10 Things You Have To Do To Feel True Happiness

10 Things You Have To Do To Feel True Happiness

It's the little things.

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There are times when we forget to stop and live in the moment. The stress that we constantly feel seems as though it will never stop. By going to these places and doing these activities, I have always come back focusing on the positive and believing that I can overcome anything.

1. Lie on the grass and look at the stars

When I lived in the city, I would look at the sky most nights, hoping that more stars would be there than the night before, but it was always rare. Once I started college in Long Island, almost every night is filled with stars. The dark night is filled with specs of glittering spots. I've always been with my friends and sisters of my sorority at night but they never notice until I tell them to look up. Everyone's reaction is the same: Woah. They always look so happy and calm, so can you imagine laying down and just staring? So satisfying. Gives us a state to reflect on ourselves and life itself.

2. Go to a concert

When you go to a concert the one thing that the audience can always relate to is the feeling of the booming bass in your chest and your ears needing to adjust after the show's over. Going to a concert truly amplifies the happiness of feeling your favorite tunes in your bones. It affects you more and reminds you how close you are to the artist themselves.

3. Ride a bike and track where you go

Riding a bike allows you to feel the air outside, gives you the feeling of total control, is faster than walking, and is the closest I've felt to flying. Observing what is throughout the streets and being able to go into very tight spaces calls for many discoveries to be made. All the meanwhile getting the exercise you need. I also usually track where I go and it is nice to see how far I've gone and which neighborhoods I had gone in so that if I see something that I want to revisit, I can check after. The app I use is called "Strava."

4. Take a walk during the sunrise

Waking up early to see the sunrise is tough enough for many of us but the benefits are immense. The best is when you wake up from a sleepover early with friends and take a walk to watch the sunrise. Witnessing and being able to share beautiful moments with friends is definitely a time I feel true happiness

5. Try new foods with friends

The best way to bond with others is to discover and love something new together. Food is always the path to making or mending relationships.

6. Write down important events in your life

There are so many memories that you won't remember in detail when you grow older. If you write out the exact moment and how you felt, looking back can help you reflect on how you were in the past and how you want to change.

7. Go on a road trip with loved ones

Road trips are also part of the way you can go on adventures in your life. To discover new places with others and the memories that you can make will largely impact your life in a good way.

8. Get a pet

There are many statistics saying that people have become happier due to their pets. These fulfillments include their social needs.

9. Discover your passion

To work towards something you are passionate about helps you be productive and discover things that you would like to do in your occupation in the future.

10. Reach a high point on a hike

I encourage everyone to at least experience a good hike. A hike where the endpoint is at least 10 stories high. You will never feel freer than at the top overlooking the world from a higher perspective. To see how small everything is seems to remind you your troubles are not as large as they seem.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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If I Could, I'd Start Running And Not Stop Until I Got To Kenya ​

The high altitudes of this east African country make conditions ideal for any runner looking to excel.

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If you're into running like me, then it's no secret where the best runners in the world come from. The African country of Kenya is home to some of the greatest runners to ever step foot on planet earth. Phenomenal talent emerges from Kenya year after year. Records get shattered as if they were minor accomplishments. Most of the talent goes unnoticed until the Olympic games roll around and get showcased to the world.

Kenya is a place I've always wanted to visit. Many of my running idols either live or train in Kenya. I'm talking about some world record holding athletes. Like Eliud Kipchoge, for example, who recently broke the world record for the fastest marathon ever. He trains every day alongside other world-class runners on the NN Running Team.

I constantly see athletes post on social media about their experiences while they training in Kenya. I think I would enjoy getting to know the culture. Life as a runner in Kenya looks like a lot of fun. The trails and roads look fascinating. There are always other runners striving to push one another towards their highest potential.

One big reason why I'd want to visit Kenya is that life seems so calm and simple. I wouldn't be caught up in the trends of society that resides while living in the United States. At times I feel overwhelmed and depressed from what goes on in the USA. I feel like there is a constant theme of people trying to outdo one another.

It's annoying because we are all the same and nothing should separate us, Sometimes I just want to get away from all that. I'd rather live out like a hermit and pave my own path in the vast open lands of eastern Africa. I admire the closeness of people in tribes and group settings in Kenya. People seem to be bonded tightly and enjoy the precious moments of life.

From what I read about Kenyan athletes, it sounds like I'd enjoy my time in the country. I would get to train with like-minded individuals day in and day out. The scenery would be incredible and breathtaking. There's just something about Kenya that gravitates me towards it. I've got it on my bucket list to accomplish at some point in my life.

Maybe my running ties could lead me to this place someday. Who knows, I'm just going to keep running until I can't anymore.

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