I used to think it was because of circumstances, but then I started studying. In his TEDTalk video, Dan Gilbert discusses how the “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. This is different than settling, it’s the adoption of a concept and the extraction of joy.
I ALWAYS have 3 choices when dealing with circumstances:
#1 is obvious. Be Happy.
#2 is less obvious but doable. Even when I want a change of circumstances I can still feel joy. I can focus on what I am doing to change. I can sing, dance and especially laugh at the situation. I cannot tell you how good I am at laughing about my own drama! In a previous post I talk about laughter releasing happy chemicals. There are documented studies that prove laughter promotes health but most of us know instinctively how good it feels to laugh.
#3. not so obvious but a real choice none the less. Some days I want to complain, scream, yell and cry. I am hell on wheels to be around but I “own the moan.” It is a total waste of time and energy to be stuck in misery but I fall in occasionally. When I do, I own it. I know I will not be there forever but I also acknowledge that while I’m not in control of all things, I am in control of how I feel. I used to wrestle with this concept. Who in their right mind would choose to feel bad? The fact is that sometimes, I do. Now that I am aware of my choice, I’m not a slave to the emotion tied up in the circumstance.
I aim high. My everyday goal is elation. I may not get there but generally, I arrive at OK being me and I’m just happy to be there 😉