I find that staying positive is the key to living a happy life. There are so many things that can bring you down; your own lack of motivation, other people’s negativity, or terrible world events. If you allow yourself to be brought down by everything negative around you, then you won’t stand a chance at living a happy life.
I’m not saying you should ignore everything bad that happens and suppress your feelings. That would be extremely unhealthy and lead to a nervous breakdown. What I am saying, is that you need to choose your battles. There simply isn’t enough time or energy in the day to do everything you need to do, fight every battle that comes to you, and still have anything left in the tank to take care of yourself.
What I’m suggesting is so simple. Let the little things go. That idiot on the road, that lazy co-worker that you’d love to put in their place, or a debate with someone who clearly doesn’t know what they’re talking about, let these things go. It’s taken me a few years of my adult life to realise that it’s just not worth it. Save your energy for yourself and the people you love, don’t waste it on the idiots who mean nothing to you.
Now, I think we need to get something clear, I’m not suggesting that you put on a pair of rose coloured glasses and pretend everything is peachy all the time. If there’s something going on that you’re passionate about, or you feel something needs to be done, like protesting animal rights, or reporting a colleague for harassment, absolutely still do it. You don’t want the guilt of ignoring something important to you weighing you down, or the harassment at work to continue. But when something happens, before reacting, just pause for a few seconds, and ask yourself, is it really worth your time and energy, does it really matter to you? If not, smile and walk away.
This will not only help you to conserve your own energy and happiness, but it will project your happiness on to others, and in time, they will know you as a happy person. And let’s face it, we’d all rather be surrounded by happy people than people who are constantly complaining about something.
When you start changing your behaviours to more positive ones, your mind and body may look for another outlet. Channel your negativity into something productive. Try running, or boxing, or writing, or painting, or any other outlet you can think of that will allow you to expel your excess energy. In time, you’ll find yourself feeling happier, and less affected by the negativity around you.