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Being Happy #3 - Keep Yourself Busy

07 October 2013
CATCH UP: #1 Appreciating The Smaller Things // #2 Surroundings

Something that can be very effective in the short and long run is a distraction. In my case, if I'm feeling anxious about something, trying to relax is one of the worst things for me to do, because my brain isn't doing anything, so there's room for the anxiety to push itself in. If I've kept myself busy with a hobby or activity, my brain is active and I am happy.

The first thing I would suggest is to spend time with your friends. I know that the automatic response when you're a bit depressed is to want to be by yourself, but that can be one of the least helpful things. I've done it a few times, sometimes for a couple of days, and it really hasn't helped. Surely you'd want to talk to or go out with some friends, and in hopefully no time at all cheer up, than spend hours alone by yourself crying and making things a lot worse?

Taking up a hobby is one of the most effective ways to keep busy, but in a way that feels like you're not forcing yourself to do something. If you find something you enjoy doing, like baking, crafts or even blogging, you'll learn new skills and won't have the time or space to think about any of the rubbish that makes you feel bad. If things go wrong and you make a mistake, you can learn from it, and if you can't afford to keep buying ingredients/craft tools or whatever resources you need, you could then aim and challenge yourself to look for more budget friendly alternatives and continue. You could then share this with your friends or the internet, and feel that sense of achievement, as well as continuing to keep yourself busy in a positive way.

If you're looking for an easier, quicker option then I'd say turn to TV, films and YouTube. They won't be effective in the long run, but work as a good quick fix, and work especially well if you're having a panic attack. They have the ability to distract you without needing some kind of long commitment, although if you find a show or a YouTuber you like... you'll be hooked. I have a list of about 16 YouTube videos that never fail to cheer me up, which I've probably seen a good twenty times each, and in a rare moment where I feel very low, I dig them out. 99% of the time they work, and put me in a better frame of mind to then carry on.
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