I don’t believe there’s anyone who is always completely happy, peaceful, and balanced. Is it even possible for a human being to be stable all the time? Even if it is, it must require so much time and effort to master that superpower.
I don’t know why, but becoming a person who is always happy has been one of my top goals for a quite long time. I wish I could be someone who is always sweet, calm, and smart all the time, no matter what.
However, obviously, it is very hard thing to do – especially for someone like me. If you are like me, an adult who still has an immature side of the personality, I believe that just deciding to be a ‘better person’ is not enough. Just telling yourself “Let’s treat everyone nicely” in the morning might help you a little, but it’s probably not enough. Rather than just setting intentions, we also need to practice small things, carefully and patiently, in a daily basis.
I believe there are two things you can practice, and the important thing is that you practice the both at the same time, in a long run. The first practice is to adjust what you do in a day according to your condition. Pay attention to the condition of your mind every day, and based on the condition, think and categorize ‘what you can do today’ and ‘what you don’t need to do today’ – and then, adjust your schedule and actions of the day accordingly.
How to measure the condition of your mind is totally up to you, but just as an example, let’s say we all have a tank filled with water in each of our mind.
Imagine that you find someone seems feeling really negative.
You might feel “No, it’s been a good day. Please don’t ruin it by your negativity…” or “Oh come on! Don’t you know that stress is contagious?” When you feel this way, you only have just enough or a little less amount of water necessary to fill your own tank. You don’t have any extra that you can give to other people.
You can see what’s going to happen when you try to do something for someone who’s feeling down, knowing that you don’t have enough energy left to be super kind to them. It’s a lost game. You will probably end up losing the water of your tank, or their tank. Chances are you end up emptying both of your tanks. I recommend you to just focus on taking care of your mind today. Come back again for that person, when you know your tank is full.
In other days, you might feel, “No! I can let them feel sad like this! There’s no way I can leave them alone.”
In this case, not only that your tank is full, but also you’re having so much water that can even fill another tank, or a few more tanks! You are full of energy. When you are feeling like this, you can keep giving and you will still have your tank full. If you find someone feeling down, go and offer what you can give. Love, kindness, strength, knowledge, or just a company. Of course don’t forget the importance to listen, and to see what they really need.
Sometimes you might feel stressed, frustrated, and angry – for no specific reasons.
That can be a sign that there is something going on inside of your body or your mind, even before you realize it. Let’s check in. Are you feeling sick? Are you worrying about something? Or you might be trying to ignore the fact that you are close to your mental or physical limits. Your tank is broken and now overheating. The water inside is boiling.
When you’re like this, it can be a good idea to limit your activity for a day. You should only do what you really have to do today, or what you can do mindlessly, and leave others for another day. When you are boiling inside, if you push yourself to do something that requires mental energy, such as having a difficult or important conversation with someone, you can burn yourself or someone else.
You might also have some days that you find yourself feeling so low, sad, anxious, with or without specific causes.
You may be tired, even if you don’t think so. When you are like that, your tank is empty. But it’s okay. Just in case you don’t know, everyone – believe me, everyone – has days like this. Please don’t beat yourself up. Whenever that happened to me, I used to tell myself “Why am I weak like this?” or “I’m a grown woman, I shouldn’t have ups and downs like this anymore.” But this never helped but just made me feel worse. Know that everyone has bad days. Some people are not sorry to show it, others are just really good at hiding it.
Even when your tank is not full, there will probably be things you can’t avoid. However, just recognizing your condition and thinking through beforehand can lift the burden off your shoulders, and can help you to prepare.
The second thing you can practice is to gradually grow your mind in a long term.
I have a good news. From my own experience, negative feelings – sadness, loneliness, worries, fears – are something you can learn to control, at least at some degree. You might have an image that positivities and negativities are what come from somewhere outside of you. You might also think positive people are born positive, negative people are born negative, and that’s something you can’t change by yourself.
However actually, that is not entirely true. Yes, sometimes things happen out of the blue and affect your life. And yes, sometimes you might get caught up with strong feelings out of nowhere. Yet, you can always actively choose how you see things and how you feel about it.
If you really want to become a positive person, learn to flexibly change your perspective. If you do a research, I am sure that you can find countless and wide variety of ways to change your perspectives, that will suit your style and taste.
Just in case you’re curious, here are some of my favorite mindsets which have been helping me to actively choose to be positive.
- Everyone is believing what they wants to believe, everyone is seeing the world they wants to see. There’s no need to explain yourself to everyone, trying to make them believe exactly what you believe, or to correct the image that they have about you.
- When you’re tired, move your body first. Exercise is not just good for your body, it’s good for your mind, too.
- Reading a book and learning something new will nourish your mind, and maximize your potential in the future.
- If you think there are so many bad things happening in your life, more of bad things will happen, because you will notice bad things more. If you think there are so many good things going on in your life, more of good things will happen, because you will notice positive things more.
- If you have flaws, people might like you more – because they can help you.
Choosing to stay positive is a power you can cultivate, by learning and practicing. You need to gradually grow yourself. It will take time, but I promise you that it’s worth it.
However, as long as you are a human, no matter how much you are growing, your condition will keep changing day by day. Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will definitely be affected by so many different things: the state of your body and mind, all the good things and the bad things happen in your life, and so forth.
Even while you are growing as a person in a long term, depending on your condition of each day, you may still have bad days. You may feel frustrated. You may feel weak. You may feel down. But please don’t tell yourself ‘I knew it, I can never change.” “I’m too weak.” Bad days are not the proof that you’re moving backwards. It’s just the condition. It’s just temporary.
Being stable and happy all the time is very, very hard – but we can try. The most effective thing you can do to try to always be happy, is to secretly adjust what you do and what you don’t do, according to your conditions. That will keep you and people around you as peaceful as possible.
One thing very important to remember is that you can’t change who you are over night. That’s why it’s crucial to keep practicing both of the two things: growing yourself in a long term, and adjusting your behavior of each day based on your conditions. What’s most important is that you are growing as a person even a little bit, from the past. As long as you are growing, don’t be hard on yourself on bad days. You just need to adjust your schedule and decisions according to your capacity of each day.
These days I feel like I’m carrying tons of water that can fill not just my tank but a few, or even more tanks. I’d love to share it with someone who really needs it, and I’m looking for the way how I can implement.