Sunday, October 4, 2020

Happy Is A Verb



One of the greatest discoveries by psychologists in the last century is that we humans are able to affect how we feel about anything, independent of our circumstances. To cite an extreme example, someone sick and dying can find reasons for joy in diminished circumstances while another, a wealthy and favoured person could live out their days in despondency.

Without trying to undercut the seriousness of the medically diagnosed illness called depression, their is a lot each of us is able to do about feeling happy in our minds, being happy with ourselves . I admit it is usually easier to be happy with a chunk of juicy BBQ in my mouth. Your preference might be a glass of wine. A lot of elderly women like to fuss around with their grandchildren, it gives them a reason for living. We all have things we associate with wellness and just having those symbols around would make us feel better.

Many of us were lucky as children to have parents who did things to make us happy. Sometimes they sang songs to us just to entertain us. They told us stories and mimed for us. They bought gifts and toys and wrapped them in packaging and stories because unwrapping the gifts and celebrating the seasons ( birthday, Christmas, New Year) are things that bring joy. They tended to our healthcare and made us feel safe and secure. And by doing all these things, they taught the happiness that comes from doing things because making us happy made them happy.

As adults, you become responsible for your happiness. Your great super power is that ability to mix what is available to get something better. Sometimes life serves us lemons, sometimes it is honey. It is entirely up to you to make lemonade or do something else. Space and time can not permit me to list all the uses of lemon , starting from the peel to the juice to the fibre.

Another super power we have is the ability to change your location either temporarily or permanently. All situations have their merits and demerits and all are not equally favourable to your circumstances. Some are a lot more suitable to your preferences than others. The beach is a more bearable place to be on a sunny day. Living closer to work and escaping long commutes might be what will give you a better quality of life. Your job or individual orientation might be better appreciated elsewhere than where you are now. Do the hard work of changing your situation and moving to where the odds favour you to instantly start enjoying a better life. Sometimes the key to your happiness is just three words; relocate, relocate and relocate .

An active body also engenders a happy mind. Don't stay sedentary and alone, go out and do things. Dance. Sing. Go to places of worship , attend social gatherings. Entertain and be entertained. A little exercise can go a long way. Form the habit and it will not only do good for your health but it will make you happy about yourself .

Cheering yourself up is among the things that you have to learn how to do for yourself as you grow up. Helping others, changing your environment and staying active are all actions that are proven to make you feel better about what you do affects what you feel. Your happiness is what you do. In some cases however, what you need to do is seek medical help. When the doctor asks, "How do you feel?", don't just say you are fine. Help her to do her job of helping you by telling exactly where it hurts.

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Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

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