How to be happy all the time
by Lyssa Myska Allen
A friend recently tweeted to me: Sometimes I wonder how you stay so #happy. It is both encouraging, and maddening. : )
There is this notion amongst my friends and readers of DailyHap that I personally am happy all the time—and I’ve done my best to perpetuate it. You really can be happy all the time!
Except, you can’t, really, be happy all the time.
In a lot of ways, writing about happiness every single day is nothing but an experiment on myself: can I be an example of how you really can be happy all the time?
There are a lot of things you can do to “be happy” all the time: practice gratitude, forgiveness, and love. But mostly it comes down to accepting the situation you are in, finding peace there, and then deciding what to do about it. That’s what makes me happy.
For instance, it does not make me happy that DailyHap has not yet been featured on the Today show or Katie or Oprah. Some days that small fact makes me downright depressed. But once I accept that as the current truth, I can be happy about the people who have written saying DailyHap is helping them. And I can keep promoting the site, sending pitch emails, and networking until one day this site does land on a national TV show.
Jealousy is an ugly emotion in excess, but a little jealousy can be healthy. That which feels “maddening” about seeing someone else’s happiness is a hint of jealousy. “They” seem so happily married/content in their job/have the best kids, that we can’t help but be annoyed by “them”.
But you can use that sense of being mad that someone has what you want—happiness—to help you identify what exactly it is that you want and how to get it. In my friend’s case, I’m certainly open to sharing my happiness tips with her! But you can also look at being jealous of happy relationships or work situations as learning tools: how do the partners in the relationship treat each other; how does a worker view her work—an obligation, a treat, a challenge?
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
The other secret to my seemingly perpetual happiness? I fake it. A lot. And suddenly the line is blurry between fake and real—and in this case, that’s a good thing. If I’m sad or down, I let/force myself to wallow. That in itself makes me happy, as it allows that emotion a real place in my life. The changes in my perception of the situation then change the actual situation.
Once the wallowing is finished—an hour, a day, a weekend later—I figure out where to go from there. I find the happiness in the situation, most often it’s an opportunity: a bout of indecision is a period of opportunity; a contract gone bad is a chance for a new experience in business.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” – Semisonic’s Closing Time
All states are temporary: high happiness and low sadness, and in between. In the end, the peaceful state of acceptance and comfort with whatever emotions and situations arise looks a lot like happiness.