There is always something to be unhappy about.
That’s the opposite of what I normally say! Usually I point out that there’s always something in your life to be grateful for, and if you focus on feeling the gratitude, a nice little by-product is that you will feel good and feel happy.
But in a society that is bombarded by negative news stories every time we switch on the radio or tv, or open a newspaper, I have to concede that it’s really a lot easier to notice the things to be unhappy about. And if you want an excuse to be unhappy, there will be no shortage.
But who wants to be unhappy?
Most people want the opposite. To be happy and content.
So, what to do about this dilemma? Choose to be happy anyway.
You don’t have to stick your head in the sand about the state of the economy, the environment, political unrest or your poor health. You can acknowledge these truths without over-indulging in concern about them. Every time you devote energy to thinking about negative circumstances you make it impossible in that moment to feel happy.
And your life is made up of moments.
The more moments you spend focusing on positive things, the more moments will be happy. Be aware of this, and limit the amount of time you spend worrying or critically judging.
Apart from robbing the moment of all potential for joy, worrying also limits your ability to be creative. It blocks your openness to new ideas for solutions to the challenges you are facing. Worrying is focussing energy on that which makes you unhappy.
Choose instead to focus your energy on thoughts about what is good in your life, on ways to positively overcome your challenges, on appreciating sunsets, cosy fires, laughter with friends. Look for the silver lining – because there always is one.
Refuse to put energy into the myriad reasons to feel worried or blue. Because there will always be lots of reasons to be unhappy. Focus your attention – that is your thoughts – on what makes you feel good. Things are the way they are – accept that and choose to not let it get you down.
To be happy, or not to be happy? That is the question!