Here is another post on happiness, my first one, Happiness is a skill, receive a mad amount of views. Thanks for all the shares!
Happiness for me is a daily struggle, as I mentioned in the previous post, I suffer from severe depression and have been using medication daily for the past 3 years, so me writing about happiness is beautifully ironic. So this is me trying to work out how to live, happily, in a world gone mad.
I have learnt that much of happiness is a skill (a line I heard on a Tim Ferris podcast when he interviewed Naval Ravikant). Happiness is a continuous habit, something you can learn.
Just this thought was enough to give me hope, happiness is not bestowed by the happiness fairy, it is something that I can learn. I like reading and learning, and if I can learn how to fight, do a triathlon or run an ultra-marathon I can learn this.
So here is a trick I learnt on how to learn to be happier.
What would Rialette do?
My wife is an insanely positive person. For he the whole damn cloud is ALWAYS silver. She can find the positive side to anything.
Once her rear windshield of her car shattered during the night in the middle of what was a crazy cold winter. We discovered this obviously on the morning, she had to drive to work with a massive hole in the back of her car.
I was, let’s say very, angry, annoyed, and frustrated.
Rialette, on the other hand, was not. Halfway to school with the freezing wind blowing through the broken window, she called me. When I picked up, she was screaming and laughing at the other end.
‘I’ve got a convertible!!’
Now that is being positive.
Happiness is in the mirror.
So here is my trick. I don’t know how to that positive, and for that matter, how to be happy. It is a ‘unnatural’ thing for me almost, but not for Rialette, she is naturally happy and positive. So I just ask myself, what would Ria do? And I mirror her reaction, her positivity, and her happiness.
When you mirror, aka fake it, it changes you from the outside in.
There has been a ton of research done, some of which I have actually read, on mirror neurons. How copying the physical expression and or body language of another person copies the neurological response in your own brain, literally mirroring the other person’s brain. This is how babies learn social cues and so on.
So I have a few people that I consider happy, positive people. My wife is my prime example, so I copy her all the time. My CrossFit coach, Gerhard, looks like his face is frozen in a permanent smile.
So when I am downcast, or faced with a difficult situation, I ask myself, what would Gerhard do, what would Rialette do?
And when I am with them, I mirror their positivity and happiness (even though, at the start, I don’t feel it). If they make a positive comment, then so do I, if they smile then so do I.
So make a quick list of two or three happy and positive people, that you see regularly that you can mirror. One at home, one at work, and one at the gym perhaps.
Let me know if it works for you too in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading.
Image credit: shutterstock
I am a flâneur, which basically means I spend a lot of time in coffee shops watching the world go by.