So you’re walking down the street in your snazzy new outfit, feeling great, when some guy bumps into you, spilling his hot coffee all over your shirt. He is immediately infuriated and yells: “HEY WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING, PAL!”
How do you react?
A) You’re immediately enraged B) You begin to cry
C) You’re mortified D) You remain calm and walk away
I bet the majority of you (MYSELF INCLUDED!) picked either A,B, or C, but it’s okay! It’s normal to experience certain emotions, but how many of you would actually be mentally tough enough to have done option D. It’s easy to succumb to our innate emotions, but it takes mental conditioning to be able to have power over them.
You see, we as individuals are responsible for our own emotions. Yes. As hard as it is to admit, its true. “So, what you’re saying, Letisha, is if some guy spills coffee on me and then yells in my face, and I get upset, it’s my fault???”
What I mean is, it’s understandable that you’d get upset, BUT…YOU and ONLY YOU are the person who decides how you will feel as a result of the situation. Does that mean every time something bad happens, you are just supposed to not feel any emotion and move on? Not at all. The point is to recognize the fact that while you will go through ups a downs brought about by occurrences that stir different emotions, you cannot let them consume you and dictate your day, life, relationships, or attitude.
The point…is to choose a larger, more powerful emotion over it.
About two weeks ago, I reached my breaking point. After being continually faced with negativity from many different areas in my life, I decided to stop being a victim to the negativity I was subjected to, and take control.
It seemed to be a sign from above, but that very same day, I stumbled upon this online challenge called 100 Happy Days. The goal of the challenge is to share a picture via of something that made you happy that day, and do this for 100 days straight. You post the picture on the social media outlet of your choice with the hashtag “100 happy days” and the day you are on (example: #100happydays #day22) and any other hashtags you’d like, of course 😉
Seems very basic, yes, but surprisingly it is quite eye opening. Some things you might learn about yourself:
- Overall, what consistently makes you happy in your life?
- What types of things make you happy (people, social experiences, activities, certain foods, etc)?
- Are you easily angered and are you easily cheered up?
- Where are you in terms of your “mental toughness”?
- What doesn’t bring you happiness?
- Are you more of an optimist or pessimist?
The list could go on…but each person is going to learn something different from their specific challenge.
Today marks day number 15 for me and I can already say I have learned quite a bit about myself, like the fact that it really doesn’t take much to make me happy, and I find happiness and the smallest things.
Not to mention, after 15 days, I am beginning to feel bigger than my emotions. I am in control — and that is the most liberating feeling.
Is it easy? No. Of course there are challenges. There are some days where I am just not feeling happy, but to fulfill my 100 Happy Days post for the day I am forced to find something that made me happy, no matter how small. And it all starts with that tiny moment of happiness. That tiny moment is you choosing happiness over your sorrow, anger, pain, worry, etc. And even if just for a moment, your focus is on something more positive.
Think happy and you’ll be happy. It takes practice, but you will get there. (don’t worry, you have 100 days to practice! 😉 ). At the end though, you’ll have the mental toughness to let the worlds negativity roll off your shoulders — a skill that is so important for your mental health.
Incase you missed it, check out my post on mental health and why it’s so important! Click here to read it.
Have you heard of this challenge? What would you have done in the coffee scenario described above?? Leave me comments! 🙂
Happy Friday Coconuts!