Positive emotions tend to be more fleeting. Negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, etc. often stick with you longer. Good feelings from positive circumstances are often short-term. Stress can become a lifestyle. Guilt lingers. Anger can foster a negative mindset. Being upset about something can stay with you for a long time. Positive emotions usually don’t stick as well. You feel joy from a lovely evening but lose those feelings by morning. A friend’s support can be overshadowed by a stressful day at work that affects your mood for days.
Marci Shimoff said, “When you’re happy for no reason, you’re unconditionally happy. It’s not that your life always looks perfect—it’s just that however it looks, you’ll still be happy.”
Real happiness is a consistent state of contentment maintained by a steady influx of positive emotions from a variety of areas. A lifestyle that keeps positive emotions consistently coming sustains your overall happiness. The more positive emotions you have, the happier you can be. Pay attention and see which ones you feel. Some common positive emotions are: joy, optimism, charity, passion, hope, gratitude, love, satisfaction, personal relationships, sense of community, calm, confidence, and faith. Any emotion that makes you feel positive can improve your overall well-being. Activities that fuel a variety of positive emotions increase happiness. Relying on one person or activity doesn’t.
The more you strive for consistent positive emotions in all areas of your life, the more chance that you’ll experience real happiness. If you stay in situations that create negative emotions, such as being in a bad relationship or feeling like a DoorMat, those situations will create ongoing negative emotions that can overshadow the positive ones. If you want to be happy, do an emotion check in each area of your life.
Look for where negative emotions are coming from and where you feel positive. Do your best to weed out what creates the sticky negatives—that will hang onto your mood like a sticky black cloud and bring you down. And find out where your positive emotions come from. Nurture them. Find ways to alllow more into your life.
You can always create positive emotions when you want to be happier. Do some satisfying volunteer work, Write a gratitude list. Connect with people you like, do some spiritual work, etc. When you focus on making sure that your life has lots of situations for feeling positive, happiness is in your control.
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