Be Happier By Being Happier

2010 August 13

Nope. The title isn’t a typo. So, I haven’t been in the best mood lately. Just scuff your foot in the dirt bummed out more or less. Heave a big sigh and throw your bag on the chair instead of hanging it up because the world is mean, so why should you bother with niceties? down.¬† But I don’t have the time or energy to be bummed out. I’ve had writing to churn out, several important meetings for which¬† I needed to be in decent form (cross your fingers in my direction, kiddos), a panel presentation on social media to deliver, etc. The option to sit around brooding was, well, not an option.

Photo by Brad & Ying

There are times when you want to get to the root of what’s eating you (aphids?) and there are other times when you just need to get going, stick a bookmark in and plan to come back to it later when time allows. So what helps you shake off your slump and re-energize? My prescription is pretty simple. What makes you happy when you’re doing it? Okay, got that in mind? Start doing more of it. Don’t worry about fixing the blues (there will be time for that), focus on increasing the happy and then, like a vampire, feed off those good vibes and use them to get you out the door to tackle your to-dos. It doesn’t have to be what makes you happy in the grand, philosophical sense (actually, it’s better if it isn’t; creating more world peace would be kind of a headache), just the everyday I AM HAVING FUN RIGHT NOW happy. Is it playing with your dog? Stop reading this and take him to the park. Then come back and finish reading. Maybe it’s knitting? Start cranking out scarves and don’t stop until you feel all warm and fuzzy Zen. In my case, it’s new ideas and new projects and sweating out my frustration, so I started sending emails, throwing around possibilities, brainstorming my brains out. Oh, and going to the gym seven days a week.

And you know what? It was the equivalent of an emotional Red Bull. The temporary high I got from reveling in my favorite activities gave me the burst of intellectual energy I needed to bang out my presentation and to put my best foot forward when schmoozing. And that’s really all I was asking for in the moment.

Sometimes, you need open heart surgery and sometimes, you can get by with a band-aid. It ain’t perfect, but life goes on and often you have to go on (the best way you can) with it.

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