You need to be happy all the time!
You need to be grateful all the time!
You need to be mindful all the time!
If you aren't doing that then you are wasting your life!
NO! NO! BIG FAT NO!!
I don't want to be happy all the time! I think it's good to have a few sad days here and there. I don't mind some melancholy every now and again. Why is happiness so important? Why are we all of a sudden obsessed with it? I know lots of people who are more creative during dark days. It's good to have them!! Why is happiness all of a sudden so much more important than all the other feelings. Have you read this?
And grateful. What's that obsession about? I'm grateful and appreciate everything I have but I don't feel I have to seek out new things to be grateful for every day, and write them down and ponder them for hours. I just appreciate things as they happen. I notice. I appreciate the tiny moments, the flower blooming, the giggles, the moonlight, the blond ringlets bouncing but then I move on to the next thing. Why is that bad?
And mindful. No! I like doing lots of things at once. I like eating and reading. I like walking and listening to podcasts. I don't want to sit with a sultana in my mouth and feel it's texture, I don't need to be able to be mindful of every moment of everything I do every day. I don't want to mindfully fold the washing and be in the moment, and then not judge my feelings as right or wrong. Seriously, it's so complicated. I'm not a Buddhist monk for a reason. Why is daydreaming bad now?? I love daydreaming! That's when I get all my best ideas- when my mind wanders. I like daydreaming about the past or the future. If I don't like that moment- I want to be distracted. Why is this now not ok? I don't want to always be in the moment, if I don't like the moment I want to think about another moment I liked better or sometimes another moment I really didn't like at all.
I feel like I'm being bombarded with messages about how to live my life. And those ridiculous motivational statements everywhere. (Yes Pinterest I'm looking at you) ugh! Stop this train I want up get off!
I understand completely that these techniques, being grateful, mindful etc can have enormous benefits for people who are depressed or anxious or who are grappling with other mental health issues. But I am not depressed or anxious. I feel I have a good understanding of them and I am not meaning to be glib about the seriousness of mental healthand I get that it helps people a lot, I really do, but i dont need help with this currently.
So MY plan is this: I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. I am mostly happy. I notice good stuff all the time. I appreciate it. I notice, I appreciate it again! I distract myself when doing mindless tasks because that makes me happy. I will daydream about the past and future. (Living with a 19mth old is the very definition of watching someone live in the moment by the way! Lordy!) I will continue to have my mostly optimistic world view. I will continue to exercise every day because I enjoy it. I will continue to try to get enough sleep and eat good food because these things keep me feeling good.
I will decide what works for me.