On Being Happy
So we find ourselves in the middle of the Purim celebrations – high spirits, costumes, festive meals, the neighborhood abuzz with adults and children alike, dressed up and walking to each others’ houses to shower each other with food and treats.
In years past, I have had discussion with people about the idea of “needing” to be happy. The idea of almost being forced into happy cheer, for the sake of the holiday, or in some circumstances, an actual commandment for a certain period of the Jewish calendar. How can I be told to be happy?, the argument goes. How can I be forced into a mood? What if I am in a bad mood that day? What if I don’t feel like being happy?
Same can go for anyone at any time. Whether it is holiday time, or a specific celebration, or whatever, one can argue that he can not be “put” into a good mood for the sake of celebrating, or what have you.
Well, here’s the thing. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, so I’ll say it again. You CAN control your mood. You can FORCE yourself to be happy, or sad, or angry. You CHOOSE your emotional state at any given moment. If you are in a bad mood, you can blame it on the world, the weather, or your boss, but ONLY YOU are responsible 100% for that mood. You can choose to blame it on the moon, if you’d like, but that does not make it the moon’s fault.
Same with good moods. At any given moment it is your choice to be happy or unhappy. YOUR CHOICE. And only yours. Once you take 100% responsibility for that, life becomes a very different place to live. (There may be two exceptions here: side effects from medications, and major hormone changes – both can cause changes in mood that you may not be able to control. Do your best, or find another medication - if possible – if indeed it is from side effects.)
So, yes, you can be told: “be in a good mood”, and actually do it. You just need to want to.
Do you want to? Because, if not, quite simply, you won’t be happy.
People who do not OWN their emotions are like leaves blowing around in the wind – their mood blows whichever way circumstances dictate. Doesn’t the world sound like a better place when YOU dictate your mood? It does for me.
How do you gain this power? How do you control your mood? You become the Master of your Mindset. You shift your thoughts. You literally physically move out of your mood – dance, jump, go for a walk, exercise, stand on your head, whatever. You stop whatever negative or stuck-promoting thoughts that may try to creep into your head from coming out. You Master your mind. Your emotional state is controlled by your thoughts. Your thoughts are controlled by you. Be your own mind-master. Practice, practice, practice. And own your emotions. Own your mood. Feel the power.
With love and bubbling happiness, anytime I choose,