Daniel Beeson on how after a year of self-discovery, he has finally found his ‘new kind of happiness’.

We all go through tough times in our lives and sometimes we have to seek a little bit of assistance  to help us through the worst and to find happiness once again.

Handsome Daniel Beeson, the head of engagement at Gay Star News, has spent the past year trying to find that very happiness. And now after six months of cognitive behavioural therapy to treat his panic disorder, he has finally found what he is looking for – and given him ‘a new kind of happy’.

‘When I began therapy my end goal was to get back to “normal”,’ Daniel explains. ‘As time passed, I began to notice a desire to learn something new, a new way of living. I realise now that I misunderstood what being happy should mean to me. It wasn’t striving to fit into a mould decided for me by societal stereotypes or being the most popular or attractive.’

Now, after a lot of hard work Daniel has found a new way of thinking on his road to recovery. Here are 20 things Daniel learned about being happy after it was happiness was taken away from him.

  1. It’s perfectly fine to want to try to look better, but make those changes for YOU not for others or what you want people to think about you. Chances are you will be disappointed if this is the route you choose.
  2. Remember, the most important people in your life don’t care what you look like, and the rest are just a distraction.
  3. Stay true to your beliefs; don’t let the views of others sway you from the path you choose to follow and only change course on your terms. There are no straight roads or shortcuts.
  4. Own it; be confident in who you are, you are unique and that is what makes you special. If you love it, do it.
  5. Remember they are humans with varying levels of confidence just like you.
  6. Be more forgiving and accepting and share the kindness you’d like to receive. Everyone is going through a battle that no one else will ever understand. Kindness is often not afforded to those most in need.
  7. Understand without regret that sometimes you need to make changes. If you make mistakes in any capacity, understand that they happen only in a brief moment of time that comes and goes. Life is not defined by one mistake.
  8. Sometimes we need to accept we just can’t do something.
  9. Don’t beat yourself up over things you can’t change.
  10. Seeking validation from or make comparisons with anyone other than yourself, especially those you stalk on social media, will only make you unhappy. There are people looking at you and feeling exactly the same as you do about them.
  11. Show your appreciation for those you love around you, not only once, but all the time. It gives us all unrivaled strength to know we are loved.
  12. Make your family proud. It is the best gift you can give with the greatest reward.
  13. If you feel you need to be brave to tell someone you love them, it just means it’s important you do so.
  14. When dating, ask yourself ‘What do I think of you?’ before thinking ‘What do they think of me?’
  15. Don’t make compromises or trick yourself into falling for somebody because you’re tired of being alone, it won’t end well and you may still need time to find yourself if you’re considering it as a viable option.
  16. Don’t chase divine perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist.
  17. It’s not always going to be great, but it’s not always going to be bad. Be brave.
  18. Being an eternal optimist is impossible. Don’t believe you have failed if you find yourself unhappy at times.
  19. When someone compliments you, believe them with grace and gratitude.
  20. Going back to square one in my effort to learn how to be a happier, more caring, trusting, accepting, genuine person, leaves me wondering, excitedly, about who and what I am now.

Today, Sunday 20 March 2016 is the International Day of Happiness.

Dan Beeson is nominated for a UK National Diversity Award for his work on mental health stigma. To find out more and vote, click HERE.

Read more about Dan Beeson’s touching story clock HERE