I write a lot about my hard times and struggles with mental health but most people still say I'm a "happy person". I've talked a lot about this with my friends and I have some guidelines that have helped me to stay happy even though I feel bad. I'm definitely not happy 24 hours 7 days a week but I still often find the positivity in dark places.
1. Dare to say no
What I often heard while going through my eating disorders and pushing myself to the limits with my career was that "you don't have to do this". I felt like the whole world expected something from me, but the truth is that it didn't and still doesn't... Your brain is your worst enemy when it comes to feeling bad. You can say no. To going out with friends when you feel like staying at home, to the job you don't like. You can say no to feeling bad. I've recently learnt that there's no situation we create for ourselves that we can't change. If you move abroad to study and feel like it was a bad idea you can return home. You just have to stop thinking you're letting anyone/yourself down by accepting what's best for you and that you want what's best for you.
2. Skip negative people in your life
This is more important than I ever thought it was. To not surround yourself with a toxic environment. I strongly believe that everyone has something to give and you can always learn from everyone you meet. I know there's beauty in every person. But sometimes you're in a place that doesn't fit someone else's place for the moment. And sometimes forcing yourself to be with the wrong people or to trying to help people that you aren't capable of helping does more bad than good.
3. Be kind & have patience
The worst thing I do when I feel really bad is that I take it out on others. Or not allow myself to get comfort. When all I wanna do is snuggle up in my husband's lap but instead I don't talk to him at all because I feel bad and don't know how to approach him. Or my mom. Or my friend. Anyone close to me. This don't happen much anymore but it happened a lot when I was struggling a lot with eating and gaining weight. I was also so tired from not eating and I wasn't mentally strong enough to ask for help.
Whenever I'm having a shitty day I'm trying to be extra kind to people I meet. I try to smile a lot more to strangers on the subway. If I feel like just laying down in my bed and not do anything I go out on a long walk with my dog and immediately feel better since I know he loves being outside. It's all about small things. And when you have patience with yourself and try to be the best version of yourself even on your bad days, you will see that the person enjoying it most is you. <3