The Happiness Muscle: Flexing Off the Flab

5327432832_744db9df61It is impossible to feel ecstatically good every day. It is not realistic to think that every morning the chirping birds will gently awake you while the sound of a distant pan flutist renews your soul.

Life is full of spilled coffee, moldy bread and road rage. Bubbly and positive people can be seriously irritating sometimes when you are in a bad mood. This is where the work starts.

How can you exercise your happiness muscle when you are on Day 3 of not enough sleep and everything negative seems to be piling up in front of you? Force yourself to. Every day that you do it will get easier.

It is so easy to get to this place. It starts with a small irritation that sets your mood down the wrong path and before you know it seems you’re dreading everything that you do. Maybe this has never happened to you but I guarantee that it has happened to me more often than I would like. It’s like your mind is on a negative thinking binge. If you start to identify this in the moment then eventually you can help yourself stop the feelings from bringing you into the negative head space that leaves you feeling constantly drained.

If you can force yourself to think of one thing that you are grateful for then force yourself to also consider why you are grateful for it, and how it has made your life better, even if only slightly. Positive thinking is extremely challenging sometimes, but even if this is so, the side effects of feeling happier on a more regular basis can free up a lot of emotional space that can then be filled with your goals and dreams. Forcing yourself to think positively today leads to the possibility that positive thinking will feel more natural tomorrow. Research on positive thinking and positivity have repeatedly shown that people who are more positive get sick less, handle daily stressors better, and score higher on life fulfillment tests. If that doesn’t convince you, just imagine how fun it would be to annoy those prickly people in your life with your optimism.

So yeah, sometimes you get sick and crash your car on the same day but hey, at least you survived and can look forward to feeling well again.

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