Happiness can be hard work!
Sorry for the disappointing news, but, like anything worth doing, happiness can be tough going at times. If you’re having trouble finding your happy place, take a break…take a breath…and take inventory of what’s going on in your head.
Often, it’s as simple as understanding that you’re piling on, and that won’t make you happy. Maybe it’s been “one of those days” and everything’s gone wrong.
Have you ever started your morning like this? I sure have! Stub your toe on the way to the bathroom. Discover someone used up the last of the TP. Take a shower without getting a towel out. Dribble toothpaste down the front of your clothes – the outfit you intended to wear to work or meetings, so now you have to get re-dressed. Hit every red light, so you’re late. And on and on and on. Once the day has gotten off on the wrong note, it is very likely to stay off-kilter, and that’s not a recipe for happiness.
Mornings like that turn into bad days because of the very human propensity to pile on. You may stay focused on the first bad thing, which means you’re not paying enough attention to what you’re doing, so that lack of attention causes another bad thing to happen. By the time you get three mishaps under your belt, you’re feeling like someone has plastered a “kick me” sign on you, and that defeatist attitude causes you to continue to focus on every little thing that goes wrong. And that causes your entire day to go to a very hot place in a very small hamper!
This tendency to focus on the negative is common – actually, it’s the way the human brain is hard-wired. “Survival of the fittest” was the order of things, and the ones who lived to reproduce were the ones who paid attention to danger. Focusing on the negative was a survival skill, though it no longer is – at least, for the most part.
Focusing on the positive, the Grant Study at Harvard has found, increases the chances for success, enhances the sense of well-being and raises the baseline level of happiness for most people.
The easiest way to focus on the positive when your day is off to a rough start is not to allow yourself to focus on everything all at once. Things only happen one at a time, so deal with mishaps one at a time. Pick one thing you can fix/control/eliminate, and fix/control/eliminate it. Please note, I’m not advocating violence here!
Move on to the next thing. If there are things that are out of your control, that’s really good information!! If you can’t control it, don’t worry about it. Let whoever IS in control handle it. (and that could be a higher power – let your beliefs go to bat for you in tough times!)
Focus on what you can control…fix what you can fix…eliminate things that don’t serve you. Watch your happiness come rushing back to you, even on the worst days!
I’d love to know how you shake yourself out of a bad day – please email your comments to me. Thanks and have a happy day!
Sandy Weaver – I work with organizations to boost morale, productivity and the bottom line. 770-310-6932, sandy (at sign) sandyjweaver (dot) com