Secret #6

I don’t have to feel happy to be happy. I will act happy by smiling, being proactive and kind-and I will begin to feel happy.

We think that since we don’t feel happy that we can’t be happy. The opposite is true. The real way to get out of a down mood is to start smiling, think a happy thought and do something pro-active. When you act in a happy, upbeat manner your mind will catch up with your actions. It is your actions which can change your mood. Even if you don’t feel like being happy or external events are getting you down-you can change your mood-by changing what you are doing. That will change how you are feeling.

Wait! I don’t feel like being happy right now! How can I ACT happy when I don’t feel happy? Ask yourself the following:: why are you holding on to your sadness? What’s the payoff? What are you getting out of it that you are sulking? Is it attention, pity or sympathy? Is it that you feel humble and modest? Is it because you want people to feel sorry for you? What is your motivation for remaining unhappy? Remember there is always a reason for our actions. No behavior happens by itself. Everything we do is a result of a choice. You are CHOOSING to act and feel unhappy for a reason. Why? Get to know how you tick by answering this question.

Then recognize one of the keys to life happiness-you are responsible for your own happiness. No one is here to make you happy. You have to make yourself happy. Your life and mood are in your hands. You have the power to change your mood by choosing to act differently. Once you recognize why you have been “holding onto your bad mood” then say to your inner self: OK. You need someone to pay attention to you? I will pay attention to MYSELF. You need a hug? I will give myself a hug. You need encouragement? Give yourself encouragement.

One good way to break the automaticity of your bad mood-is to “jump start” your mood by acting with kindness toward another person. There are people out there who need a “pick me up” phone call. When you ACT with kindness toward someone else you will feel better and more productive. A lot of depression comes from a feeling of stagnation-of being unproductive. When you get going and do something proactive you will start feeling better. Stop thinking so much-and DO!