The Pursuit of Happiness
Written by Karen Kondor
“Ironically enough, when you make peace with the fact that the purpose of life is not happiness, but rather experience and growth, happiness comes as a natural byproduct. When you are not seeking it as an objective, it will find its way to you.” ~ tinybuddha.com
Anyone out there going through a rough time? Yep - I feel you!
I understand that you are hurting, stressed, frustrated, feeling uncertain, anxious, discouraged. If you’re not feeling any of these today, chances are, you’ve felt these things at some point, and/or will feel these things at some time in the future.
I’ve been there; I AM there. I experienced postpartum depression, and generalized anxiety and depression for many years. Anxiety continues to show up in my life occasionally (although not to the degree it once did, thankfully). I don’t know exactly what will change things for you (or me), but here are some things I’ve learned/am learning:
Losing weight, looking like an IG model, will not make you happy. Worrying about what others think will not make you happy. Doing things for everyone else will not make you happy. Happiness does not come from one thing. It does not come from having a strong, athletic, trim body. It does not come from being in a relationship with someone. It does not come from having a trouble or stress-free life.
What will make you happy is your self-growth through the things that you experience in your life; the good AND the bad.
Happiness comes from the work you put in to gain a strong, athletic, trim body.
Happiness comes from the work you put in to enable you to shop at any store and feel good in your skin and the clothes that you buy.
Happiness comes from the work you put in to create relationships that are fulfilling, supportive, and compassionate.
Happiness comes from deciding for yourself what relationships you want to be a part of. Happiness comes from setting appropriate boundaries.
Happiness is digging deep into, and reconciling with, your whys, your past traumas, and sabotaging beliefs.
Happiness comes from learning that you are capable of getting through difficult things, and coming out the other side.
Pursuing weight loss as a path to happiness is futile; there will always be something to work on there. Instead, pursue the prioritization of nutritious food that makes your body feel good. Pursue the prioritization of movement because it reflects back to you that you are strong and capable. Pursue the prioritization of your mental and physical health without regard for what everyone else thinks.
My experience is that focusing on nutrition, exercise, and things like sleep and stress reduction positively impacts our mental health, and vice versa. If we aren’t keeping our body healthy, it impacts our mental health, just as symptoms of mental health often appear in our guts as gastrointestinal upset. It becomes a vicious circle.
Focusing on nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle factors enables me to be a mentally healthier person every day. What would happen if you spent some time focusing on these things? Have you spent time focusing on these things, and did you notice changes in different areas of your life that you didn’t expect? What were the side bonuses you encountered?
Be well, friends!
Xoxo - Coach K
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