I am writing this letter in the hope that I can help you feel a bit better.
You don’t know me, we met when you were a baby, and I have been friends with your mum for a long time.
The first thing I want you to know is, you are loved beyond measure. More than the distance between all the stars in all the universe.
The second thing you should know, is that you are beautiful, capable and strong. You can BE, DO and HAVE anything you want.
The third thing I think every young person needs to know is this…
Your happiness is up to you.
Happiness is not something that just happens, Happiness is something we get to do.
It is not something we can expect others to give us, It is something we give to ourselves!
It is a combination of all the things we do, think and say, every day.
There are two really interesting things to know about feelings.
1. They always start with thoughts.
We think over 60,000 thoughts per day. That’s A LOT. We literally think stuff we don’t know we’re thinking!
And those thoughts give us feelings.
We also think a lot of the same thoughts over and over again, which leads us to feeling the same feelings over and over.
2. Feelings are information, nothing more.
If you are feeling negative feelings, then it is a pretty good indication that your general thoughts are on the negative side. It is GREAT to know this, because, just like the power indicator on your phone is there to give you information about when to plug in, sad feelings are just there to tell you when you’re having sad thoughts.
You don’t have to get stuck there. You don’t have to take your feelings personally. You have the capacity to choose and change your thoughts. You can start by noticing the feeling… allow it… and then try to find a better feeling thought.
It’s worth noting that small incremental steps are OK. Necessary even. It’s hard to go directly from sadness to joy, but if you can get to anger or frustration they will feel better than sadness and despair… and from frustration you may be able to reach hope. It really is like climbing an emotional ladder.
It’s very simple, but does take a decision to feel better, and some work. (You can do it.)
I have sent you a copy of my book Everyday Happy. I wrote it when my son was suffering from anxiety to help him recover. Slowly but surely as we used the tools in the book, he felt better… and now feels better most of the time. The book will help you prioritise your happiness, It’s not gonna happen straight away, but doing a little something every day towards your own happiness will actually rewire your brain to become more naturally positive.
Prioritising your happiness can be as simple as watching stupid funny TV, or Youtube!
Just like climbing a mountain is done one step at a time, and becoming a skilled athlete takes time and practice, happiness takes time and practice too.