Do you ever find yourself putting off happiness? It sounds like a weird thing to do, (probably because it is), but I also know that it is not uncommon. I’ll feel happy when…I lose weight, graduate from college/high school/, have a boyfriend…the list can get very long. We create our own paradox by wanting to be happy while simultaneously putting specific conditions around it that delay us from achieving it.
Recently it’s been occurring to me, why can’t I just feel happy now? Why am I procrastinating being happy? How does that even make sense? I think the reason we do this is because we always feel we need a reason to be happy. We feel happy because we got asked out on a date or because we finally got those shoes that are super cute and comfy (plus they were on sale!)…that joy we feel is always preceded by a ‘because’.
But most days we don’t get asked out on dates, or get new shoes or get a raise, so we don’t experience joy because we don’t feel we have reason to. We feel tired because we had to stay up studying the night before or upset because we want to lose ten pounds but it’s so hard…so we put off feeling joy until we have what we consider to be a valid reason.
What if we didn’t need a reason? What if we just felt joy right now? Just because we’re alive and probably have a million things to be grateful for already. I know it can be difficult to experience joy when we feel there isn’t a ‘good reason’ to do so, it’s illogical!
I’ve begun to challenge myself to feel joyful right now. Even though I’m just sitting at work and nothing special has happened and I have a million things to do and I don’t want to study…I want to feel joyful; because day to day, work, school, this is what makes up our lives. And yes, those special moments that happen are parts of our lives too but why save joy for a handful of rare occasions? If most of our lives will be spent in ordinary days doing ordinary things shouldn’t we try to enjoy them?
It may seem counter-intuitive and I know it hasn’t been easy but it has made a difference. Maybe just once a day this week or even once this week, consider choosing joy. Even if nothing ‘special’ is going on, choose to feel good right now! I believe that those who achieve success are able to make happiness a mindset, not a place to get to.
A helpful hint: it makes it a million times easier to access those feelings of joy and happiness when you are well-rested, nourished and stress-free. Take care of yourself! It makes all the difference in the world, promise. If you need some tips on how to do so check out this article.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” Buddha