I was talking about motivation couple of days ago revealing some techniques and tips I’ve learnt myself. Today I have a similar, but not entirely, topic to discuss – happiness. To be able to discuss happiness I need to mention patience & determination of course. Why? Well, see, although I am a very positive, active and enthusiastic person I still have down times and more often than I would like to. I remember times when my ‘down’ times would last for months … this is the worst case scenario but it happens. Since than I’ve learnt (I think) what causes such negativism and how to cope with it. I am aware that we all are dramatically different and whatever good for one can be deadly for another. Therefore I want to share MY experience and you see if it fits you too. Here are my 3 secrets of happiness:
Have you seen Meet The Robinsons? I highly recommend you to watch if you haven’t. It is a sweet animation about a boy who was obsessed with science despite many trials and errors. Although he failed many times, at the end he established a giant inventions empire creating and designing awesome gadgets. Bottom line, keep moving forward!
None of us is perfect and sometimes we doubt everything we do or too tired or demotivated. Unhappy and sad feeling crawling up to us slowly and quietly. Well, patience, devotion and desire can assist here! Remember when we were kids we could be dead exhausted but when something exciting was still in the center of our attention we couldn’t sleep, eat or think straight. The world didn’t matter! This is what I loved the most about being a child! Although children can get hurt due to their attention span, they get over the failure and move on to the next adventure because their attention is already capture by something else. Adults are more distracted by environment constantly evaluating people and situation around. The more unresolved issues we have the more time we take to evaluate environment rather than whatever our focus is on. As a result, we take more time, more caution and often less risk in order to achieve something even if it is being happy. Whether it is work, sport or study we can make it very hard or very easy. Interestingly we often chose it to be hard!
The Robinsons family is a bunch of very happy people, always inventing something. Most their inventions are either not working or dangerous but it never brings them down – many other inventions are working and fun. None of us can design something new and absolutely perfect all the time – this is why none of us is like that. However with time, patience and determination any imperfection will become a piece of art.
Now, how does it work in real life? Well, a lot depends on our attitude to life. Ask yourself how do you interact with other people? Do you always judge others? How do you react to other people’s failures? Are you very surprised when see something unusual? Do you generally believe in ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ or you think everyone is different? Answers to these questions can determine how you see the world around yourself and hence YOURSELF as well. Many people have high expectations or even delusional ones of their lives and other people. Not reaching their made up levels of life often get people depressed or angry with the entire world blaming everyone and themselves for not accomplishing made up goals. Hmmm maybe we are better of having fun rather than chasing none existent statuses, posts and levels? The right attitude will help you desire move forward or crawl backwards… depending on how you feel this very moment 🙂
To help your, if it is a case, poor attitude or sad attitude you will need to literally force a smile. Fake it till you make it I say!
I am sure I discussed it earlier in my posts, if you fake a smile you WILL eventually feel it. Why to care for a smile? Well, believe it or not but smiling makes you feel better! Feeling good is crucial for your good attitude towards life and others. It is hard to love your enemies when you hate them. As soon as your hatred is gone you no longer feel anything negative (which is by the way proven to be potentially a heart attacks’ causation). Smiling forcefully often appears to be silly to many people. Have you tried it though? Alone at home together with your happiest thoughts… Well try and get back to me! 🙂
Charles Darwin first posed the idea that emotional responses influence our feelings in 1872. Moreover, the 19th century psychologist William James claimed that if a person does not express an emotion, he / she has not felt it at all. Forcing a smile to feel happy isn’t the only one way occasion. People who frown during an unpleasant procedure report feeling more pain than those who don’t. When you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins which is great to feel. People mimicking different emotional expressions force their bodies to produce physiological changes that affect physical changes such as heart and breathing rate. Another German study found that people felt happy just by holding a small pen clenched in their teeth, imitating a smile. As I am sure you will agree, when good things happen, we celebrate for a while and then sober up. This is why keeping smile on is so important! Although many call it a ‘fake smile’ go and fake your smile all the time and you’ll see that it is impossible to smile for too long without feeling it.
Black and white are two simple colors which often triggers certain emotions in our brains without any confusion or much difference from individual to individual.
It is a different story with grey or aqua or pale pink. Shades make it almost impossible for most men to identify a color. Although beige and creme colors are gorgeous they often over complicate us. Of course colors example is a metaphor; however it is applicable in many other instances. Many people including myself love over-thinking every single event wasting so much energy and time. Although I love analyzing and, must admit, I am a thinker, over-thinking often ends up with negativity.
There are many disorders that can cause unusual, often unwanted thoughts. Only a psychologist can correctly determine whether or not your thoughts are the result of something like an anxiety disorder. However if you are simply putting too much thought into something small you are probably over-thinking. How to understand and catch yourself on over-thinking? How to measure the importance of the over-thinking matter? Well, this is something each of us have to analyse (not over-think) and understand individually. However, a good tip would be to know what is normal for you, what is small and what do you usually treat as a big deal. When-ever over-thinking strikes, measure it against your ‘normal’, ‘small’ and ‘big’ and assess how much do you get hooked up on thoughts about it. If something is troubling you nights in and nights out; however usually it is not a big deal for you, you are most likely over complicating it. Do you know what I mean? One event can have a different meaning to us depending on a whole bunch of different factors. Missing out on an opportunity to ask a question during a lecture can be very small if you didn’t care about the topic as much but it can be absolutely devastating if it could have potentially been your opportunity to meet a favorite speaker. At the same time, neither of them are the end of the world. If you are a thinker like myself you are most likely aware of what makes you smile or cry. However over-thinking like a bad habit – it is very subtle, we are very used to it and it ends up being a part of us. Always analyse how you feeling in different circumstances – it will help you to learn more about yourself, assisting in sensing over-thinking easily.
Although I’ve read that we cannot stop ourselves from thinking, we can stop the thinking stream for at least some time. It is hard though! I am a good example of someone not being able to fall asleep for up to an hour each night because of endless stream of thinking. It goes madly quickly, with little structure, preventing me from falling asleep. It gets so bad sometimes that I have to adapt breathing technique which involve forcing myself to think about breathing in and breathing out ONLY. Although I often fall asleep eventually under the weight of endless thinking, I often have to call for a breathing exercise to slow my brain down anyway. I have always been like that. When I was 5 years old my neurologist told my mother that I had a very active brain and it would probably be causing a lot of problems in my life but I just have to learn how to live with it. Back than it was scary because my thoughts were real to me resulting in nightmares and sleep walking. I am an over-thinker since (with no longer sleep walking issues lol).
Happiness is work as much as any other state of mind. Feeling happy can be challenging and it is often neglected. We allow ourselves to be sad, to be stressed, to be upset and manipulated. However we rarely allow ourselves to laugh loud or smile a lot or feel childish happy. It is almost ‘normal’ to be sad or depressed and often annoying or ‘abnormal’ when we laugh or smile. I’ve experienced occasions when people were asked to stop being so happy because it was ‘inappropriate’. The only inappropriateness I see is the desire of our modern world [society] to disconnect, to be sad and depressed. Enough! I say enough! Keep moving forward, keep your smile on and stop over-complicating life!