Happiness is different to every single person on earth. To some, it’s codependent on their accomplishments. To others, it depends on the relationships around them. For one person it might be more of a sense of content, but to another it’s a buzzing feeling of anticipation for what’s to come. Whatever the case, happiness is important. Without joy, it’s easy to sink into a dark place. However, over the course of 2016 it has become increasingly clear to me that your happiness should depend on no one- except yourself. There are people all over the world- some with no clean water and many with loved ones they’ve lost- but if you asked them, “are you happy?”, they would say “yes.” There is no other factor more important in life than your self reliance and your self love.
Self love and self reliance both come out of a place of personal respect. This respect means that you can feel beautiful or handsome, but it also means that you treat yourself right and put you first. This doesn’t mean be selfish- there is no respect in selfishness. But, it does mean that you are able to cut off negative habits and toxic friendships and it means that you can focus on a hobby or go out and get a job you’ve been wanting. Over the past few months, a lot has happened in my life! My grandmother’s passing was incredibly sad and hard, but I realized that it wasn’t the only thing clouding my happiness at times. So, I changed some things up. I took more time to study- got grades up. Then I began running and spending time learning healthy habits; I’ve seen a difference. I tried (honestly) to spend less time on my phone; I ended up deleting several social media accounts and feeling more connected to the world around me. Lastly, I had to look at how I was letting people treat me. This one was hard, because it’s hard to confront people who have treated you poorly and it’s hard to stop being around people you’re used to. Nevertheless, I know that I want positive relationships that are made out of loyalty, trust, and love- both with myself and others.
That being said, happiness is a personal journey. Nobody else can choose you for you. It isn’t always easy to ward off negative thinking- whether it’s body image or money related or confidence related or anything else- but just like negativity, positivity is a habit! So, I hope that when you’re making a New Year’s resolution to get in shape or to call your family more, you also make a note to choose you and choose happy.