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I would like to share my story in hopes to inspire you and help you be happy again, no matter what you’ve been through. If I can do it after losing everything, I believe anyone can.

It was a dark gloomy afternoon, the clouds were overcast and the wind was howling. I sat there alone in the park guzzling a cheap bottle of Vodka and puffing on cigarettes in hopes to numb the pain. Rhonda and I just had a massive fight, where I stormed out of the house after sharing the bad news. We were going to lose everything we worked so hard for, including our home that we just moved into because of the bad decisions I made.

Long story short, I lost it all, our house, the business, everything. At that point in my life, I lost all hope and fell into a deep depression.

I was so angry with myself and felt like such a failure. I let everyone down, my wife, my kids and my family. After months of grieving and punishing myself, I finally had enough. I didn’t want to be depressed anymore and just wanted to be happy again.

But after losing it all, how do you pick yourself and try to be happy again?

Month after month of grieving and frustrated with my life, I finally made a decision to be happy again.

I made the commitment to change my life and would like to share what I’ve learnt and how it’s help me find happiness again.

Simple Tips To Be Happy Again

Take responsibility. I had to realise that if I wanted to change my life and be happy again, I had to take responsibility. I had to take action and do something about it. Whether it was my fault or not, blaming everyone else would not help me change, in fact, blaming everyone and everything else prevented me from being happy.

Open up and seek assistance. Stuck in a rut and too depressed to get out, I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to be happy again so I forced myself to open up and seek assistance. I started speaking to other people and reaching out to help lines, such as Black Dog Institute and Relationships Australia. Help lines gave me hope and the confidence to believe I could be happy again.

Change your diet. I started changing my diet and really cut out a lot of processed foods and nasty junk food. I didn’t realise my diet had such a huge impact on my mental health at the time but after changing my diet, I started feeling better. As the saying goes, a healthy mind lives in a healthy body.

Get out and exercise. There is so much research out there that states, exercise prevents depression. Just have a look on google and you will find study after study listing the facts. Here’s a list of 25 Studies to confirm exercise prevents depression, but you don’t have to read the research papers to know it. Whenever you feel like you’re having a bad day, go out for a walk, run or a work out and you’ll start to feel better. I often got out to the beach or nice quiet spot in nature and meditated.

Look at your values. If you want long lasting happiness, you really need to start at the root cause and look at your values. What’s important in your life? When it comes to happiness, values are the core building blocks to being happy again. Your values will either motivate you towards pleasure or to avoid pain. I spent many nights pondering what’s important in my life. I made a list of what I wanted and what I didn’t want and why they were important to me.

Decide what you want. After losing everything, my wife took the kids to stay with her sister and left me to deal with the mess that I made. I spent many lonely nights contemplating and thinking about what I really wanted in my life. I was free to do whatever I wanted but all I wanted was my wife and kids to be happy and I wanted to be apart of their happiness. I wanted my happy family again and that’s all I cared about.

Find your purpose. Once I started getting my life back on track, I found hope again. I started searching within for longer lasting happiness. I started looking for purpose in my life, something that could help guide me to be happy again. I found my purpose again and that purpose was to have a happy family.

Set small achievable goals. I knew what I wanted and I knew my purpose, so I set small, simple goals that I could achieve, like spend weekends with kids.

More than ever today, we crave instant gratification, wanting and desiring things now, which plays a huge part in how we feel on a daily basis. Setting small goals that you know you can achieve easily and effortlessly will help you build your confidence back up to get back out there so you can be happy again.

Forgive yourself and others. This was something I struggled with because even through I was happy sometimes, I still had anger management issues and didn’t feel complete. It wasn’t about forgiving others because I already did, during my process to being happy again. It was being able to forgive myself for all the mistakes I made in the past. I spent a lot of time dealing with my emotions. Emotions like guilt, sadness and fear. I found that learning to forgive myself allowed me to love myself again.

Be grateful. I know we hear this all the time and we constantly tell our kids. Remember to always be grateful for what you have because you don’t know what you got til it’s gone. I learnt that the hard way, when I made all those selfish decisions that affected my family. I took my family, my house and my business for granted and lost it all. That’s why now, I’m grateful to be alive and have my family back. Yeah, we’re not perfect but we are a work in progress.

Focus on you. This was the biggest thing for me to remember. In today’s society we are bombarded with so much advertising and media selling us things that will make us happy. We see things on TV and social media and it’s easy to feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to people that seem like they have it all. None of that matters, when you know what’s important to you and your happiness, stay focused and work on your own happiness.

Happiness is subjective and means different things to different people. To be happy again means you need to work on yourself and take a real good look at your life and what makes you happy. I know this list is not absolute and there are many ways you can be happy again. I just hoped this has helped you in someway or another.

If an average Joe like me a can be happy again after losing everything, then I’m sure you can. I believe in you.

I wish you all the best in the pursuit of happiness.

If you like this article, please share your thoughts and comment below. If you loved it, please share this on social media.

A Final Note:

Depression and mental health is serious and anyone dealing with those issues should seek assistance. I’ve listed below a list of national helplines to assist. This page was taken from beyondblue’s support page.

National help lines and websites

Black Dog Institute– Information on symptoms, treatment and prevention of depression and bipolar disorder.

Carers Australia– Short-term counselling and emotional and psychological support services for carers and their families in each state and territory.

Headspace– Free online and telephone service that supports young people aged between 12 and 25 and their families going through a tough time.

Kids Helpline– A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.

MensLine Australia– A telephone and online support, information and referral service, helping men to deal with relationship problems in a practical and effective way.

Head to Health- An innovative website that can help you find free and low-cost, trusted online and phone mental health resources.

MindSpot Clinic– An online and telephone clinic providing free assessment and treatment services for Australian adults with anxiety or depression.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)- Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and Aboriginal Medical Services in each state and territory.

QLife- QLife is Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTI people.

Relationships Australia– A provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.

SANE Australia- Information about mental illness, treatments, where to go for support and help carers.

Support after Suicide– Information, resources, counselling and group support to those bereaved by suicide. Education and professional development to health, welfare and education professionals.