Tight chest, thumping heart, shortness of breath or a lump in your throat; I’m sure many of you have experienced one of these at some time or maybe even all at once.
It could be plain old anxiety or a panic attack if your surroundings start spinning, maybe even a heart attack if you feel a sharp pain but what if it’s accompanied by a smile forming across your face?
Any one of these experiences will lead you to gasp for air. The former three will have some sort of adverse effect on your life but the latter will most probably leave you sighing with relief.
Some people may let this experience pass without a second thought. Others, after composing themselves may have questions racing through their heads. “What was that?”, if it passed quickly or “What is going on?”, if you remain smiling at nothing in particular. When you stop smiling but the feeling of elation remains, you may wonder, “What is this all in aid of?”.
Smiles for no reason at all, inexplicable moments of elation and still thoughts of total contentment are results of pure happiness. On the contrary expressionless faces, mind racing thoughts and heavy hearts are the result of a life in momentary turmoil.
We can’t expect to be happy all the time but we can try to lessen the things that threaten our happiness. This would include the pressure of expectation placed on us by either ourselves or others. It’s very difficult to be happy if you are feeling overwhelmed by all your responsibilities.
How about doing a little exercise?
Write down a list of what you HAVE TO DO for yourself:
I HAVE TO PACK MY CUPBOARD
I HAVE TO TAKE MY CAR FOR A SERVICE
I HAVE TO…
Now re-write the same list starting with I WOULD LIKE TO:
I WOULD LIKE TO PACK MY CUPBOARD
I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE MY CAR FOR A SERVICE
I WOULD LIKE TO…
Reading this list will ultimately put a whole new spin on your feeling towards the tasks but you may still not really want to do any of them.
Replace ‘WOULD LIKE’ with ‘NEED’ and then think of the worst case scenario should you decide not do to these things:
I NEED TO PACK MY CUPBOARD – If not then
I’d waste time searching for things which could make me late!
I NEED TO TAKE MY CAR FOR A SERVICE – If not then
It may breakdown causing major damage which will take longer and cost more to repair. I may have to be without my car for much longer than the day service would take.
Now re-looking your list with consequences you can decide what it is that you REALLY need to do.
This will ultimately shorten your list and lessen your stress. You may even find that your feelings towards certain things on your ‘TO DO LIST’ changes after you complete something that you ‘REALLY NEEDED TO DO’.
The things you know and feel that you ‘have to do’ for family, friends and work can evoke feelings of guilt and fear and nothing good ever comes from those emotions.
I suggest that you apply the same strategy as above. You may want to add in the benefits of doing these things, including how it makes you feel with the positive and negative spin-offs thereof. This may seem very long winded but the more you do it, the easier it becomes and you may not even need to write anything down. Only do what makes you feel good and don’t even bother with that which will go unappreciated. Make doubly sure that you have enough time in your schedule because there’s nothing worse than being inundated with no end in sight.
We all have things that we absolutely love to do but tend to overlook prioritising them. What we fail to realise is that these little things are fundamentally important to our overall happiness.
So please remember to do the little things that make you HAPPY!
The quokka, part of the kangaroo and wallaby family, has been described as the “world’s happiest animal”.
I have the right to choose to do what makes me happy!
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
by Ann Brashares
Young Adult Fiction Novel
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Time : 124 min
Drama / Comedy-drama
The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars