Happiness is a Choice... These four words were whispered to me so loudly, I don't know where the words came from, was it my own thought or something else? All I know is that was all I needed to make it my mission to prove this concept to be true. What I didn't expect was how much I was being misunderstood.
All I wanted was to put a smile on someones face, if just for a moment. My inner critic snapped back with the thought that others would think I was nuts if i was standing on the sidewalk hula hooping during lunch hour with a sign reminding others to smile. That's when I heard those worlds, That's when I realized that how other people feel was their choice and that I would do it anyway. I might make someone happy and that's all that I wanted, I ran with it. I wanted people to realize that whatever they are feeling, they can choose to feel differently. I studied happiness, I learned how to help others identify what happiness was for them and how to coach others towards their goals. It was my slogan, my baseline.
"Choosing to be happy when you are unhappy is inauthentic" , a man once said to me. Inauthentic!?!? That comment hit me like a freight train, All I want is to show people that they don't need the masks and that they're are beautiful as they are. Was I encouraging people not to feel their feelings? Was I downplaying the importance of learning to process your feelings in a healthy way?
Happiness is always an option. We are beautiful, magical beings with the ability to control our emotions and to choose how we respond to the things that happen to us, We will always feel all the emotions, even the ones that don't feel good like anger or sadness, The problems arise when we sit on those negative emotions for too long, You see our feeling become our thoughts, our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions and all of these things become our life. So its important to be aware of our inner dialog. And realize that we have the ability to make small adjustments to help shift our mood. I like to suggest making a Mood Boosting list, This is a list of small things you can easily do that will make you feel better. Things like taking a walk or petting your dog, taking a shower or spinning a hula hoop, I know that when I'm having a really bad day, the last thing I want to do is try and feel better, so having a list a list of quick fixes on hand is crucial.
Choosing happiness is a learned skill. Its not as easy as throwing on a face and "faking it", although it has been shown that even pretending that you are happy, even when you are not really feeling it, can actually lead to real happiness. But personally this is a last resort option that is only effective if you commit to it and its not just "customer service" happiness, where you only try to be happy when other people are around,