Just be Happy
Speaking strictly for myself: Happiness is a choice.
I realize that there’s a great number of those who suffer from either psychological conditions or chemical excess/defincies in their brains that could dictate their emotional state or otherwise seperate logic from their emotions (I’m not a doctor, so I can only speak from my experience).
However, barring these cases, it is my belief that being happy is “simply” a matter of making a choice. That is in no way to say that I think it is easy. Quitting smoking is a decision, it’s as simple as it gets: don’t smoke. That’s it, that’s all you have to do. Yet there are many of us who struggle with shaking an addiction (sometimes to our grave).
Throughout our lives we’ve come across numerous catchphrases promoting optimism, sometimes specifically optimism-in-the-face-of-adversity: Gets worse before it gets better, where there’s shadows there’s light, everything works out in the end, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger etc.
Being cynical means that you distrust the sincerity of others: we live in a cynical time. I think partly because the internet allows like-minded cynics to isolate their conversations and interactions, free from those with differing more positive opinions. But that’s a small footnote.
Somehow, somewhen, optimism and positivity became hokey and uninformed: “That smiling laughing person isn’t really happy, they’re lying to themselves, they’re sheep, they’re idiots, ignorance is bliss and I clearly know better, they’re probably more miserable than me.” I was like this for a long fucking time, pretty much between the ages of 14-27.
My cynical mindset naturally created distrust. It’s difficult to care without trust. And if you don’t care, then what is there to really enjoy?
Sorry, this has gotten to be a lot more long-winded than I had intended. The whole purpose of this was to simply explain, that for me: happiness was a choice. And it continues to be a choice. It’s not fucking easy, it’s a daily goddamn effort, but like they say about recovering addicts: you’re never truly free of the grip.
Happiness isn’t something you FIND, you don’t go looking for it, find it, then put it in your pocket. It’s not a destination that you somehow locate or stumble upon. This mentality of “finding happiness” often leads folks on a wild-goose-chase.
Happiness (in my opinion) is a frame of mind. You can have everything in the world and still be miserable, just like you could have nothing and still “find happiness”.
Think of it as a workout, as a daily routine. Look for the positive in any situation (good or bad), forgive people and move on (you don’t need to fucking let them walk all over you, but you also don’t need to harbor resentment), make sure you listen to things, watch things or talk to people that make you laugh and smile everyday, look in peoples’ eyes when you thank them, compliment people when you see shit you admire …
Neuroplasticity dictates behavior and thoughts are reinforced with repetition. That’s how we’re built. So for many of us (I understand there are exceptions), it stands to reason that if you actively put in a real effort, every goddamn day, fighting against every natural negative impulse you have, and put that effort into being positive, that over time … you might just “be happy”.
It’s not blind happiness, it’s not a plastic smile … it’s reminding yourself constanstly of the positives. Be smart, be logical, don’t go hugging a bear or dancing down a dark crack alley. Being positive doesn’t mean being a fucking idiot.
The alternative is that you’re just a victim trapped inside your own skin, with no control over how you feel or think. For many of us, it’s up to us.
That’s how I see it. And I hope it helps someone.