Be Happy Today! Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow

I will be happy when…… Raise your hand if you have said this to yourself before. I will be happy when the check finally comes. I will be happy when the weather gets better. I will be happy when summer comes. I will be happy when summer is over. I will be happy when… fill in the blank.

I will be happy when…. Is one of the saddest things to hear from anyone.

This month I will not be quoting statistics or delving into definitions. I will be speaking from my heart to your heart. So, don’t listen with your head, listen with your heart – feel what I am saying.

You, my friend, deserve to feel happy right now. Happiness and joy are available to you today. We are only promised the moment that we are in. The past has gone and the future is yet to happen. So, if you are choosing (yes, choosing) to spend your mental moments reliving the negative past events (guilt, resentment, regret, anger at someone or yourself etc.) or projecting negatively into the future (worry, fear, apprehension, anxiety etc.) then you miss out on the wonderful moments that are happening in the current moment.

Finding joy and balance in your life, every day, is a passion of mine. Many of you have met me and probably know me to be pretty upbeat. I am lucky in that I came to this lifetime with a “glass half full” kind of attitude. But, like everyone else having this human experience, I have had some not so happy times in my life. Father with pancreatic cancer, son with dyslexia, another son with major clinical depression, being the victim of a physical assault as a child, major surgeries…and the list goes on. There was a time in my life when my happiness scale was at a 1 (that’s on a scale of 1=depressive abyss and 10=nirvana). I had to find some tangible tools to resolve the emotional challenges I was experiencing.

Now, my happiness scale is usually somewhere between 7 and 9. Have I ever experienced being at a 10? Yes! That is for another time.

So, how do you live your life being happy and in joy on a regular basis? There are many things you can do. Is it simple? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.

The first step is recognizing that there is a problem – just like any good 12-step program – we have to begin here.

The next step is recognizing that there is NO ONE and NO THING that can MAKE you happy. Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says “Happiness is an inside job!” It is true. How often have you said to someone (especially your significant other or child), “You make me so mad” or “That made me so upset” or “That makes me so happy”? But, if people or things could make us happy or sad, then everyone would have the same response to the same people and the same events. But they don’t. That is because the emotion is generated from inside self, not from outside self.

That is great news because that means WE get to control OUR response to someone else’s actions or events.

So, CHOOSE today to be happy. Look around you and be happy that you have people in your life that you love and love you. Look at your child as they laugh and see their joy, not that they didn’t make their bed the way you like them to. When you take your sip of coffee, be in the moment and savor the amazing flavor. When your kiddo wants to wear the stripe shirt with the plaid pants, smile and embrace their creativity.

In other words, CHOOSE today how you are going to respond on the inside.

This is just one of many ways to begin to increase your happiness scale.

Oh, one more thing. If you surround yourself with things that convey negativity (the nightly news, your friend Debbie-Downer) then you can still find joy and happiness but you will have to work a little harder at it.

I love you (I really do. I am not just saying that). I wish you all the joy and happiness in each of the moments of your day.

Dr. Angie