In the past week, three different people from three different areas of my life have asked me for advice on how to be and stay happy. I take this as;
a) three of the greatest compliments of all time
b) A sign that it’s solid Blog fodder, #Bodder. If three people asked me this, maybe it’ll make for a successful post that others are interested in.
There’s probably a book I should write about it (or at least an ebook)… but, rather than go into an epic war and peace novel about how and why I’ve ended up being a relatively positive and happy person, (something to do with my mom being a cheerleader combined with a general sense that ‘earth’ is freakin’ awe-some), I thought I’d just get down to the nitty gritty with my seven-ways to be and stay happy. I feel somewhat qualified on the ‘staying’ aspect since I specifically recall someone in year twelve asking me the same thing.
1. Hold a realisation that no one else is going to feel it for you, so if you want to be happy, it’s up to you, and only you, to carry that demeanour on the outside to feel the vibe on the inside.
2. Remember this story about Fritz Strack’s research piece conducted on a group of people, half of whom were asked to hold a pencil in their teeth (resulting in an unavoidable ‘smile face’) and half who held the pencil in between their lips (no smile face). The two groups were shown cartoons afterwards and, alas, the people with their ‘smile muscles’ activated rated cartoons as funnier than those without. I don’t know why but this story stuck with me when I heard it some years back and it’s always served as a reminder when I’m down, to smash on a broad-beaming smile (even alone in my car)… and let the muscles to their thang.
3. Remember the fact that when you wake up every day you have a decision about how you’re going to face the day. You can choose grumpy or choose happy, all I know is when I choose happy its way easier. Even if life isn’t going very well for some reason, you can choose your take on it, if only for the day. I remember Rob Mills posted this one on Facey many years ago and he seems totes happy.
4. An acceptance that being happy or carrying an heir of general happiness is going to annoy some people. My good friend Brendan Beale taught me #HatersGonnaHate, accept, move on, next. Way more to be enjoyed on the good side than worrying about the nasties. Interestingly, those people generally self-implode, metaphorically speaking. If they want to come around later I’ll be here.
5. Think about how you want people to see you. I want people to see me as a little light in their day, someone who, through proven experience day-in-day-out, will (hopefully) lift the vibe of the room.
6. Sad is okay too. Just less and only when necessary. Something about the winter making the summer warmer or something… I don’t know but I try to feel the sad with it’s full brunt so that when I’m happy I can completely own it.
7. Know that in the end you will have been here, then you will have gone. Life is made up of hundreds of thousands of days (hopefully), don’t know about you but I want to spend them as happy as I can, and so I try. It takes some effort, some days, pulling one ’s self out of whatever darkness one may be in for one reason or another. Even when times aren’t great, surely I can just be the happiest I can possibly be that day. Now I’ve been owning it for so long it feels like something I’m giving back, and maybe that’s what’s really working.
8. I know I only said seven but one extra for luck. Trampoline. Jump. Go. It’s pretty much an impossibility to avoid being happy whilst jumping on a trampoline. It’s one of the main things I look forward to in visiting my parent’s place every week. #GuaranteedHigh
Thanks to the three people who asked me for advice last week, it really really meant so much to me 🙂
Hope you LIKE what I came up with (… seriously, you better like this).
Julie Anne Longano