Waiting to Be Happy
Guest Post by Mandy Mercuri from Take Hold of Pain
Have you ever thought this “When I’m …., I’ll be happy”? You can insert whatever you are looking forward to, dreaming about or convinced will make you happy into this statement. Maybe when I get a new job, when I have a baby, when I find a partner, when I pay off my house, when I lose weight or when I am pain free. When I was really at my lowest, when I was overwhelmed by everything, consumed by pain and depressed, I often thought “When my pain is gone I’ll be happy”. I was refusing to be happy until I could be pain free. But I was so irrationally blinded by my pain that I could not see the beauty in the little things. There was very little likelihood I was ever going to be pain free…so why deny myself the opportunity for happiness?
Six years ago, I finally chose to accept that pain is a part of who I am. I made a strong commitment to address the lifestyle factors that contributed to my pain and find solutions. I also chose to find happiness. I have so much in my life to be grateful for and to bring me joy. In fact, I’ve recently compiled a shortlist of a few basic things in my life that make me happy. These are not things I need to wait for, they are just experiences, moments in time that I can enjoy any and every day, if I choose to. This list is nothing to do with pain and can be experienced and enjoyed even when in pain.
- A snuggle with a loved one
- “Funny time” – in our family this is some time spent tickling or being silly – anything to generate a giggle or a good belly laugh
- A walk outside
- Enjoying some fresh whole foods
- Just doing something, ticking some small thing off my to-do list
- Writing – I find by getting some of my thoughts onto paper I can clear the headspace
- Watching or listening to my kids in their imaginative play (better still, getting involved – unfortunately usually I have to be the scary monster!)
- Having a bath
- Powering the mind by listening to a good podcast (my favourites are from The Wellness Couch)
- Reading a book
- Getting a massage
- A cup of coffee/tea and a sweet treat – enjoyed alone or with friends, at home or out at a cafe!
So, if you want to make a commitment to stopping and enjoying those little moments too, why not join me in the #slow30challenge. I am doing this now but you can do it anytime. Spend a few moments everyday slowing down and enjoying something from your own happiness list. Don’t wait around for something to happen, just seek joy in the little things and be happy now, today, in this moment. So what are you waiting for? Don’t deny yourself the right to be happy, you always can make the choice to be happy.
About Mandy Mercuri. Mandy was born with scoliosis, an “s” shaped curvature of the spine. Corrective surgeries at the ages of 11 and 16 straightened her spine with steel rods, pins and fusion. After 20 years in the medical roundabout seeking cures and solutions and even a reason for her pain, she was near rock bottom, struggling with many of her daily activities, withdrawn from social situations, depressed and almost without hope. After attending a 3 week intensive pain management course and implementing the techniques she learnt, Mandy has managed to overcome the challenges her pain presents. While not without pain, she now has an arsenal of techniques at her disposal and is closely in tune with her body to understand what activities and thoughts decrease pain messages. More recently she has introduced a healthy diet which has provided the fuel to energise her lifestyle. This total wellness approach (incorporating mindset, movement and healthy eating) allows her to live a happy healthy lifestyle despite her pain. Mandy is passionate to share her journey because it may provide others suffering with chronic pain some hope and inspiration to take action. Mandy shares her experiences and challenges to #selfmanagechronicpain at http://takeholdofpain.blogspot.com.au/ and is building a supportive community on her Facebook Page Take Hold of Pain. You can also find her on twitter @TakeHoldPain