I Was Depressed AF Until I Started My Own Happiness Project & It Changed My Life

For a long time, I was lonely and miserable. However, I knew no one was going to come and change my life or miraculously bestow happiness upon me. It was something I had to do myself, so that’s exactly what I did.

  1. I started by taking things slow. I was always on the go. I lived a fast-paced life and because of that, I was always anxious. I used to feel that if I didn’t keep moving, something bad would happen, but that wasn’t true and living like that wasn’t working out for me so I decided to stop. I started taking a few hours a day to sit with myself and simply be still. Sometimes I make a list of what makes me anxious which brings awareness and helps me let it go.
  2. I got outside more often. I never knew how much sunlight and nature can affect my mood. When I was really down, all I wanted was to hide under the blankets with my curtains closed. As I started my happiness project, I made sure to go outside, especially when it was warm. I took a hike, biked, and sat on a bench at the park. I also started opening the windows in my home to let natural light inside. It lifted my mood more than I imagined.
  3. I cleaned my house. My life was a mess but at least my house was clean. I picked up the clutter and put away the things I didn’t need. It’s amazing what a clean, organized house did for my state of mind and happiness. It really made all the difference.
  4. I started journaling. I didn’t feel comfortable talk to my family and friends about my thoughts and feelings so I started writing them down in a journal. Putting everything down on paper was cathartic and really helped me let go of the things that were holding me back. I also had fun decorating the pages of my journal. I added colorful stickers, photos, and even drew doodles.
  5. I stopped being angry. There was a period of my life in which I felt angry and frustrated all the time. It was exhausting and I didn’t want to live like that anymore, so for my happiness project, I made sure to let go of any anger, bitterness, and resentment as much as I possibly could. I didn’t want those negative emotions to pollute my mind and my life.
  6. I gave people space. I realized that if someone is mean or hateful towards me, it’s down to their own issues. When I think of it this way, I no longer need to react negatively towards them. Additionally, I also learned to let go of toxic relationships. I didn’t need pointless drama in my life. Walking away from these people didn’t mean that I stopped caring about them, I just realized that I need to help myself first before I can help others.
  7. I had a complaint-free day at least twice a week. I used to complain a lot. I got so worked up about all the things that weren’t going right that I was constantly frustrated. As I started my happiness project, I made sure to have a complaint-free day. When I felt like complaining, I shifted my thoughts to all the things that were going right instead. It was amazing how having a positive attitude made me feel lighter and freer.
  8. I went on a social media detox. I didn’t realize how Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter affected my mental and emotional health until I started staying away from them. During my detox, I finally pursued other, more worthwhile hobbies and passions. Going on a social media detox allowed me to live my own life without comparing or competing with others and it felt great.
  9. I made a gratitude list. Acknowledging the things that are going right gave me a different sense of happiness. No matter how small, I counted my blessings and the things that made me happy from day to day and it made me realize just how lucky I am to live the life I do.
  10. I started being kind to myself. I became my own best friend instead of my worst critic. I rebuilt the relationship I have with myself by removing harsh labels and judgments. I started treating myself with kindness, love, and acceptance and it made my life so much better.
Reichell Labadan is a writer by day, reader by night. Rei is also an advocate for women's health and empowerment. Follow her on twitter @reiwrites