- Please note that regardless of my issues with anyone mentioned, I love them, have the most respect for them, and a lot of issues are based on culture. I write these posts to share my struggles as well share how I’ve grown. Any negative comments about those mentioned will not be tolerated.
Happiness is something we all seem to chase, and while it surely isn’t measurable, there are specific things and activities that boost our happiness. I’ve been struggling with having truly happy moments for some time but the past several months I have been making some pretty solid changes in not only my daily life, but also the way I react to things (that’ll be a separate post). Today I am sharing what makes me feel true feelings of happiness, where all my stresses and negative thoughts seems to subside, even for a short period of time.
The struggle with a lot of us is that we tend to keep ourselves busy thinking that it will alleviate any feelings we have. Yes, being busy allows us to push down our feelings and just focus (sometimes) on the moment. However, suppressing your feelings isn’t healthy either. Over time, they tend to form a dark ball inside of you, desensitizing you and eventually harming you more than healing you. I always say, in order to heal it, you must feel it.
Happy moments vary from person to person, and there is not enough information on what happiness truly means because we all interpret it differently. For me, happiness is being myself. As crazy as that sounds, I am not ALWAYS able to be myself. In my culture, we put up images to keep others from knowing what truly is behind door number 1,2 and 3. Image is everything. I personally hate it. I hate having to pretend. It’s inauthentic. Of course, I have family who already pretends, and I can’t always call them out, because then, it ends up in a war. The biggest struggle for me is just having my family accept who I am, without having to explain myself.
I have always struggled with explaining what I’m doing, who I am, why I choose to do certain things. Turkish culture, for the most part, is not an individualistic culture. Families and friends are very enmeshed with one another and they know every little detail about you, and if they don’t, they investigate. Imagine waking up feeling like you’re living under a microscope. Every move you make, awaiting judgment. It’s a nightmare.
Only recently have I started breaking away from what I think I should be doing, and focusing on what I want to do. I’m not making bad choices, I’m not harming myself, I just want to wake up and say ” You know what, do you. Be yourself. Be content”. That to me is happiness. That’s not a way to live. The thing is, after awhile, you become hypersensitive to these negative interactions and processing them ends up being a lot harder.
These 5 things helped me feel a lot happier. Of course, they’re not superficial and obvious things that make us happy like “buying a new bag” or “taking a vacation”. Those things are quick fixes, which are fine, and I think they help in the longterm, but these tools helped me change my mindset and help me get rid of the guilt and torment I put on myself. I can’t live life pleasing everyone.
- Using My Voice: We all have one, and sometimes, we use it to defend ourselves, to share our likes and dislikes, and of course, to make a point. I’ve found that speaking up, even if to myself, was super helpful. Instead of allowing someone to affect me, I changed the way I responded. Instead of fighting back, I just used my voice to change the situation. I stood up for myself, and used my words to create a balance in my conflicts. When I would be told I looked terrible in a certain dress, I would just respond differently than normal. Instead of defending myself, I would say “Thank you for your input, but I personally love it!”. Which then follows my next step…
- Walking Away: This is probably the hardest thing to do. As humans we HAVE to speak our mind and say the last word. Sometimes, it’s better to just walk away from an unwanted situation or simply excuse yourself. We have choices, and sometimes we have to make the choice that is best for us. No matter how hard it may be. I’ve walked away from conflicts to avoid escalation, to avoid getting upset and potentially ruining my mindset. It’s hard, but once you do it for the first time, it becomes so much easier, and so much better.
- Saying NO: This is probably the HARDEST of them all. We love to make those we love happy, we love to feel like we’re doing something…but sometimes, we do things even though we may not be 100% sold on it. We do things to feel connected, to feel different. There are countless times where I forced myself to go out, or to do something for a friend I didn’t truthfully want to do. I ended up being a debbie-downer or just didn’t enjoy myself. That was time wasted, and when you feel like you wasted your time, by choice, it never ends up well. We have do things that make us feel good, sure we have moments where we sacrifice, that’s normal, but when we feel like we are giving up more of ourselves than not, that’s when it can be an issue.
