I spent several decades battling mental health issues and being unhappy, pessimistic, and generally regarded as someone to avoid being around. I’m sure you’ve all met someone who seems to do nothing but complain — who drains your energy and makes you wonder why you volunteered to be around them.

I was that person. I didn’t blame other people for not wanting to be around me, really. Most of the time I wished I could get away from me. I tried. I spent years travelling, partying, and drinking… anything to escape me.

Now I’m a very happy and positive person – one who is often referred to as an inspiration. I’m currently sitting on a beautiful roof terrace in Chiang Mai overlooking Doi Suthep mountain, writing this while waiting for my next healing client to arrive.

When I’m asked, “Who is your biggest source of encouragement and inspiration?”, I’m proud, excited, and slightly surprised to say that is me.

Looking at the the things I once believed I could never do (like get a degree when I was blessed with the full spectrum of dyslexia, having my writing published, overcoming anxiety) fills me with optimism.

I’m reminded daily that I create my reality – that I am responsible for everything I have or don’t have. I’m reminded that even if right now, in this minute, something feels impossible, I have a list of things I’ve done, and done well, that I once felt that way about.

I’m also surrounded by amazing people: friends and clients who have overcome huge challenges of their own but go on to achieve their dreams and often help others do the same.

If you want to feel joy and optimism, the first step is to decide that you will feel those things, and then work at it. Instead of thinking “What if bad things happen?” ask yourself, “How amazing would it be if… happened?”

Don’t believe me? Try it. Right now. Grab a piece of paper and let your imagination run wild. You don’t have to tell anyone or show anyone. How does it feel to follow that train of thought?

If I do have moments when I allow my brain and my ego to get involved and sink into fear, I listen to Abraham Hicks. The combination of Esther’s beautiful soothing voice and Abraham’s wisdom brings me back to my centre.

I have still found myself in situations I really wish I hadn’t. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself alone in a foreign country with no income and no outbound flight, and it would have been easy to let myself drop back into fear and panic. But I would just remind myself I am NOT that person anymore.

I meditate daily, at least once and usually twice, although I’m still working on staying awake at night when I meditate. As a Theta Healer I give myself healing and constantly work on the beliefs or patterns I have that are not serving me so I can change and release them.

As a former control freak perfectionist, it took me a long time to realise and accept that being creative brings me joy despite the fact that I have almost no talent.

I love to doodle and colour, usually brightly covered hearts. Back in London, I crocheted endless squares. I only learned to make squares and hats, and that would make me happy for hours. It was a shock to me that I could do something just for the joy of it without caring how it turned out.

This isn’t new advice, but I’ll share it anyway because it works. Be grateful. For everything. The more you practice being grateful, the more you train yourself to see the good in everything. Then one day, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, you’ll find you don’t remember the last time you had a bad day.

Believing everything happens for me and not to me was a game changer. Next time something happens that has you feeling “WTF,” instead of dwelling on why it happened to you, ask what you can learn from it. Imagine a friend is relating the story and think what you would say to them.

Nobody deserves bad things to happen to them. You haven’t done anything wrong. You’re not a bad person. You are not being punished. You are learning, growing, and teaching every day. Hold onto this and watch yourself blossom into an optimist… just like I did.

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  • Julie Lachtay

    Global Theta Healing® Practitioner and Happiness Junkie

    Hi Beautiful. I have a tendency to be super chatty and waffle so I’ll do my best to keep this short and sweet- like me. I grew up in a small town in a family who liked to remind me I was a waste of space and would amount to nothing. I chose to believe that for a REALLY long time. It led me to depression, a suicide attempt, homelessness. Blah blah. Now I’m a certified Happiness coach, a Theta Healing® practitioner, co-creator of Sacred Soul Awakenings, a published writer and I have a First Class (hons) BA. Take that Dyslexia. I specialise in helping amazing women free themselves from anxiety and get their JOY back.   I have a magical life filled with love and miracles. I'm currently in Chiang Mai and I have NEVER been happier.