sunshine smiley faceA few days ago, I asked a seemingly always happy friend, “You never have a bad day, do you?”  To that, my friend responded, “I used to have bad days… until I decided not to.”

I thought about that for a moment and realized that my friend was onto something.  You don’t have to have a bad day if you don’t want to.  After all, the only person in charge of your feelings is you, no?  Sure, sure, this all sounds very Pollyanna of me, but hear me out.  Every morning when you get out of bed, you have the choice of what kind of day you want to have.  I read once that as each foot hits the floor you should say “Thank.  You.”  By waking up being gracious, you are setting yourself up for more positive things to come your way.  Like attracts like, right?

It’s like when I used to play that game with myself on the subway, every time a negative thought would pop into my head, I tried to replace it with something positive instead.  Rather than saying, “Damn, this bitch stanks!” I’d say, “Wow, she must have had a really great workout this morning.  Go girl.”  So, instead of stewing and working myself up into a tizzy, I’ve put that negative thought out of my head and moved on.  Haven’t you ever had something annoying happen and then dwelled on it only to have 18 more annoying things happen?  It’s not a coincidence.

Not too long ago, I was checking out at Home Goods, and I smiled at the woman at the register.  She was so surprised that I had smiled, that she made a comment to me about it.  That’s sad.  Are we all that unhappy and miserable?  Are smiles that few and far between?  Not to mention, it’s scientifically proven that smiling automatically boosts your mood.

Sure, I’ve had some not so great things happen to me, but I realized that sitting around pouting about them isn’t going to help accomplish anything, nor will it change anything.  I’m also quite certain that my “less than ideal” problems are probably quite trivial compared to people who actually do have problems.  Last time I checked, I’m healthy, have fresh water to drink, and a bed to sleep in every night.  Not too shabby.

Bottom line: happiness is all a state of mind.  I understand that there are going to be moments in life that absolutely and utterly suck, but at that point you have a choice.  You can choose to dwell on said shitty incident, or you can brush your shoulders off, smile, and carry on.  I choose to carry on (and smile).