sakin, masarap na food or yakap lang ni hubby or bonding with family and friends, tanggal na ang lungkot ko. Hormones din minsan eh, yung init ng ulo tapos masungit ako lalo pag delayed ang mens ko tapos alam ko namang hindi dahil buntis ako. It happens talaga, pero ang maganda lumilipas din sya. And then life goes on again.Haaay, ang buhay nga naman. :)

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    1. Agree! Merong unhealthy na inggit, right? It's one thing to admire and be a bit envious, it's another to be jealous about it.
      Yeah, hormones. All too real. Buti na nga lang di ako pinapatulan ni TheHusband when I'm unreasonable when I'm PMS-ing or puyat.

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  3. I totally agree with you Ms. Ellen on everything you said. In short magpakatotoo tayo sa ating nararamdaman not because society dictates it but because gusto talaga natin.. Kumbaga follow where your happiness is. Syempre as long as walang natatapakan or nasasaktan na tao, diba?

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    1. Besides, happiness is something that we can achieve with a few changes in habits.

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  4. I am the opposite when I'm feeling depressed. I don't like to stay in bed; I have to find something to do. This is probably why I have so many hobbies haha.

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    1. Hahaha! That's a loaded statement.

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  5. I'm prone to eat when I'm depressed or something's bothering me. Gusto kong kumain ng masarap mapa-fastfood man yan or gourmet food. Oh, and I like going to bookstores too and buy pens. That's my "shopping when depressed" part.

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    1. Oooohhh! Pens and school/office supplies. I love that too. Medyo marami na rin akong stock ng PostIts. :)

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  6. 1. Lack of sleep - I refuse to admit....pero feeling ko I'm getting used to it haha even my body is refusing to let me sleep early

    2. Do something you like each morning - kumain ng kumain? pede hahaha I tried exercising.. lasted only for a few weeks.. blame number 1.

    3. You know the cliché about shopping when sad - sorry na

    4. Most important of all, umiwas sa inggit. - it's a bit nice that my FB is beginning to be flooded with students and former students hahaha natatabunan ang timeline ko ng selfies ng kiddies than my contemporaries

    5. Read positive and happy blogs! - #youknowwhatImean hahahaha



    ReplyDelete
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    1. Buti ka nga selfies ng kiddies. Eh ako, selfies ng contemporaries, naka-tongue out pa. Tumataas ang presyon ko. Haahahahahaah!
      #5 Aminin, kasama ba yung password protected blogs na pinag-usapan natin, noh?

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  7. Josephine3:56 PM

    tama yang sa mga social media na yan...hahahahha! sakin iced tea nagpapasaya...

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    1. Mag-stock ka ng maraming tea bags and iced tea powder!

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  8. I do not shop anymore when I am sad. I always end up with buyer's remorse afterwards. Shopping for clothes is particularly stressful, what with trying on different clothes before finding the perfect fit (I do not have an "ideal" body type, made even less "standard" by pregnancy and breastfeeding.). And then it has to be age-appropriate, the right color for my skin tone, practical, breastfeeding-friendly.... So yeah, one has to be in the proper frame of mind when shopping.

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    1. Yeah, and I don't want something so expensive reminding me of my sadness. :)
      Yan din problema ko sa clothes. My tummy has gotten in the way. :)

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  9. I like looking at happy and inspiring pictures whenever I feel down. That's why malaking bagay ang Instagram sa akin hehe! Light, colorful, and happy pictures (of anything - can be food, home interiors, places, etc.) take my mind off that gloomy feeling, of stress and even init ng ulo. Nakaka-relax sa akin, kumbaga.

    Retail therapy used to work for me before, but after giving away a lot of my bags and shoes na on impulse ko binili, I stopped. I still do it sometimes (who can resist onling shopping?!) but mostly gift items na hino-hoard ko (#alammoyan). Hindi pa nasasayang cos meron at meron akong mapapagbigyan =)


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    1. Idagdag pa ang Pinterest! :)

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  10. I can totally relate on this topic

    1. Sleep. Importante to sa kin. Kasi yung shift ko is midshift so nakakauwi ako ng bahay 2am na. Pero ok na ko kapag nakaka 6 hrs above akong tulog. Hindi naman pwedeng lageng 8 hrs kasi nga I have twins. So I still need to take care of them.

    2. Do crafty things. This is my stress reliever though sometimes hindi ko na magawa especially kapag weekdays. Pero the fulfillment is unexplainable lalo na kapag natatapos mu ang isang bagay na gustong gsto mu talagang gawin.

    3. Shopping. Before I always do this but I am a mom now so I need to be practical. So what I do is every payday I should eat something that I craves. Pero dapat hindi mag eexceed ng 500. Minsan yung mga tipong tig 50 pesos nga lang like McFlurry. Happy na ko dun. Or have discount vouchers. I also splurge myself on lipsticks kasi I am selling so yung konting kita ko dun ko na lang binibili.

    4. Inggit. This is so true. Kaya minsan iniiwasan ko din mag open ng FB. More on my blog na lang. Kasi hindi mu maiwasang maicompare eh. Especially kapag may mga taong lageng pinopost yung lahat ng mga bagay na meron sila then always have a hashtag of #blessed minsan nakakairita din un especially if your having a bad day and a bad life.

    But as sis Edelweiza said we can't control our feelings. There are times nga na pinipilit kong maging happy ako pero hindi naman talaga wala tayong magagawa I will just let it flow. Pero ngayon lage kong sinasabi at pinagpepray na gusto ko lang maging contented in simple things. I will not have everything pero kapag nakikita ko mga mukha ng kambal ko, I always feel happy. They are just adorbs to watch, everytime.

    --

    nhengswonderland.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Alam mo, I find those hashtags #blessed and #favored a bit off-putting. Para kasing it implies na yung mga may pinagdadaanan eh #unblessed and #unfavored, diba?

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  11. I realized hindi ako masyadong malulungkutin na type ng tao. I get sad lang if sad ang mga taong ka-close ko or if may death, accident etc. Weird din pero hindi ako naiinggit sa mga nakikita ko sa social media, feel na feel ko nga mag-scroll at magview ng posts ng iba (tsismosa lang!) Ang problem ko is yung temper ko. Shot-tempered ako as in! Nakaka-trigger sa akin yung mga non-sense na usapan, post, at yung anything na parang produkto ng shunga shungang mind. Haaay ewan minsan naiisip ko ang sama ko yata at ang yabang ko for feeling that way pero affected talaga ako pag kabobohan ang involved. Serry nemen

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    1. Alam mo kung ano ang inis na inis ako na posts sa FB (well aside sa mga maldita posts that ends with "God bless")? Yung mga nag-po-post ng urban legend and mga di totoo na stories purported as real, kung minsan may quoted scientific data pa. Tinatabla ko talaga. Hahaha

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    2. Ay kainis nga yan tapos minsan pa feeling ng nagpost totoo talaga.Waaaa

      Delete

I'd love to hear from you, good or bad. And remember, if you can dish it, you better be able to take it!