I used to think I was happy with this great buzzing social life of mine. Out meeting great people most nights of the week. But the hangovers that followed were more than just the physical effects.
There was the shame that I had drunk too much again. Then the realisation that although my memory of a part of the evening was of a great time, I never quite remembered the conversations I had. Did getting pissed really make me happy?
I knew deep down that the cycle of disappointment with myself, followed by a drink to ‘cheer myself up’ was doing me no good. I have shared these feelings in the Evening Standard. It is the scariest thing I have ever done.
Owning rather than drowning my emotions was a key step for me. So here are a few things that inspired me.
Paul Dolan, an all-round expert on happiness (boffin at LSE and a Government advisor) says trying to think yourself into a cheery mood is not the whole story – you need to redesign your life and pay attention to things that make you happy, give you a real sense of purpose. You can self-nudge and re-organise your life “in ways so that you can go with the grain of your human nature and be happier without having to think too hard about it”.
Andy Hix, the Club Soda mindfulness expert, is convinced it is all about owning our own happiness. No one else will do it for you. “I find that a regular meditation practise reminds me of what really matters for my happiness, and right now, I feel pretty good!”
Giving yourself just 10 minutes to sit quietly and reflect can help.
… and slept. I certainly rewarded myself with sleep, instead of reaching for the bottle of sugary alcohol to pep me up I took a 20-minute snooze. But to be a bit more social, I joined a swimming club and set myself a goal of going every week.
This is why I have set up the Gym, to share my exercise goals, which will turn stop me thinking about a large glass of GnT! Or you could always join in our socials.