Words from John Cusak

Say anything- one of the sweetest chick flicks from the 90’s. The character Lloyd’s older sister is slamming things around in the kitchen and Lloyd asks her “how hard is it to be happy? How hard is it to just decide to be happy”  The moment slips by and the movie continues, but that's actually a great question.

How hard is it to decide to be happy? To halt your negative thoughts and choose to dwell on what is good and lovely. How hard is it to change your mind and decide that you won't have a bad day just because it started out that way. Two people looking at the same circumstance can have very different emotions regarding it. Most often it’s a choice.

The monster in the closet

Fear is a strong motivator and a strong paralyzer. We don’t want to live a life without fears, because that means we aren’t doing anything difficult or world changing. We want to learn to live with those fears, and to recognize that we have them, but not allow them to overtake our lives or paralyze us from action. Our fears are irrational and yet still convincing.

When you face your fears, instead of allowing them to hide and lurk in the corners of your mind. When you bring them out, state them, tell someone else, then they start to shrink. They start to seem silly and trivial. The monster in the closet is there, but always smaller than you imagined :)

Because your mind runs away with you, that terrible conversation you have to have, always goes better than you thought it would. Your imagination can be wild and is unconcerned with fact.

So bring out your fears, examine them with your logical brain instead of allowing them to play on your emotions. You will be able to see the truth and falsehood behind the fears and you will be able to deal with them.  You won't get rid of fear completely, but you will recognize and acknowledge those fears and choose to move forward anyways.

What are you really feeling?

We tend to rationalize things in our life and force ourselves to feel a certain way. We can be angry and upset, and then look around us and say what right do we have to feel this way? While this is a good reality check and helps us to have perspective, sometimes it's healthy to look at a situation and ask how do we truly feel about this?

Forget about what you are supposed to feel, or how others think you should feel, and ask yourself what are you really feeling? You may feel hurt because a friend didn't call when rationally you know that they're busy. You should recognize that it's not rational, but you still need to acknowledge those emotions.

If you feel a certain way, you may succeed in talking  yourself out of it, but it would be beneficial before you do that, to consider and get to the bottom of why you felt that way. If you never acknowledge how you are feeling, eventually your emotions will get tired of always being forced aside and they will rebel. That could create a nervous breakdown or worse. And It’s much better to deal with emotions as they come, then working through years of emotion all at once.

Don’t Complain

When you whine and complain you accomplish nothing.

It does nothing to change the situation, and it certainly doesn’t help you change your attitude.

The more we grumble and moan about a situation, the worse we begin to feel about it. We actually fuel our misery by focusing on it.

We assume bad moods and complaints come at the same time, but that’s not always true. Complaining can actually create a bad mood!

If you choose instead to talk about happy things, your emotions will eventually follow suit and as your focused on good things, you will feel happier. So don’t complain, it only makes things worse.

How to Create a Good Mood

Emotions are fickle creatures, and difficult to control. But there are ways to pick yourself up instead of wallowing in the muck. It requires a conscious choice to feel better about a situation.

Start by rationalizing why it was okay. aka. look at the bright side. So if someone bleaches your favorite shirt, well think of how fun it will be finding a new favorite! Or you get a speeding ticket, well you are donating to the police force. In every situation, there are potential lessons to be learned, or there are benefits in some way. If you couldn’t go to the movies because you couldn’t find a babysitter, well you got to read books to your kids instead. Some people drive us absolutely crazy with envy because they always seem happy! Either they’re good liars, or they’ve learned the discipline to joyfulness. They look for the little patches of sunshine scattered throughout the dark valley, or the yummy chocolate chips in that horrible homemade carrot cake. Your turn: look for the positive and you will find it!