Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don't Forget to Smile

Happiness is Always Important

Remembering All of Your Priorities

As you can tell from all of my recent posts I have been completely bogged down by the stress and intensity of finals. When I walk around campus everyone appears miserable and I realized that I too have been forgetting to smile. While focusing on my workload and experiencing the associated pressure I neglected one of my highest priorities: Happiness. I feel ashamed that I failed to remember that happiness is always important. And I feel as if I let you, my readers, down by allowing finals period to take over my life. As I handed my second to last assignment today I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I had a revelation; there is always something to be happy about and a reason to smile if I just permit myself to see it. Finals gave me tunnel vision. All I saw was my work, approaching due dates, and grades. Looking at the world in this way exhausted me and brought me so much misery. I am thankful that I have finally escaped from that zone and am able to see everything else that exists in the world around me. Yes, school and finals and grades are important. But nothing is more important than your own happiness. Stress and obligations are not excuses to ignore this priority or forget to smile. I'd like to entertain two affirmations today-

I choose to be cheerful regardless of any other circumstances that arise.

Cute kittens make me smile !
Sometimes remembering that happiness is always important and actually being cheerful or happy takes conscious effort. It is not always our default emotion. Others feelings tend to override our ability to be happy when we are in stressful, frustrating, or overwhelming situations. I know that this has been true for me over the last week or so. But today, right now in fact, I am putting my foot down (metaphorically of course.) I will not allow stress and tension to rule my life any longer. Am I going to finish this finals period with happiness in the forefront of my mind. I refuse to walk around campus like all the other students I see- stressed, unhappy, and tired. I am going to put a smile on every day and enjoy the wonderful gifts that this season brings. It is, as I have said a number of time before, my favorite time of year and finals will not ruin it for me. I can be a dedicated student, make progress on my work, and finish the semester strong while also remember my other priority: happiness! If I can maintain my own sense of happiness and not forget to smile than perhaps I have the ability to inspire others to do the same.

Spread happiness to everyone you meet-
I am spreading happiness everywhere I go.

Hopefully, as I walk around campus with my smile and cheerful glow, others will realise that they too can be happy, despite the stress that finals period brings. I am going to make it my goal over the course of the next week to only be happy but also pass it along as I go about my day. Life is filled with difficult times and situations. As a student finals period proves to be an overwhelming and stressful period that can create misery. But we all face hardships in other areas of our lives that make it easy to forget that happiness is always important and even more difficult to find happiness. Life seems to have an endless supply of challenges and stressors- we become seriously ill, we get fired from a job, we take a pay cut, a loved one dies, our boss hates us- and we neglect the fact that life also has an abundance of joyous moments. Life offers so many gifts- the birth of a child, falling in love, fulfilling our dreams, achieving a goal, discovering our natural talents, friendship- and if we can remember this during the hard times than we will always be able to find a reason to smile. 

Happy mind and/or brain-
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

- Abraham Lincoln

It's time that we all metaphorically put our feet down and make up our minds. Even if it takes a little extra lets choose to find happiness every single day. Don't let anything get in your way. If happiness is truly one of our priorities than we owe it the same amount of attention that we give to our other priorities. Finishing the semester is one of my other main priorities at the moment. I have spent so much energy and dedicated a great deal of time to this priority. I have not forgotten it. So, why was it ok for me to forget that happiness is always important? It wasn't. If I am going to claim that finding happiness is my main goal in life, if I am going to dedicate an entire blog to it, if I expect to ultimately be truly happy, than I can't afford to forget it. No matter what is going on in my life- finals, personal loss, familial tension- I must remember all of my priorities, happiness included. 
Remember All of Your Priorities-
Take a step back from any anxiety provoking situations in your life. Give yourself some time, even just a brief moment, to look around or peer into the depths of your mind and find something that brings a smile to your face. Life is short, it is filled with sadness and pressure, it is filled with joy and blessings, and it is filled with many moments. How are you going to choose to experience these moments that make up your life? I am making the conscious decision to be happy no matter what attempts to block my way and I encourage you to do the same!

Don't forget to smile; you'll discover they're contagious,

Fun with friends makes me smile !

14 Days Til Christmas, 4th Night of Hannukah

And of course we already know that Christmas makes me happiest of all! I am ready to start truly enjoying this holiday season!


  1. This blog post makes me smile. It helps me handle the rest of the "stuff". Thank you.

  2. You are such a beautiful and gifted writer. I find inspiration on your blog every day. I'm about to enter residential treatment for anorexia after Christmas and I was wondering if you could maybe email me about what your experience in treatment was like. Or maybe do a post about it? Thanks, and happy holidays!


    1. Hi Cori!

      I am so glad that my blog has been able to help you, especially while you've been struggling. I'd be happy to email you about my experience in residential and offer you any other support I can. Send me an email me at rbesvi@sas.upenn.edu so that I have your email address and I will respond as quickly as I can! Just out of curiousity do you know what treatment center you will be going to? If I am familiar with it (which I probably am considering my personal experiences and my multitude of friends who have been to a number of treatment facilities) I'd be happy to offer you any inside information that I may have! Good luck over the next week or so and try your best to enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends!

      All my best,