“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
A client asked me a few weeks ago, “Simone, how do you stay happy all the time?”. At first I was taken aback. I know I’m a very cheerful and positive person, but I personally don’t perceive myself as someone who is always happy.
I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) and an empath, which means I pick up on the energies around me, which inevitably means experiencing a range of emotions every day- and not all of them are happy. In our society today, there is so much pressure to be happy. All. The. Time. It is completely unrealistic to have this expectation, because life actually brings us all the other emotions too.
I am not saying that it is ok to be really sad all the time, and please, if you are reading this and you are experiencing depression, please seek appropriate medical help. But if you are someone who is generally feeling ok, but you have moments in your day when you feel down, or you feel lonely, or you feel blue, or sad, then this is perfectly ok. We don’t have to feel ecstatically elated every single moment of the day.
We don’t need to feel like we are in an endless state of joy. Actually, we need to experience the low points in life to really appreciate the times when we are feeling great. Life is bitter, as well as sweet, and full of ups and downs, and all those feelings are perfectly ok. You are not broken if you feel sad sometimes or some days or even some weeks.
When I have moments of feeling less than happy, I take that as a time to reflect. I ask myself questions like:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What has triggered this emotion in me?
- What do I need to do right now to start to feel better?
- Is there an area of my life that needs nourishing?
And then I allow myself to FEEL that emotion with all my being. I will cry my little eyes out, stomp my feet in anger, figure out where in my body I am holding the negative emotion and I breathe into that space. Then I let it go. I might not feel instantly jouyful, but feeling and allowing and then releasing is the best way to get yourself out of a funk quickly.
It can also be really helpful to have a chat with your most positive and happy friend, and surround yousrelf with their positive energy. And do things that you love. I made a list a while ago of ways to have more fun which can be useful to refer to in times when you are in a funk. The more positivity that is around you, the better it will make you feel. You can also make yourself feel happier by doing something nice for another person, which will make them feel happy. When you do this, it is like there is an exchange of happiness energy that takes place, and you can’t help but feel better.
But really, I want you to be gentle and kind with yourself. Don’t put unecessary pressure on yourself to be happy all the time, and just trust and believe that the low points, like everything, will pass. Just like we don’t always feel happy, we also won’t always feel sad/lonely/angry etc.
Nothing is permanent and we are never dealt anything we can’t handle; but there are also lessons to learn from every situation and sometimes that lesson might come from not feeling joyful and having to experience some pain. In the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: “Suffering increases your inner strength.” I truly believe this to be true, and it is what makes us human.
- What do you think? Do we have to be happ all the time? How do you pull yourself out of low moments in life?