I’m a generally happy person…
…at least that’s what I tell myself and other people. I’m sure majority of you can understand that feeling of being fake-happy. Those kinds of feelings you put on, for example, when you’re talking to a complete stranger who is blatantly overly happy. And you’ve got to play along, or they’ll think you’re some miserable Debby-downer. We can’t have that now, can we?
As I mentioned, you can probably relate to those little moments of fake-happy. Some of us though, we take it to an extreme. We aren’t pretending in merely those little moments, but in major parts of our days or lives where we feel anything but happy.
We might wake up not feeling like ourselves because we’ve experienced happy days, so we know something is off. There’s this feeling of void where an emotion should be other than the annoying, sluggish one. But we have responsibilities, so we continue our day as usual because the stressful thought of not doing it, and not to mention the potential domino effect it would create, is worse than powering through.
Get up, brush our teeth, shower (not guaranteed), get dressed, eat if we’re up to it, and force ourselves to work. The work place of course being where everyone is on level ten of fake-happy, or they could be anomalies who genuinely enjoy their work. But here we are, putting on a show the crowd doesn’t even realize they’re witnessing. We are not merely fake-happy, we’re going out of our way to do nice gestures and make other people happy despite how we feel.
Why do we do this though? Fabulous question!
Perhaps we know what its like to feel the most intense, empty sadness, and we would never want anyone to feel remotely like that. And so, we force ourselves to care about everyone other than ourselves. Plus side, it also helps us avoid our true feelings; we have to avoid those at all costs.
How do you stop this mad cycle of fake-happy, of going into your day-to-day lives pretending to be something you’re not and draining yourself more due to the fact?
Lucky for you, or the person you know who’s so terribly like this, countless actions to help find real life happiness (crazy, I know) exist! Or in the least, steer you to discovering your happiness. That has to be better than what you’re doing now, so what can you lose? Since this isn’t a researched, informative post, I’ll share personal tips that have tremendously aided me in becoming a happier person, for the most part.
Acknowledge the truth behind your behaviors and accept them. Allow yourself to feel the emotions you’re experiencing and let them be as they are so that you can move on from them instead of suppressing them. Understand that they’re there because you’ve been through tough moments in your life, but now you are stronger from it and the fact that you are still here is so hugely important.
Start your day doing something you love and brings a smile on your face! For me, it’s singing or dancing horribly in front of the mirror to over-played pop songs. It makes me feel free and in control of how I’m feeling because there’s no way I, or anyone else, could see my reflection looking like a fool and be frowning. I dare you to try not laughing at that image.
Move your body! Sort of like the above mentioned action, but slightly different because this should be longer than your morning routine (it totally doesn’t have to be though). After an emotional event in my life, I discovered I felt better from weight training. I had no idea what I was doing at first, but after the first uncomfortable weeks in a gym, it became my holy place. It made me create goals I sought after and released happy endorphins like crazy. Per the chance you don’t feel comfortable working, out don’t worry! There’s running, yoga, swimming, biking, and tons of other options for you to try!
Talk to someone. And I mean seriously talk to someone. I know how detrimental it can be to bottle up feelings, but I also know how comfortable and safe it feels to keep those feelings or thoughts to yourself. So, I can see why it may not seem ideal at first, but when I tell you how much it helps, I cannot say it enough. It’s imperative to find someone you can trust to talk to and help you sort through those feelings. I was never comfortable nor did I have the desire to put my feelings onto someone else; I still struggle with sharing sometimes. If you feel the same way, then try finding a professional and invest in your happiness that way. Sometimes knowing they don’t know your personal friends or see you on a regular basis helps in creating a more comfortable position for you to share.
Some people live in this cycle of fake-happy for so long and never receive the help or attention they need to stop it. I ask you, please, pay attention to those you care about and check on how they’re feeling in more than the generic, small-talk kind of way. My content may seem lighthearted, but this is such a serious topic, and I am hoping to help in the awareness of it and, if I’m lucky, even help someone live a happier life.