Happiness is Not a Baseline

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Is it too late to talk about New Years’ goals…or intentions? I’m one of those who doesn’t make resolutions because it sets me up for failure. What works for me is to set up a goal for each month. For instance, in January, my monthly goal is to move my body in some way for at least 15 minutes each day. 21 days in I can say that this particular goal has been successful – each day I have either bundled myself up to take a walk outside or I’ve done a walk via YouTube video in the comfort and warmth of my own home. Yes,  even when I had the stomach flu, once I had some energy, I moved my body. This goal has been so helpful for my physical and mental health. I am hopeful that I will continue this in some capacity for the next 11 months of 2019.

San Francisco, 2016
Taken by Jen Chaput

So I’ve been thinking more about my mental health and mental health in general. This February will mark a full year since I have admitted to myself that I have trouble with anxiety and mustered up the courage to enter into therapy. I spent 6 months with a wonderful therapist and a mindfulness group that taught me so much about myself and I was able to practice positive coping mechanisms along with medication. Throughout this process, I have learned more about happiness and why it seems we are all chasing it as the ultimate goal of living as human beings.

Let me tell you, happiness is not a baseline and that is my intention for 2019.

What I mean is that my baseline is not happiness. In 2019 I intend to not compare each day to how it feels to be “happy”. You’ve seen those pretty inspirational images that talk of “choose happiness!” right? Well, happiness is not always a choice. Otherwise, wouldn’t we always want to be happy? Of course I don’t want to be stressed out and upset with myself but it happens. If I have a stressful day where it seems that nothing is going right, in the past I would spiral into thinking how my whole life is just bad choices and decisions. In 2019 I intend to stop those thoughts and embrace the stress and, well, suck. Sometimes life is hard and that is ok.

2 comments on “Happiness is Not a Baseline”

  1. Happiness is not a baseline, happiness is not always a choice, and happiness sure as sh*t is not easy. Kudos to you for identifying and tackling your barriers to happiness ❤

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