Becoming Happier

If you have ever been told, “you look happier” or have been told how you have changed for the better; you will understand how good it is to hear those words. Becoming a happier person has changed me for the better. I have bad days just like everybody else but in comparison to the girl I was two years ago, have I changed? Most definitely. But for the better.

The background story: growing up I was always a negative person, I always thought the worst and was remarkably pessimistic. Growing up my mum calling me miss chatterbox shifted to miss negative and rather than saying positive things about my day, I became quite an unhappy child in some sight. When trying to improve your mood, there is significant importance in pinpointing the source of negativity: the very thing making you unhappy in life. My negativity stemmed from being bullied and the psychological effect it had even after the bullying had stopped. More recently, being in the wrong kind of relationship had a detrimental effect on my happiness.

Starting from the beginning; I grew up being bullied and retrospectively, the only school experience I enjoyed was reception-year two and then college (years twelve and thirteen). While year eleven was not so bad, was I completely happy? Definitely not. While Primary school consisted of just the ‘silly’ name calling and losing friends for being friends with a fellow outsider of the ‘popular group’ you do not realise how much this can actually affect someone in the early stages of development.

Starting a school in year six was never going to be easy, everybody had their friendship groups as they grew up with each other and everybody had their own clique (at the age of eleven, how disgusting is that thought? I pray to god my child one day will not be subjected to that kind of behaviour. However, no matter how hard to you try to shelter someone, there are always going to be children who unfortunately have not been brought up with the same respect.

Year seven was not completely terrible; the next three years of high school? Not so much. Hands down still to this day I could not think of anything worse than relieving my high school moments. When I used to have the old blog I remember writing a detailed account of my bullying story in order to both make awareness that people are not alone but also to have my own outlet for my emotions. Normally people will try to hide experiences like this as they move on but the effect bullying has is for a lifetime. Being constantly spoken about; behind your back, to your face, online, in real life, really does have an effect on you. While I have grown from something that affected me in more ways then I could have imagined. I have comfort in knowing that I developed into the kind of person I have always wanted to be.

Now while what some would call my ‘sob story’ has been told, now onto the real talk. “Courtney, how does this have an effect on your positivity?”  To put it straight it knocked my confidence in having and maintaining friendships. I became so self-conscious and anxious that people would walk out on me or talk behind my back. Having a consequent effect on my positivity because I never thought I could trust anyone nor would I feel comfortable being in a group of people. Thankfully, over time my trust in people has increased and my social anxiety has reduced significantly. Surviving my first year at university, I have learnt how to keep myself at ease. And just be independant.

Most people growing up had relationships in secondary school and by the time they had left school were either in a long-term thing or with their next boyfriend; I am not shaming that, but that was not me. I am so grateful I was not subjected to that pressure at such a young age. After experiencing my first ‘relationship’ at seventeen, I learnt it’s not all smiles and roses. There are arguments, tears, nights questioning your worth and quite frankly, it is absolutely emotionally draining.

Holding onto some special and happy memories; appreciating the highs, reflecting on the lows and most importantly learning what you expect and want from the next relationship. I think anyone can agree heartbreak is awful, there is initially being sad, then comes the anger and before you know it, you are back crying your heart out while you drive listening to your breakup playlist on repeat. Kelly Clarkson: Because of You and Beyonce:If I Were a Boy – this is for you.

So how have I become happier? I have eliminated the number of people around me, distancing myself from those who do not have a positive effect on me. I spend more time with my cousins who are sisters to me. I go for late night drives where I blast out my favourite songs and sing along to them. I have a mood board of things that brighten my day. Appreciating the little things in life more: cuddles with my dog, being tagged in memes, the list is endless.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”