The Happiness Project Update

It has been almost two months since I made my decision to be happy all the time, so I figured it’s probably time for an update.

I’m going to be honest with you guys, I wasn’t perfect. I was not literally happy all the time. There were days when I was exhausted, frustrated, even just downright grumpy. Days I snapped at my husband. Days I just couldn’t be bothered to be happy.

And even when I would feel myself slipping into that unhappy place, I would mentally remind myself about my little project, and you know what would happen? This bitter little voice in my brain would mutter, “You know what? I don’t care. I deserve to feel unhappy right now.”

Isn’t it weird when your brain gives you an unexpected answer? It had never occurred to me that when I would sulk or wallow or whatever I was doing, there was a part of me that felt I had earned that low point.

Honestly, the fact that I subconsciously felt that way made me a little sad. I mean, the whole point of the project is that I know I’m my best self when I’m happy and positive. Doesn’t it seem a bit selfish that I would feel like the world owed me a moment to not be my best self?

So I spent a little bit of time considering that. No, I don’t want to always put pressure on myself to be the best. But to be my best self? Is that asking too much?

The answer is that I don’t know. As a staunch believer in moderation in all things, it seems reasonable that I would give myself the day off if I really needed it. And while I still always want to try to be my best self as often as I can, it sort of makes sense that to be my best self, I would need to be able to have a day or an hour or even ten minutes to just allow my brain to relax, feel whatever it’s feeling in that moment, and then get on with life.

So maybe that’s the difference. I can be unhappy for a moment if that’s truly how I feel, I just can’t let those feelings consume me. I can’t let them cripple me.

As someone who spent roughly five years as a victim of negative thoughts (yeesh…THAT’S the sad part, folks), I think my project is just a promise to myself that I won’t let it happen again. I refuse to be a victim of anything. I won’t waste anymore of my life as a (let’s face it) willing captive of negativity and unhappiness.

Which is why I’ll continue to say that I’m going to be happy all the time. Because — even though I know I won’t be perfect at it — if I even get close to that goal, I’ll be doing pretty well.

And today? Today I choose happiness. Today, I choose to feel like this:

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What (if anything) do you do to get yourself out of a funk? And if you don’t make an active effort to be happy, why do you think that is?

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6 thoughts on “The Happiness Project Update

  1. I don’t think anyone can be happy all the time, but you’re right it’s how you choose to respond to those moments of frustration or sadness. For a while, I was letting myself spiral downward. If one thing went wrong, I would think about all the other things that are going wrong until I couldn’t pick myself up again. Now I try not to let that happen, when I feel down I’ll go for a walk or to the gym, call a friend, watch a movie, etc.

    • Those are all good ideas. I completely agree that no one can literally be happy all of the time; it’s definitely more about your mindset. My project was more about the idea that I can control how I react to everything. (Maybe not that immediate/gut-punch reaction, but definitely over time.) Thanks for sharing your tips!

  2. Whenever I feel like I’m in a funk (usually at the end of a day at work) my husband immediately tells me that I need to: a) work out and b) take a hot bath with a magazine. It always does the trick, and prevents me from saying things I don’t mean/will regret. 🙂

    • The more I learn about you, the more I find out how alike we are! Those are my two de-stressers as well. (Ok, and sometimes I also just need a glass of wine and a DVR’d episode of The Bachelorette ;))

  3. Loved the article! I feel that it is important to at times feel a bit down especially if you know why. If something happens in your life that prompt a feeling of disappointment or hurt it is necessary to register it. You will develop good cooping skills if you recognize that life is not always going to be a happy place.
    The not so great times in life that make us feel sad are just temporary and help us to appreciate the good times even more.

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