One thing I'm working on right now is to try and live here and now in THIS moment. Life can get so hectic, we rush through our days never truly experiencing what is around us. Living in the moment is one key step I can make along this path to happiness and contentment. When my depression is at it's worst I'm constantly looking to the future, thinking about what could make me happy, or where I need to be to be content in my life. By focusing on what I don't have (or perceive not to have) I'm denying all the good that is in my life RIGHT NOW. I get so wound up in my thoughts that I lose track of what is real.
There is beauty in every moment, and even through the harder moments we can experience something beautiful if we allow ourselves too.
My thinking up until now has always been very black and white. All or nothing. Everything is fantastic or totally bloody awful. A bad moment was dark clouds and sadness. I never saw the middle ground. One moment of sadness and I would allow it to pull me all the way down. I'd focus on that, long after that moment had passed, and ignore what was going on now.
A quote I read somewhere (and I can't for the life of me find it again now!) stated that:
Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces the kinds of impulsivity and reactivity that underlie depression, binge eating, and attention problems. Mindful people can hear negative feedback without feeling threatened. They fight less with their romantic partners and are more accommodating and less defensive. As a result, mindful couples have more satisfying relationships.
I'm learning to focus on NOW. To avoid worrying about what has been, or might be. To stop wishing for things that I don't have and instead enjoy the things that I do. It's all to easy to think
"oh, when I have x,y and z THEN I'll be happy"
Focusing on what is happening in the present is keeping me grounded, savouring the many moments of joy that make up each and every day is helping me to fight the negative thoughts that run through my mind. I'm choosing to focus on the good, each time a negative thought pops up, I acknowledge it but then find something positive to replace it with.
I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS
I realised that I love the simple things in life. I don't need lots of money, a big house, mountains of possessions to be happy. I have all I need in life to be happy already - I just have to focus on them. I'm re-learning every day to be thankful for what we have and to not let life pass me by any longer.