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An Odd Happiness Trick Revealed

It would be tragic to become someone who could only be happy when things are going well. Able to smile only when things went my way, or the way I predicted them to go. As tragic as it would be, that person is not a stranger to me. Contentment and positivity are not my natural inclinations. In a fight, negativity and dissatisfaction would win, hands down. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize that I feel much better about myself when I can be content in my current situation. Sometimes we really need to work for the happiness and goodness in our lives (and sometimes often feels like all the time). It seems that certain people are born seeing that glass as half full. Not me. I am not hard-wired for optimism. I need to force myself to squint really hard to see the good when I am upset, uncomfortable, or just plain bored. Do you know how I force myself to do so? On those mornings when I just seem to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I grip a pen between my teeth while getting ready to stimulate a smile. I will continue to train myself to choose the high road, even if it means sticking a writing utensil in my mouth, because my happiness is worth it, and so is the happiness of those around me. 

Would you consider yourself to be an optimist or pessimist? What are some of the tricks you’ve discovered that help cheer you up and see the positive?

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4 thoughts on “An Odd Happiness Trick Revealed

  1. I wouldn’t call this a trick to turn a negative in a positive, but something that usually cheers me up is doing something for someone else. Making someone else happy, in turn, makes me happy 🙂 For example, I’ll bake something for my coworkers or a neighbour, I’ll mail an unexpected handwritten note to a friend, or I’ll learn a few new jokes to add to my repertoire to share with customers at work. Lately, I’ve made an effort to encouragingly “high five” joggers whose paths I cross on the sidewalk. My automatic instinct in seeing an approaching runner would be to feel bad about myself. How come I’m only walking…and not even very fast? I’m in terrible shape compared to this person. I could never keep up with someone like that. This person (I know nothing about) is so much better than me. But NOW when I see folks on the sidewalk I start to feel, I dare say, almost excited at the upcoming opportunity. Maybe I can’t run, maybe I don’t have fancy running shoes, maybe I’m sweating more than the person going 3 times as fast as me but I can give them a high-five. I can be motivating. I can make them smile and give them a story to tell about their evening jaunt. I haven’t been turned down once and I haven’t been able to keep from smiling (and feeling good!) after each encounter. Maybe relying on other people for happiness isn’t the best method, and maybe it’s unethical to “use” people like that…but, so far, making other people smile seems like a fairly renewable resource and I’m taking advantage. Smiles yield smiles. “A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says, ‘Sorry we don’t serve food in here.'”

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  2. Hmmm, I think I’ll try the pen between the teeth trick. As well, full-out, out-loud worship, giving thanks with positive confessions of truth and coffee are my starters of a new day. I have to!! 🙂 Keep up the fight, Andrea!

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