When I became overwhelmed and feeling really lost last year, I had to take time away from my career. I spent a long time trying to work out what had brought me to that point. I knew that I felt unhappy but after several visits to my doctor and a counsellor I wasn’t depressed, I began to realise that I had forgotten how to find my own happiness.
It wasn’t coming naturally to me anymore. I had allowed all the external situations in my life take over the very basic but really important things to me. Simple things that I didn’t realise really made me happy inside.
One of the ways I managed to get this back was by walking in outside in nature. I had always spent time in nature as a child, making mud pies, trying to catch butterflies and watching them fly away to their freedom and making rose perfume from the flowers in my parents garden. I have always felt a strong connection to the natural world all through my life. Until like everyone, life took over.
I got married, had children, separated and met a partner and climbed the career ladder (which made me much more stressed out than I cared to admit), I pushed pushed pushed until I got the top job I thought would stop me from feeling stressed out and to my mind would get me well on the way to my retirement and a comfortable life so I could travel to the places of nature I craved to see.
The reality was I felt like it was the worst decision I ever made, I was cross and annoyed and felt everyone and everything had got me to a place where I felt like this. In amongst all the pushing, I had forgotten my happiness and where I used to get that from.
In amongst trying to be the best everything to everyone in my life I forgot the simple things that actually made me feel good.
Walking in a natural environment began to bring this feeling back to me. I started to look forward to walking out and away from my worries. I found myself breathing the air deeply and feeling the ground under my feet as I walked. Feeling the sun on my face and back in the spring and breathing the cool air and brushing the leaves away with my feet as I walked. This somehow took away my overwhelm and grounded me back to feeling myself again.
Then one day I started taking pictures on my phone when I was out and about (even in my own garden) little close-ups of flowers and plants, little beetles, butterflies (when I could catch them still enough) and my views as I walked. This calmed me down and helped me to breathe through the stress I was feeling. I started to look forward to these little wonders of nature I was seeing!
I realised I was enjoying something again. I felt happy in capturing these little moments that no-one else seemed to be noticing. It was like it was all there for my enjoyment somehow. I was taking the care and time to notice the little things and I really appreciated them and started to feel grateful again.
Spending time outside made me feel better and noticing the little things seemed to slow my life down significantly. The speed in which I was living was making me lose connection to myself and my very life. I have realised since that I need to take the time to notice the little things, appreciate them and be grateful for them. I now enjoy other little micro-moments of happiness, like baking a cake in my kitchen, enjoying a quiet cup of tea with my daughter or feeling the warmth of my cat on my lap as I stroke her shiny black fur.
Noticing the little things brings me joy, now I take time out of my day to walk in nature, to be mindful of the little things around me and to breathe in the small micro-moments of wonder that brought me back to my happiness…
If you’d like to reconnect with yourself and remember what makes you happy please get in touch with me.