7 Steps To Finding Happiness In Times of Change

Hot damn, my post on Bipolar Disorder is by far and away the most viewed post i've done... ever. With that in mind and having had a little over a week to compose myself, I'd like to thank everyone that read it or shared it - it means the world.

The last week has been a time for change. For the first time in my life, I have the opportunity to focus on myself - to learn what makes me tick and what kind of person i'd like to be. Some friends have grown closer, some have drifted away, but the ones that i've spoken to in the last few days have made a huge difference.

Rather than go into whats happened (which wouldn't be fair on any party in this situation and quite honestly, isn't my style), i'd like to share some things that I think will help me grow as a person in the weeks, months and years to come.

1) Reconnect with old friends.

By chance, two friends I hadn't seen in around 7 years contacted me and we went for a pint a few weeks ago. Firstly it reminded me that I hadn't been forgotten (a definite fear of mine!) and secondly it showed me that with the right friends it simply doesn't matter how long its been. I'm now looking forward to my first proper night on the town in Chelmsford in years with them next week.

2) Remember the ones that have been there from the start.

I'm very blessed to have been in two bands in my lifetime where I count each individual member of each as a true friend, as well as make other amazing friends along the way. Thank you everyone that has sent me a text this week, even if its just "beer?". This week has shown me just how bloody lucky I am in this regard and something I won't forget.

3) Pet a dog.

I mean, come on. You have to!

4) Train for you.

I work out more than I would suggest the average human male does. Sometimes I work out more and sometimes I work out less, but the key thing is the reason I work out. Yes, partially its so I can eat nice food and not feel guilty about it but primarily its because strengthening myself physically helps mould my mentality. A good gym session can be as addictive as any drug, but it is so important to train for your benefit and not anyone else's.

5) Take time out for you.

What do YOU enjoy doing? Running? Cycling? Videogames? Movie marathons? Whatever it is, do it. If it's something you enjoy doing, it'll raise your morale. I find it hard to concentrate on some things when i'm upset so I'll throw myself into work for example. Its not necessarily something I enjoy but it certainly helps.

6) Make time for family.

This may not apply to you if you aren't particularly close to your family but my mum is my rock. She has seen me through countless "disasters" that actually ended up being minor inconveniences. Aside from that I have a wonderful Dad, a sister that has grown into a wonderfully kind young lady and the sweetest brother-in-law I could ever ask for. All this, on top of an extended network of family that I know I can always speak to. Your family have been there since the start - they can help you analyse your own behaviour and build on the positives.

7) Be your own best friend.

For all of the positives of the list so far its super important to establish that there is understandably a large void left in my life. While the old me would likely fill that with alcohol and attention from the opposite sex, the new me sees this as an opportunity to find my identity in myself and not in the way others see me. If i'm happy in myself, then nothing anyone can say or do can change that.

How do you get over that awkward moment in your life when plans change and you feel a little bit adrift? What have you found works for you? Let me know in the comments!