When I think about being happy, I think about what Barney Stinson said: “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” Not only that works, but in a few minutes, you’ll be able to do it!
Our minds are strange things. Your mind can get you angry, sad, or even depressed over the strangest things. Have you ever gotten mad about something that happened 2 weeks ago? It’s irrational and you know it, even at the time, but that doesn’t change the emotions swirling in your head. You know the feeling.
Given the right circumstances, bad emotions can escalate and ruin your day for no good reason. Not great. You can, also, start feeling irrational joy and happiness without any good reason. Pretty great!
Yes, you can be irrationally happy for no good reason. Even better, you can be mad at the world and have all the reasons to say “Life sucks!” and still switch to happy. Just like that!
[clickToTweet tweet=”You can be irrationally happy for no good reason. It’s great!” quote=”You can be irrationally happy for no good reason. It’s great!”]
- Getting expensive things or moving to a better location will make you happier temporarily.
- Even the most unfortunate events will make you unhappy temporarily.
- If you act happy, your mind responds and becomes happy. True story!
- How to build the habit of acting happy whenever you feel bad and feel awesome all the time.
A little sunshine
Imagine yourself living in rainy London. England can be amazing (Brexit – not so much), but the weather sure is depressing. Lack of sunshine and constant rain are enough to depress everyone, aren’t they?
Now, imagine you live in England and you’re considering to move to sunny California. Non-stop sun, great weather, and awesome beaches. How happy you’d be?
Pretty happy, actually. You love the sun and the nice weather and you’re much happier compared to England.
What about after a few months?
You’d still be a bit happier and the thought of sunny California will make you smile, but sunshine isn’t that big of a deal anymore.
Finally, what about a few years?
You’re just as happy as you were in England. The great weather is now just “the weather” and you’re focused on your daily life – being sunny isn’t something spectacular anymore.
Interestingly enough, the very same thing will happen if you do the opposite. You’ll feel bad about the rain for a while, but in a few months, you’ll revert to your original level of happiness.
Studies show us that the same thing happens even for the extreme ends of the spectrum. – winning the lottery and becoming paralyzed. Both of those groups return to their initial state of happiness after a few months.
Here’s what that means:
- Your mind is amazing – it can get you through even the biggest trauma and still preserve its’ sanity and happiness.
- Big changes aren’t the key to happiness (enjoying the little things is).
- You get used to your situation – good or bad and you’re left to build your happiness.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Big changes aren’t the key to happiness.” quote=”Big changes aren’t the key to happiness.”]
When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead
Barney Stinson (although a child of fiction) hits the bullseye – his over-the-top method is exactly what you need to do when negative emotion strikes. Here’s a breakdown of what to do when you get sad/angry/other negative emotion:
- Scratch your left wrist
- Straighten your back
- Slow down your breathing
- Be awesome
[clickToTweet tweet=”Be awesome!” quote=”Be awesome!”]
What you’re doing here is acting happy. When you act happy your body can’t help it and just starts feeling happy. Here’s how that works:
- Straightening your back will increase your energy level (to 9001), reduce cortisol, make negative memories harder to recall, and a myriad of other beneficial effects.
- Your breathing pattern is connected to your emotional state. Stress and negative emotions come with faster and shallow breathing. Take deep breaths, just as if you’re already feeling awesome, and soon enough, you will.
- Smiling is awesome! Not only it boosts your mood, relieves stress, amps up your immune system, and more, but it’s contagious – everyone around you catches it.
All in all, you don’t need to do much – just act awesome. In a manner of munites, you’ll feel awesome, as well.
Now, after you understand how great (and easy) this is, let’s make it a habit!
Building the happy habit
You’ve already noticed that something is out of place with the process above. Scratching your wrist doesn’t have anything to do with feeling awesome, so why do it?
The answer is simple – to build a lasting behavior that you can trigger at will. It will be the cue to your happiness habit (read more about habits here).
Get used to doing the steps above without skipping one or changing the order. Soon, you’ll scratch your wrist and your body will do everything else automagically. That gives you the ability to “cure” bad emotions by just scratching your wrist (everything else will happen by itself). Do this long enough and you’ll find you’re living a much happier life!
[clickToTweet tweet=”Cure bad emotions by just scratching your wrist!” quote=”Cure bad emotions by just scratching your wrist!”]
That covers it. The whole thing is rather simple, really – you fake it till you make it. Don’t let the simpleness of this method fool you – it’s an amazing way to master your own mind and experience your emotions on your own terms.