Updated: May 18
If you had the choice to be either happy or sad, which would you choose?
While the question seems rhetorical, we answer it each morning upon waking.
Happiness is a choice, one that you can choose at any given moment.
A big part of being happy is being in control of your emotions. The process of controlling your emotions is difficult, but the conditioning it takes is worthwhile. I'll use an example:
Your son runs upstairs to tell you he accidentally destroyed your favorite shirt that was signed by your favorite music artist at a concert last summer. You scream "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!" You are absolutely furious. You see remorse in his eyes, but it does not phase you. He runs away crying and resents you (as you also resent him) for about a week or so. You create this awkward tension between the two of you, as well as your family that had to witness this. You were grumpy during all family activities/outings and the week felt miserable.
How could you be happy? How is it possible to be a happier person when sh*t like this happens!?
Well, let's start back from the beginning.
So, your son runs upstairs to tell you he accidentally destroyed your favorite shirt. Of course you feel angry about it, but what means more: your son or the shirt?
Rather than yelling, take a deep breath and open a conversation up about it. Make sure to understand the WHY and set a clear boundary while expressing your emotional experience in a non-threatening way.
Changing the way you acted in that 60 seconds pretty much changes your entire week. Your son knew he made a mistake. He loves and trusts you enough to come forward with something he feels remorseful for and telling the truth. Acknowledge that before reacting impulsively with anger in ways you may later regret. Now that you have forgiven him, you will not have that awkward tension in the house. You're still upset about the shirt, of course. But instead of your son fearing you, he makes you something special and brings it right to your bedroom with a little apology note.
What has come of this alternate situation?
1. You've set a positive example of how to respond to emotions.
2. You don't have a grudge to hold, which eliminates negative energy you could be carrying around.
3. You have more positive energy during the week, which attracts more positive people & incidents.
4. You appreciate your family a little more.
5. The accident doesn't seem as bad.
6. You just created a moment for connection instead of resentment.
While the first few times you change your reaction to a negative situation feels very unnatural, it eventually becomes your new mindset.
By no means can we perfect this in every situation; certain situations sometimes get the best of us. But it's important to work towards bettering ourselves continuously. Not one soul has has gone without wishing he/she "said something else" in the heat of the moment. Just make time for self-reflection in order to assess, redirect and move forward.
Being introspective is key to your happiness.
You need to understand yourself and your actions in order to understand how to live a fulfilled life filled with smiles.
I'm not saying you're going to have sunshine beaming out of your eyes each day, but I am saying you have more control over your emotions than you may realize. We can't control everything that happens to us, but we can regulate its effect on us.
By understanding yourself, the more you can understand those around you. That, in turn, decreases the likelihood of negative scenarios affecting your happiness.
With consistency in your reflection process, you will see how to be a happier person, truly.
Laugh more, forgive often, and let go of what is holding you back.
If you are wanting to gain better control over your emotions, my one-on-one coaching could be a great fit! Click here to apply & schedule a free consultation.