Happiness in a Negative World

Happiness can be found in many places.

stux / Pixabay – Happiness can be found in many places.

I was getting Easter baskets out of the storage closet recently. As I was moving my granddaughter’s desk, I noticed she had a small box (maybe 5 inches by 5 inches by and inch and a half tall). It said HAPPY BOX on top. It’s a product from Natural Life. It got me to thinking.

How do we attain happiness? Happiness is defined as pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, good spirits, well-being, enjoyment and more.

What do many of us do to be happy? According to several lists I researched, the following things will make us happy. Be with others who make you smile. Accept the good in everything. Imagine the best. Do something you love. Listen to your heart. And, dozens more.

Each of these assumes that we have no negativity in our lives. However, we live inundated with negativity. Over ninety percent of what we see, hear, and read has some level of negative connotation. Trying to be happy swimming in a sea of pessimism is impossible.

Before we can begin to enjoy our happiness for more than a moment, we need to remove those undesirable, damaging, harmful and depressing things around us. Stop watching television for at least seven days to see what happens.

I love the 50s and 60s music. When I’m prepping and cooking, and no one else is around, I like to have that music in the background. It makes me smile and feel good. Sometimes I’ll stop and sing or briefly dance if the music hits me appropriately. It makes me feel good. It makes me happy.

My mother loved guavas. Whenever I’m in the grocery store, and I see guavas, I’ll pick up a few and smell them. It immediately brings happy thoughts of my mother to me. I take an extra minute or two and enjoy the experience.

The Happy Box is a small cardboard box that you can fill with happy memories. You can open the box and see or smell something that brings you instant happiness. I love the idea. However, our minds are powerful tools.

Our subconscious mind knows every happy and unhappy thought that we’ve ever had. If we have enough of one or the other, then we become predisposed to relive that emotion when outside events or people trigger us.

We can counter most of the inappropriate emotions by recognizing the trigger before it can affect us. We choose not to allow something to harm us. It’s not difficult, but you must think about it when that situation occurs.

The example I often use with my audiences is to remember the last time you were running late for a meeting. You approach a traffic light that you know only lets four or five cars get through on a good day. You are four cars back.

You think you can make the green light. If not, you’ll have to wait over two minutes for the entire stoplight cycle to get back to your lane. The light turns green, and no one is moving. Your blood is starting to boil. Your hand might be touching the horn thinking that it might be necessary to punctuate the moment for those in front of you.

By the way, it is illegal in Texas to honk at a car in front of you to move. My daughter informed me yesterday of that fact. I was about to honk at someone. She is in the Police Academy, and it was part of the traffic laws she had studies recently.

Soon a couple of cars move and make the light, and you are stuck. You allow yourself to get emotional over an event you had no control over. Take that moment and realize that something happened to you. And, you accepted the negative emotion attached to it. Let that emotion go! The easiest way is to smile. Then, tell yourself – Let It Go!

We need happiness in our lives. Don’t allow other people or things to stimulate your negative emotions. Determine what makes you instantly happy. Take those actions and insert them into your life as often as you can.


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