When I decided on my 50th birthday, almost three months ago, that I was going to learn to be happy, I felt I was in for a long haul before I would begin to feel any different. I thought there was months of just learning how to do it, and then the continuous practicing of it. I was wrong.
It had taken an afternoon of searching “how to be happy” to see that the consensus of those practicing happiness was that… you just do happy things. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. For me, part of ‘doing happy things’ was positive affirmations and energy tapping, all found off of Youtube, as well as actionable things.
After doing this for awhile, I found that all through the very first week I was feeling shots of mild happiness. Those happiness shots became stronger as time went along. Also, I more freely went for practicing happiness more than just once a day.
And that was an interesting insight – that I realized I was giving myself permission to go ahead and feel happy. Maybe that’s also something others feel, too, when they’re learning to be happy.
So, the happy things chosen to do may be different from person to person, and for some of us many of the activities need to be free or of very low cost, like singing, music, playing with a pet, etc.
I also learned that the aim doesn’t have to be a strong happy but just a lifting of the spirits.
An interesting note is that that I’m also feeling sadness more strongly as a consequence, but I knew ahead of time that this would be so. In fact, I knew that learning to allow myself to feel grief and sadness was part of my learning to feel pleasant feelings as well.
I write this as an encouragement to any who feel that childhood trauma, or trauma of any sort, has taken away your ability to feel good again. If you were like me, some of you may feel that your brain has lost it’s ability to do so. It hasn’t.
So, go ahead. Little by little. There can be sunshine in your life again, or even for the very first time.