I spoke to you last time about my project happy (as I call it) and I shared 3 tips that have helped me on my journey. Now I’m going to share a few more tips that have helped me become happier.
“Experts say that denying bad feelings intensifies them; but I find acknowledging bad feelings allows good feelings to return.”
On The Girl Who Writes, I write a lot about positivity and how to focus on it. However, it is not healthy to focus only on the positive things in life. Ignoring the negative or bad things in life is not a good strategy because, as anyone who has tried this already knows (or will soon find out), those negative things always resurface if not dealt with properly.
As nice as it seems that would be, positivity and happiness don’t work that way. If you focus only the good things, you are denying the bad things and, as research has shown, this only intensifies them. When I first started thinking about positivity and how I wanted more of it in my life, my initial react was to push all of the bad thoughts away. Of course, this didn’t go over so well and, not surprisingly, they quickly crept back to the surface and intensified by my determined avoidance. Now I see that it is so important to deal with the bad feelings and situations. Sometimes it really isn’t pleasant and I would much rather be sweeping them under the rug and plastering a smile to my face, but I always feel a lot better when I deal with the negative. I feel much more positive when I take care of the dealing with the bad things and that positivity gives me a big boost when it comes to facing the good things in my life.
“Act the way I want to feel.”
I have always thought to myself that if you are acting a way you are not feeling than you are simply faking it and I’ve always wondered what the point of that would be. Why fake it? I used to ask myself when I was sinking into an irritated funk. I used to rationalise that it was just best to be who I was and not to play any games with my emotions. While it made sense to me at that time, I now realise that that’s not the best plan of attack. When you act the way you want to feel, you actually start to feel that way. If I find myself slipping into a bad mood, I do my best to act happy and, you know what? I actually find that I am happier. This sounds like it might contradict the earlier point of ignoring bad feelings, but it actually works with it. While it’s not a good idea to ignore your negative emotions, there are often times when dwelling on them doesn’t do any good either. If you find yourself in a bad mood and you think to yourself, “I really want to be happy right now,” start acting as if you are happy. You may still have issues to deal with (such as why it is that you have found yourself in a bad mood), but having a happy attitude will make dealing with any negative situation a lot more pleasant. And if being happy is too much for you, just try being positive and looking for the good in the situation. Whenever I look for the good in a bad situation (and, yep, this can take a lot of effort on my part sometimes), I instantly feel better. It might sound silly or as if wouldn’t work, but I swear that when I start acting the way I want to feel, I actually start feeling that way.
“One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”
When I read this, it feels a bit like a tongue-twister for my mind. I have to be happy to make other people happy? But making other people happy will make me happy? (What?!) I have to admit that the first time I read this it felt a little bit of chicken-and-the-egg syndrome. Which comes first? Making other other people happy? Or making myself happy so that I can then make other people happy? Personally, I think they go hand-in-hand. When I first started working on my project happy, I admittedly was a bit self-absorbed. I was intent on finding all of the ways I could make myself happier and live a more positive life. When I read this line one day it was a real eye-opener for me. I realised that, while it was very important to focus on my own happiness and figure out what would make my life more positive, it was equally as important to make other people as well. I began doing what I could to spread positivity and to share what I was learning about happiness with others. One of the ways I began working on sharing my happiness was through my blog. My experience with blogging can be summed up like this:My blog has given me a new identity, new skills, a new set of challenges, and a way to connect with people who shared my interest. I have expanded my vision of the kind of writer I could be. I have become a blogger. In becoming a blogger, I have made myself happier and I have found a way to share my experiences and my positivity with others.