Debunking the Myth of Feeling Good
Let's face it. You're tired of hearing people tell you to just get happy.
You would if you could, you say.
You would if those issues in your life would just go away.
You would if you could just get rid of all of those annoying people in your life.
You would if you had more money.
You would if you could travel the world and be free as a bird.
You would if you didn't have to work.
You would if you had the job you really loved.
You would if you had the guy or gal you really love in your life.
There's nothing more annoying than someone telling you to get happy when you've got so many reasons why you can't!
How you feel is how you feel...
You're living the reality that supports how you feel. You have evidence as to why you're not happy.
Feeling good isn't something that "just happens". Well, it could be if you didn't do the things that oppose you feeling good. Like think thoughts that don't feel good. Like focus on the problems in your world. Like think about your "issues". Like think that person would be way more likeable if he were different and exactly how you wanted him to be.
You can't go from feeling bad to feeling good right away if you have a practiced habit of feeling negative toward something(s). It's not sustainable because the current resources you have are the ones that feel negative.
Imagine a stream that's 20' wide. Now imagine me saying to you, "Jump that stream. Do it in one leap. Yep. All the way over to the other side. Do it now. Go on, do it."
You'd look at me like I was cray-cray and tell me to go someplace where you're not.
You wouldn't expect yourself to jump across a 20' stream in one jump, would you?
That's why when someone says to you, "Get happy" when you've been accustomed to not being happy, you want to knock their head off.
You want to get over to the other side of that stream (be happy), but it feels impossible. You know if you try to make that jump, it's just going to be too big of a jump and you're going to fall face-flat-in-the-water-not-even-close to the other side of the stream.
I want you to give yourself a break if you feel like you can't get happy.
I want you to think about that 20' stream and now imagine putting stepping stones across the stream. Put them in reachable places all the way across.
Picture me saying to you, "Go on. Get over to the other side of this 20' stream. Go ahead. Do it."
This time you look at me and say, "I can do that. That's doable."
The stepping stones are the equivalent to feeling better incrementally, rather than trying to do it all at once.
Trying to do it all at once is the equivalent to faking it till you make it.
You can try to fake it, but the fake will soon be overcome by your most consistent habit (you'll just fall in the stream).
I don't believe in faking it till you make it. I do believe in incrementally choosing thoughts that feel better.
Your established habits of thought are convenient and most of the time, you'll choose the thing that's convenient - unless you make a different choice based on how it feels to you.
So how do you get happy?
You get happy by practicing being happy about the little things - the things that are easy - the things you easily feel happy about.
You practice just being happy for the sake of happy.
You think less about the things that bother you, annoy you, worry you, concern you, or feel bad when you think about them.
If you're thinking less about those things, you're feeling less the way you feel when you think about those things. Doesn't that make sense?
That's like putting the stones across the 20' stream. That's showing yourself there's a way to do it without having to do it all at once.
As you practice being happy for the sake of happy, and practice being happy about those things that are easy to feel happy about, you're moving across that stream, from one stepping stone to another. You're steadying yourself each time you step on a rock and hang out there awhile. You don't have to jump to the next stone right away. You don't have to jump off the stone and into the stream by thinking about those things that don't feel good to you.
You don't get from feeling bad to feeling good all at once - you do it incrementally.
Happy is doable - just don't try to do it all at once.