Thursday, January 10, 2013

Raise Your Spirits

Today is a Good Day

Resolving to Be Happy


"Why does [happiness] seem to be so allusive?"
Recently I have been in quite a funk. I don't find myself wanting to do anything, even things that I ordinarily enjoy doing. Everything- blogging, classes, journaling, organizing, homework, socializing- feels like a daunting task. Life itself feels like a daunting task. Everything feels like work. Nothing entices or excites me. It is tiring and I am frustrated with myself. I preach happiness. I do everything in my power to focus on it and attain it. Why does it seem to be so allusive? I woke up this morning dragging. I had an early morning class and the stress from the night before was still lingering. I did not want to leave my warm bed and enter into the brisk outdoors; but I had to. I went to French class and felt simply lost. My teacher insists on speaking in only French (which in theory sounds appropriate and beneficial for an intermediate language course) but it is not helping me and my already fuzzy mind. I can hardly comprehend English at this point. I am certainly not ready to receive instructions and respond in French. I left class feeling lost, not knowing what to do or where to go. 

I lit a cigarette to calm my nerves and from afar I hear someone calling my name. It is my friend Ben who was in my French class last semester. He bummed a cigarette and we began to chat about the course, school, and life at Penn. Suddenly another friend from last semester approached. It turned into an impromptu reunion! For that brief period of time I forgot my woes, forgot my dissatisfaction, and my frustration waned. I was engaged in conversation with two friends; I felt connected, significant, and happy. A brief conversation with friends was able to raise my spirits. As we departed I made the decision that today is a good day. I am going to resolve to be happy.

I have a strong mind and an unrelenting will. I can choose to let go of anguish, sadness, and feelings of discontent. I can embrace passion, joy, interest, enthusiasm, and happiness. My emotions do not have to take control and dictate the direction of my day. I can use my mind to raise my spirits and make today a good day by focusing on the small delights, simple pleasures, and positives that fill my life. I am sick and tired of feeling as if I am in the gutter. I will no longer allow my emotions to drive me downward. Instead I am resolving to be happy and nothing can get in my way.

"As soon as you recognize that you are able to control your thoughts, happiness will come within your reach."

- David Baird

It almost seems that this quote was made for my entry today. It perfectly corresponds with exactly what I am saying. We all have emotions and thoughts that we need to process. But there are couple questions that must be raised in regard to both. What kind of emotions and thoughts are you have- positive or negative? How much weight are you giving your emotions? How much weight are you giving your thoughts? What level of significance have you ascribed to the positive and the negative respectively? 

Our brains are amazingly powerful entities. They enable us to think about a million different things at once. However, some of these things interfere with our ability to be happy. Some of these thoughts are negative- self-depreciating, mean, pessimistic. Likewise our souls allows us to feel an array of emotions. Some of these emotions raise our spirits- joy, excitement, love, happiness- while others such as jealousy, anger, and sadness drag us down. Because our minds are so powerful we have the ability to allocate significance to the positive thoughts and emotions rather than focusing on the negative. Our minds give us the control to make today and everyday a good day. 

We have the mental strength to disregard or give less significance to unhappy or upsetting events that disable us from achieving happiness. I can choose to concentrate on the classes that I was able to register for and leave the frustration of not getting into certain courses behind. I will be able to get into those other required courses another semester. I can allow the death of my friend start to fade into my memory instead of allowing it to take residence in the forefront of my mind. I can't forget her or her tragic death but I can choose to put my focus elsewhere. I can opt to remind myself of the friends that I remain in contact with instead of mourning the fact that I have lost touch with a great deal of people. I, as well as you, can decide to think these positive thoughts and consequently I will be filled with pleasant emotions. 
In case you can't find thoughts of your own-
These positive emotions will help me to raise my spirits and contribute to creating good and happy days. Lets not focus on all the things in our lives that have gone wrong or that we wish we could change. Giving attention to these thoughts will only lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. We need to recognize the power of our minds and subsequently our thoughts. Both play major roles in our emotions and the way we feel. We can choose to concentrate on thoughts that bring us joy and pleasure- our families, our pets, our favorite movies, our funny fetishes (for me its stickers, stationary, and Hello Kitty), our interests, good times with friends. Thinking these thoughts give us the ability to resolve to be happy; and when we are happy it is certain that we can assert that today (and everyday) is a good day!

Think positively and happiness is sure to follow,
xo




I have to believe that happiness is out there for the taking !

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