|pic from bigthink.com|
Here's a classic exchange in my daily life...
Friend: How are you, Rachel?
Me: Oh great thanks, I'm actually in a really good mood.
Friends: When are you not in a good mood!?
Me: Fair point.
I know I'm a naturally jolly person who's more optimistic than most, but one of my twitter friends replied to the aforementioned tweet asking "How do you do that?" And the thing is, I couldn't really give an answer. I don't feel I have control over being happy, I just am.
I think some people just naturally have a more positive outlook than others, and I feel blessed to be one of the lucky few. I hope this isn't just the naivety of my youth... I always tell my pessimistic parents (one of which describes herself as a realist, but she's in denial) that I don't want to end up jaded by age and thus lose my inner optimism and zest for life. I've seen it happen. Sad times.
However, I do think anyone can change their mindset and become happier. It's all about appreciating what you've got. Guys, I'm just going to put it out there: LIFE IS GREAT! Sure, it's not a perfect romcom all the time (now wouldn't that be amazing!? Preferably a musical one if I'm being picky), but in the scheme of things, we all have so many blessings for which to be thankful.
I know everyone has their problems, but the fact that you're reading my little blog tells me that your life can't be too bad - not because my blog is that great, just because you're obviously not dying of famine in a third world country. Well, it's unlikely that you are anyway. If you are, I'm really sorry. I never waste food, I swear!
One of the things I think people don't do enough is to give praise. How GREAT do you feel when you get a bit of praise or a compliment? From something like a friend casually saying "Love your shoes", to your professor saying "I was very impressed with your dissertation that basically counts for your whole degree and thus your whole life."
If you like something, SHARE IT! If I really like a zumba class, I tell the teacher at the end! He or she may have been wondering if anyone was actually enjoying their routines, and can then go home reassured (and more likely to do more great ones in the future. Win-win!) If I think a classmate has given a really interesting presentation, I'll let them know. They could have been worrying that everyone was bored to tears. And if I think one of my friends looks pretty in her new profile picture on facebook, I'll comment and probably" like" it too - I'm a bit of a "like" slut on facebook. I can't help it, I just like so much stuff! I remember a friend at school a couple of years ago telling me "Rachel! Stop loving everything!"
So the point is that by saying nice things to people, not only only will you make them feel great, but you will feel better too. Trust me. I don't mean you should go round doing a Regina George and give compliments when you don't actually mean them:
"Regina: Oh my God, I love your skirt! Where did you get it?
Girl: It was my mom's in the '80s.
Regina: Vintage, so adorable.
Regina: [after girl walks away] That is the ugliest f-ing skirt I've ever seen."
Oh, Mean Girls, you cannot be beaten.
But anyway, I just don't understand why if you're thinking something nice, you don't just say it? It could make someone else's day. And karma comes back around, you know? (Or so Justin Timberlake once said, anyway.) It's like that classic mum line: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Well, I'm going to twist this and say "If you can say something nice, say it!"
It's the little things that often make my day, so why not spread some joy yourself, and you might just make someone else's? I really think this might be one of the reasons why I'm so happy most of the time. I'm very rarely in a bad mood because I just love life! (As cringe as that sounds...) YAY LET'S ALL BE HAPPY, OK!? Good.