On the 2nd day of Welleness I'd like to provide 2 ways of Willingness! A willingness to work for happiness & a willingness to be present for others. Why these two? Because it's the Holidays and the Holidays can be rough on some of us for various reasons. Some of us don't have family to spend time with, some of us tend to get lonely, and some of us forget that this can be the case for others.
A willingness to be present for others who are struggling, all times of the year, is one of the most simple yet important things we can do. If you've ever been lonely you know how much it can suck. You are also aware of how hard it is to make yourself get up and get out when you feel all crappy too. I've found that being there to listen, to encourage, and to generally spend time with others struggling is a major blessing. All I had do was be there, open my ears, and hang out. I certainly didn't regret the times was I present for others and won't regret it in the future. I don't think you will either.
As rough as the Holidays, and any other day can be, there is a solution to our loneliness. I haaaaated feeling so alone and abandoned by everyone until I realized much later in my life this was my choice. I know that its pretty crazy to say, and to take responsibility for, but after sulking for so long in my own emotional unhappiness & depression I got fed up. I committed to working for my own happiness because it became abundantly clear no on else was going to do it for me.
Instead of choosing to sit in my own self-pity I could have looked for other options and taken action on those options in my life. This would have meant a few things. I would mean that I would have to take a chance on stepping outside my comfort zone. It'd also mean I'd have to overcome the challenge of anger & self-pity I was experiencing. I wasn’t able to realize that looking for a solution or getting my butt out the door for some social interaction as the answer back then. I do realize it now.
What can we do? Well, I made a list of things that would make me a bit happier each day. I also made a list of things that would get me out the door more often. Then I committed to doing these things. They weren't these huge things either. It was choosing to smile and make others smile. It was getting out of the house for a 10 min walk (even when I didn't want to do it). Another thing I would do is message people on social media to to remind them to "Have a great day!" (Which I still to all the time!) in hopes it would spark a conversation, and it would!
I still get lonely once in a while, even in an entire room full of people. I feel isolated, misunderstood, and disconnected, which of course makes me feel even lonelier. What do I do as a result? I take a chance. I work up the courage and try to strike up a conversation with someone in the room (usually starting with a compliment). This can be a challenge, which does result in failure at times, but if it does I just give it another shot. I usually find someone to have a nice conversation with. I do my best to be vulnerable, to share things about my life while asking about theirs. As we talk we connect more and more. Soon I begin to feel less lonely and more excited about the possibility of having made a new friend. To this day I have many lifelong friends whom I have met as a direct result of my taking action against loneliness. If I can do it, you can do it too.
Be brave, take a chance, and make a connection for you if you're the lonely one and for someone else if they are! Working for happiness & choosing to be present for others is a gift of a lifetime I assure you.
If you'd like to see yesterdays 12 Days of Wellness tip check it out here!
If you're looking for an additional daily confidence booster check out Joshua Coburn's classic Inspiration on Demand for daily quotes to help you achieve a happy and successful life.