“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx
We’re all human, and while we’d ideally be happy and sunshiny all the time, there are those moments (or days) when we find ourselves feeling…less than happy. At that point, we have two choices: continue to be miserable, or change our minds and decide to be happy.
I know it’s sometimes easier said than done, but I want to choose to be happy all the time. (Of course, I’m human, so I have the occasional wallow, just like the next girl!)
That said, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that desire–the desire to be generally happy.
What makes you happy? What are your best tips for getting through a dark spot in your life? Let’s discuss.
If you could write a letter to yourself and send it back in time 20 years (or five or 10, depending on your age), what would it say? Would you tell yourself that things would get better? Would you give yourself some valuable piece of advice that you didn’t learn until you were older? Would you send back some winning lottery numbers? Maybe tell yourself not to date that loser who broke your heart?
Twenty years ago, I was 16. It seems so long ago sometimes. Other times, it feels like yesterday.
At 16, I was selfish, self-absorbed, emotional, dramatic…overly sensitive…you get the idea. I was probably pretty typical that way. I was also creative and growing into a “real” person. I was independent and dependent, all at once. I liked to consider myself unusual, unique–uncommon. I thought I was dark and disturbed, and in fact, succeeded in making some of the people around me believe it too.
If I could send my 16-year-old self a letter, there are definitely a few things I’d like her to know–even though she probably wouldn’t listen anyway. I’d tell her: (more…)
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative things, especially when you forget be intentional. This is especially true when you’re faced with situations that trigger negative emotions like sadness, anger or fear.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m dealing with certain stressful situations, I sometimes let myself feel the pressure. This of course affects my mood, which in turn affects my entire vibration–and then causes me to think and feel negatively, thus attracting negativity into my life.
I know I’m not alone here–everyone has, at one time or another, found themselves feeling a negative emotion, and everyone understands the mental and physical effects doing so can have on a person.
We understand that by the universal law of attraction, we are drawing toward us what we are “putting out there,” but in our grief or anger or fear, we can’t bring ourselves to pull out of that negative place.
Why Do We Do This?
We do this because we want to do it. Some part of us wants to feel sad or angry or scared, and so we accept and embrace those feelings. Maybe we feel like we need to feel negative emotions, or that we’re supposed to feel negative emotions in certain situations. Or maybe some part of us likes to feel that way.
But even though it sometimes feels like our emotions are in control of us, rather than the other way around, the truth is that we have a choice. We can decide how we want to feel, and we can intentionally change the vibration we’re sending out into the universe from a negative one to a positive one.
How Do We Do THAT?
Awareness and Intentional Thought First, we must become aware of our thoughts and of the words we speak, and we must mentally ‘cancel’ any negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. This process feels a little artificial when you first begin it, but after a little practice, it becomes second nature.
So, if you’re in a stressful situation and find yourself feeling negative emotions, STOP. Say to yourself, “I now cancel that thought and replace it with this affirmation of my true desire.” And then say what you really want. You can do this out loud or in your head.
A little tip from me to you: If you’re not alone, you might want to stick to saying it in your head. Wouldn’t want anyone thinking you’re crazy, now would you? 😉
But seriously, even though it may feel forced at first, you can still use this technique to your advantage. Sometimes all you need is a mental interruption to change the flow of thoughts–and this works perfectly in that respect. And once it becomes second nature, you’ll find it working on a whole new level.
Find Your Happy Place
Get happy by focusing on or thinking about things that can make you feel happiness and love. For example, parents might snuggle with their children or look at old photos of them. Artists might paint or sculpt, and writers might write. Just about anyone could benefit from getting a little exercise or otherwise changing the scene. Or maybe a certain movie or book or song always cheers you up.
You might come up with a whole list of thoughts, people and things that always make you feel happy, loved, satisfied or simply amazing. Do it however it feels right for you, but definitely do it.
But What If We Don’t Know What Makes Us Happy?
What Works for Me
When I am feeling negatively, I have a few different go-to happy places. Number one is simply spending time with my kids. They are all three such sources of joy for me, and I consider being their mother an honor and a privilege.
I can also reach out to my husband and my friends, as well as some supportive extended family members.
And, as you probably know, I’m a writer, and I feel absolutely grateful that I am able to make a living doing what I love. That’s why sometimes, all I need to do to find my happy place is to simply focus on my work for awhile. Because I love what I do, if I can bring myself to focus on it, I always have a reason to smile, and often find myself doing so unconsciously while I’m working.
What Works for You?
Maybe for you, it’s not about your work or your relationships, but it’s about your hobbies or outside interests. If that’s the case, then that’s what you need to focus on when you’re feeling negatively.
So, if you love to play Wii Tennis, get to playing. And if you enjoy sewing or hiking or meditation or watching reruns of True Blood–get to doing some of that. It doesn’t much matter what brings you to happy as long as you know how to get there.
Where’s your happy place? Do you know how to get there? Tell me in the comments!
1. Move your butt. Get up, right now, and move your body for fifteen minutes. Do anything at all–walk, dance, do jumping jacks–clean the house–whatever. Just MOVE. Research shows that as little as 15 minutes of intentional exercise each day can significantly improve your mood.
2. Get out! Of the house, that is. You can even combine this one with exercise and just go for a walk. Or, make a coffee date with a friend. Or go get a pedicure. Just leave the house. Often, a change in environment is the perfect way to change your perspective for the better.
3. Clean something. If you’re feeling stressed and flustered and can’t figure out why, take a look around you. Is your desk cluttered and messy? Your kitchen full of dirty dishes? As your space goes, so goes your Self. Clean up your environment a little, and you’ll find your perspective positively changed. Clearing out the physical clutter helps to clear out the mental clutter.
4. Do something nice for someone. You don’t have to give up your kidney (though that would be honorable), but do something to make someone’s day (or life) a little better, every day. Even if you just let a lady with an antsy two year old in front of you in line at the grocery store (even though she’s got a cart full and you’ve just got a couple of things), you will have done your good deed for the day. You’ll make her day a little easier, and there’s just something about being nice to people that makes you feel good. And since the law of attraction is always at work, putting your energy into doing good things will attract more good things into your life.
5. Smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, even if you have to fake it–put a smile on your face. Research indicates that even a forced smile can positively affect your emotions. Going through the motions of being happy, researchers say, “fools” you into actually feeling happy. (Sound familiar? Those who study the law of attraction say that going through the motions–feeling the feelings of having what you want–is a powerful tool for manifesting your desires.)
So what about you?
What are your best tips for changing a bad mood to a good one?
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