The Practiced Habit of Being Happy

In further looking into our lists we might have found certain things that are more emotionally based and less general task based. “Learn how to be happy,” “Learn how to relax more,” “Improve X.” Whatever it may be it might not be as easy as “making my bed everyday,” or is it?

Humans are naturally creatures of habit, even if we don’t like to admit it. We get up every morning, generally most of us feed ourselves or look to a parental unit or partner to help us with this, we get dressed and groom ourselves before going out for work or school for the day. These are things we do largely out of habit *oh and necessity… I get that too.* Well what does this have to do with “The List?”

Habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
((thank you dictionary.com)) 

When I was going through the worst year of my life *circa 2010* I got to a point where I knew I wanted to make a change. Unfortunately I didn’t know what that change really needed to be. Eventually I found that everything that I was doing from my relationship, my job, some of the people I was hanging out with, it all needed to go, and change. Often times changes for self broaden out to “a great Shedding” *which could likely be its own blog point and might be what tomorrow will be about* or letting go of a great many people and things.

Once that “Great Shedding” occurred for me, I was left with nothing. That wasn’t to say that I was nothing, quite the opposite. I was a blank and brand new canvas ready to inscribe whatever I wished upon myself. Just like a canvas though, I had to be careful about what I painted upon myself and each brush stroke had to be a practiced mark. Simply picking up a paint brush and doing a single brush stroke a painting does not make. However, many brush strokes done over time creates a beautiful picture. Those brush strokes become habit and eventually transferring the image in your head of who you want to be and how you want to be becomes second nature.

So I started to practice being happy. It wasn’t something I did naturally, and while there was also a chemical change *see diet* that helped my mood improve, getting over the “woah is me” bit and quieting down the “you are less” mental voices what where the real work existed. I had to tell myself those thoughts were false and reinforce that opinion whenever they surfaced. I had to tell myself it was ok to feel good and more importantly I started spending more time doing the things I ENJOYED to help perpetuate that good feeling.

TLDR:
Being happy is not always just something everyone can do. You have to first allow yourself to be happy, and then practice it until happy is the natural default setting your body wishes to be in.

Doing activities and things you actively enjoy are going to reinforce being happy.

The same goes for not taking on too many things, learning how to slow down and make sure you make time for self and to relax, and a good many other things. If you have questions regarding any of the above please feel free to reach out to me.

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