You Are Responsible For Your Own Happiness

Even as someone with generally good mental health, it's not uncommon that I find myself stuck in a bit of a rut. There are times among the deadlines, the "have-tos," and the social obligations where nothing seems to be going right. Or even if things are going right, sometimes it doesn't quite feel like it is.

I was having one of those days/weeks recently where I was sitting in the living room and was just feeling "blah" and had been moping about all week feeling sorry for myself for no reason. I had absolutely no idea why I felt that way, but sometimes I find that I feel grumpy for no reason. And to make matters worse, the important people in my life were asking me "what's wrong?" and I just didn't have an answer. 

So instead of frustrating myself by racking my brain for a reason to be in a funk, I remembered something that my mom tells me time and time again- and no, it wasn't "make sure you walk home with someone at night." One of my mom's favorite pieces of advice to give is that "you are responsible for your own happiness." It's plain and simple, but I think it's also particularly profound.  

We are all too often depending on someone or something else to bring us happiness. We wait on a boyfriend to give us flowers to brighten up our day. We wait on an Instagram photo to pass the 11-like barrier as a sort of social affirmation. That's not to say that those things don't or shouldn't make us happy, but we have to stop depending on them to lift our spirits. 

By taking on that responsibility for ourselves, we're better able to key-in to how we're feeling and how we can make ourselves feel better. Personally, I think that I'm not always as aware of myself emotionally as I should be, which leads to unwarranted reactions (aka me snapping at someone I care about for no good reason). 

I've realized that this shift in emotional responsibility has a lot to do with growing older. We can't expect our parents to fix all of our problems anymore- whether it's a financial problem or something more personal. I'm not saying that it isn't right to seek out help if you're feeling down, but it's totally unfair to expect help without asking for it. Asking for help or for comfort is a part of being actively responsible for your happiness, after all. 

At the moment, I'm trying to make it a personal goal to communicate any unhappiness with the people I care about, rather than going through the usual guessing game of "Are you okay?" and "Yeah, I'm fine" and then expecting them to read between the lines. And if there's no actual "problem" that's causing me to feel blue that I can pinpoint? Well, then I think that's perfectly fine too. 

So last week when I was feeling a bit down, I made a decision: stop being so mopey, and stop feeling so sorry for yourself. I had already allowed myself to be sad for long enough. And I knew that if I changed my attitude, and did a few little things that made me feel good, I could climb out of the rut that I had put myself in. I put on a casual little black dress that I felt pretty in, grabbed my favorite necklace (the one with the giraffe on it, obviously) and listened to a cheery playlist on my way in to class. And the best part? It was sunny out! And if that's not a miracle in Edinburgh on it's own, then I don't know what is.

There's always something that you can do to change the way you're feeling. It doesn't matter what it is, but the most important thing is that you are the one to take on that responsibility. Because in the end, the only thing that you have control of is yourself. And once you realize this, you'll learn that you can find happiness on your own no matter what. 

A little side-note: I think that this advice applies to anyone with a "normal" level of mental health. Of course if you have experienced depression or any other form of mental illness, this advice may not apply to you, as this is not professional advice. 


  1. Beautiful pictures!! Totally guilty of playing the guessing game too

    1. Thanks babe had to sort through a bunch of summery photos to find them! Clearly they're the ones that didn't quite make the Instagram cut ;) The guessing game is the worst and it's a horrible habit!

  2. Love this post :) great advice that I am going to try to take on board myself :)

    http://doublejointedgirlandherdog.blogspot.co.uk/ x

    1. I'm glad you found my post so helpful :) Good luck in keeping your happiness in check!

      x Leda

  3. Love your post! Whenever I get mopey I get to that point where I think, you can make yourself feel better and it's funny how the little things like putting on a good outfit, it being sunny outside, talking to someone you care about can make all the difference in your happiness levels!

    xx, Caitlin

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! It's always important to realize if you're feeling mopey and try to change it :) And I always believe in the true power of a good outfit ;)

      xx Leda


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