Act Happy to Be Happy

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” – a book recommended in “You Are a Badass”. I loved THP and gleaned a lot of valuable little nuggets. And I can see why Jen recommended it in YAAB. If you’re going to be a bad-ass, be a happy bad-ass.

One of my favorite little nuggets in the book is her advice to “act” happy in order to “be” happy. This is not completely a foreign concept to me, as I often employ this while running. I actually strongly dislike running, but I can almost trick myself into enjoying my runs when I force myself to smile and repeat positive mantras such as “I love this”, “I rock”, “my body is strong”, “I can have a beer when I finish”, “I will not grow old”.

But generally speaking, outside of running, this can be quite a challenge. I’m blessed with a continual air of scrutiny, causing my forehead to crease unattractively right above the bridge of my nose. Think of the eagle (I think his name is Sam) from the muppets. Yep, that’s my face. I don’t have resting-bitch-face, I have resting-concerned-or-pissed-off-face.

I’m assuming this all stems from my constant analysis and processing of my environment. What I have realized is that my concerned-face leads me to feel concerned and tense and forcing a smile to “un-concern” my face looks completely fake and silly – almost like a botched case of botox.

So I need to dig a little deeper than just a surface smile and actually feel and be happy. Take pleasure in the small things in life. Make connections. Be proud. Do the things I love to do. Recognize that happiness is a major contagion and spread that stuff every chance I get.

I will be happy for those I love

I will be the person I want my girls to be

I will be silly

I will be friendly

And I will smile… a real, genuine smile

As the song goes, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

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