I painted these words to the left of my front door in our tiny apartment on the corner of 25th and E St NE, DC. I was duking it out with postpartum depression. I had had a miscarriage, fallen deep into depression, then got pregnant 3 months later and fought anxiety and angst each day during my pregnancy.
Delivering my daughter was an absolute gorgeous experience. It was perfect in every sense… orgasmic even! I didn’t think it was possible to experience childbirth in such a glorious way. But my husband and I did.
And then, only a week later, the depression crept back in taking me further into the abyss.
I sat on my couch breastfeeding this hungry little baby round the clock! I thought I was going to lose my mind. But I was determined to be of sound mind, full of heart and strong body so I could care for this sweet girl, her brothers and her dad. I needed a reminder. I wanted to have something that would make me feel safe and happy every time I sat on that couch to feed my baby. I would look up, force a smile and speak, Be Happy, Right Here, Right Now.
Now this has become one of my mantras in life. The smiles come naturally and effortlessly (most days). The understanding comes clear. We do need reminders to be happy in the NOW. Like anything else, it takes practice and patience for this type of peace to take root. Happiness is a skill.
To build your Happiness muscle, try incorporating these 4 habits into your life;
- Gratitude – Give Thanks for the things that make your life so good.
- Focus on the Good – Happiness is an emotion. Grow that emotion with a little Positive Outlooking.
- Set Goals – Give yourself something wonderful to look forward to and give that vision energy by actively working toward it.
- Be Generous – Maybe some Random Act of Kindness each day will bring a smile to not just others. But it just might bring a silly smile to your face that can last all day through.
Remember to be good to yourself, too!