- ME time: It’s essential to take time for yourself. Do things that bring you joy or allow you to utilize your skills. I love to write, so actually writing these blog posts, alone, in bed, is therapeutic. I feel free, sound, and truly happy. Whether your alone time includes reading, painting, or even just getting your nails done…it’s so important to just do things that allow you to be ourselves and we should savor them. It’s important to be a little selfish. At the end of the day, we live our lives, for ourselves! Nobody can fill our voids, nobody can make us happy, nobody can make our life perfect. Our happiness always starts from within. Our friendships, relationships and what not add to our lives, helps us grow and fills us with experiences. But at the end of the day, nobody will ever love you, like yourself!
- Be Grateful: Take time every moment to say 5 things you’re grateful for. We tend to get caught up in this fast-paced life where we forget to truly stop and smell the roses. We focus on the negatives, because it’s easier. It’s easier to complain to than be grateful. We may not all be where we want to be just yet, but we are all working toward something. Nothing is easy, and we can’t compare ourselves to others because we don’t know what other people go through. We have to remember that we have right now, is what we have. We will have more, we could have less, but we have so much to be grateful for. We have a brain to think and analyze, legs to walk on, air to breathe, and of course, a world full of opportunities. We chose to take what we want, but we must always remember to be humble and grateful.
I hope you guys are enjoying these posts, I know they’re not fashion, but I think using the internet and social media to be open and relatable is equally important. We are all human, we are all unique yet we all go through things that sometimes we can’t imagine. It’s hard to open to up, it’s hard to share, but I hope that if you can relate this, that it at least made you feel something. I don’t believe in not being authentic, and sure, I can post an outfit photo today, but I wanted to share who I am.
Thank you so much for reading, and course, your positive feedback. I know a lot of you opened up on my last post (check it here), and I appreciate you for doing so. It’s beautiful.
12 thoughts on “5 Things That Make Me Happy”
Self-care is so so important but so so easy to forget, especially when you devote yourself to helping others!
Absolutely! Thank you for your comment 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!
Great post – and so important to well being, all of it. I’ll add in one more that was totally *key* to my being able to finally detach destructive feelings from those in my family — letting go of expectations. These people (family or whomever) are who they are, for the most part, and many of them may never change/grow/evolve. So, for our own peace of mind we have to let go of our own wishes/expectations for them and about them and just accept them for who they are presenting to us.
Ahhh, you’re so right Ann! That’s a great addition! You’re so right. It’s sad that our world is based on so many expectations since we’re able to get what we want almost instantly (thank you internet). While it’s great, it’s also damaging because it gives us the idea that everything in life should be easy, and perfect. I love what you wrote, thank you!
Preach Deniz! This hits home with me and it has always been a painful subject. It feels hard to escape most of the time. These are great observations on how to cultivate happiness in a world of pain. I hope you share more with us. We all lo You for fashion, and now this!!
Your comment made my day, thank you! It’s sad to see how our society has become more and more hateful, at least it’s a lot more apparent now with social media, and how we are now told it’s OKAY to be negative, since it’s such an easier outlet than be to be positive. I always try to remain positive because I’ve realized it’s the only way to truly appreciate the lives we have, no matter how difficult!
Great new subjects you have been blogging about. Have you ever thought about cutting your mom off completely? Visiting each other, social media, social events, calls, etc. My mom once told me “time apart makes the heart grow fonder.” It’s proven itself true in my life experience and maybe it would for you too. She sounds like too toxic a person to have any interaction with. My best advice would be to avoid her like the plague so you can focus on yourself. No doubt it would be extremely painful to cut ties with her, but not nearly as painful as it is for you now. Best of luck boo!
Thank you for your positive feedback, I really appreciate it. Regardless of the struggles, a lot of it cultural. We are bound to live my “appearances” and growing up in America, my mindset is completely different. I am in the process of looking to move out, so hopefully, it does help. 🙂
This post is so beautiful!! Thanks for being honest.
Thank you for your positive comment 🙂 It’s always hard to share!
What’s that saying?? “There are two sides to every story.” I’m curious about your mom’s point of view. Enlighten us Deniz!
It’s more cultural on her end, being raised in America for me, first-generation, cultures clash. Our culture is very enmeshed. Not very individualistic. They love so much, but we’re much more negative minded people, so it’s not easy when I see the world in a positive light. It’s not very easy to explain, but Middle Eastern mothers can be very overwhelming with emotion and instead of nurturing with words, they drill us with fear and focus on what other’s think versus what’s truly best for the child. It’s all in the way things are handled, and sadly,it’s not handle effectively.