Cast Your Own Patronus. Smile. Choose To Be Happy

Choose Happiness

I know I’m not going out on a limb here when I say moods are contagious. It’s pretty obvious, right?  We’ve all been there. One minute you are all full of smiles when suddenly, you sense the Dementor’s presence upon you and all your joy comes to an abrupt halt, thanks to your friend, Mr. CrabbyPants. Just because he is grumpy, doesn’t mean you have to be. While a foul mood is contagious, a good mood is too. Which do you want to spread?

If moods are contagious and have a domino effect on others, can you imagine what this world be like if everyone looked on the positive side of things, smiled more often, and complained less? Look at the people around you. How many people look to be truly happy? People are always frowning, dwelling on the negative and finding something to complain about.

While it is perfectly normal to have blue moments occasionally, and I certainly do not expect you to be happy 100% of the time, constantly being a Debbie Downer, incessantly being a grouch, and endlessly complaining and scouring at people is NOT an attractive look. On anyone. When you are feeling down, you give off an unwelcoming, don’t-come-near-me vibe. When you smile, your whole body smiles. Facial expressions do not just express one’s mood, they contribute to one’s overall feeling. Smiling elevates your mood and makes you feel happier. You are constantly giving off an energy and what energy you choose to share is entirely up to you. When you choose to be happy, when you put that positive vibe into the universe, positive things happen in return.

So whatever it is that you are complaining about today, stop it. Think about what it is and why it is bothering you. Ask yourself,  is this really a serious problem? Is this a battle I really want to fight? Is this worth the stress it is causing me now? Probably not. Instead, think about what you can learn from the situation and what you can be grateful for. There is much to be happy about and thankful for in this world, so dwell on that. Find the positive in the situation. Yes, sometimes it is hard to find, but it is there. Something positive can be drawn out of every situation, even the darkest ones. Being happy doesn’t mean you are ignoring the issue. It means you are electing to see past the imperfections and make the most out of the situation at hand.

I’m a firm believer that you make your own happiness.

If you want to be happy, then do. You have the power to choose how you feel and only you are stopping yourself. You don’t need anything or anyone else to make you happy. Being happy is a conscious choice, but luckily, it is no ones choice but your own. While you cannot control what happens in life, you can control how you react to it and how you let it affect your mood. The only true control you have in life, is the control you have over yourself.

Make a habit out of smiling more often and finding the positive in situations, and it will eventually come natural to you. It is a self-fullfilling prophecy. The path will continue to become clearer, until one day, you will no longer have to think about being happy, you will just BE. As the Dalai Lama tweeted, “Through constant training we can enhance our positive attitudes and thoughts and reduce their opposing negative attitudes.”

We are always told that things will get better in the future, that we’ll be happy when we get graduate, when we get that job, when we get a boyfriend/girlfriend, we get married, when we have children, etc. We are always chasing the future. But spoiler alert – we’ll never catch up to it, that’s why it is called The Future. So stop chasing. Don’t wait for tomorrow to be happy. Be happy today.

Every day you have a choice. You can choose to look at the negative side of things or you can choose to be happy. Life is short and unpredictableDo not wait for happiness to find you or let others dictate your mood. Cast your own Patronus. Make your own happiness. Choose to be happy. Smile.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. – Mother Teresa
 
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23 thoughts on “Cast Your Own Patronus. Smile. Choose To Be Happy

  1. I feel like I want to highlight this whole post and keep it on my bedside. I wholeheartedly agree with you that happiness is a choice. Great post Caryn! <3

  2. I love love love love love love love this post! I’ve already written a couple of snippets from it on the whiteboard at my desk, and I might take Mikael’s idea and print it out too! You’re the best, thanks for writing this Caryn :)

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  4. “Make a habit out of smiling more often and finding the positive in situations, and it will eventually come natural to you. It is a self-fullfilling prophecy. The path will continue to become clearer, until one day, you will no longer have to think about being happy, you will just BE. As the Dalai Lama tweeted, “Through constant training we can enhance our positive attitudes and thoughts and reduce their opposing negative attitudes.” ”

    I am totally in love with this paragraph. I want it to sprout fingers for me to put rings on. I want to take it to a fancy dinner and tell it how pretty it looks. So, so, so, so well done.

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  6. i realize this comment is late, but it’s not something i feel i can stay quiet on. first – i firmly believe in the value of perspective, finding the bright side, and taking responsibility for your life and your joy. i’m 100% on board with these things. also completely on board with the idea that we should migrate away from the idea that the things that will make us happy are…well…things. money, boyfriends, etc…these aren’t the answer, i’m with you.

    however, i also have to say that bold assertions that happiness is a choice are, in my belief, damaging. there are innumerable ways to suffer in the land of mental health, and implying that people are simply not “choosing” happiness minimizes the very valid struggle that many, including many in our 20 something blogger circle, face. as someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as i can remember, in varying degrees of severity, i can promise you that when i’m in the thick of things the thing that makes me feel the absolute worst is the idea that i am abnormal, that i am doing this to myself, that i’m not making the right “choice”. there is no choice in those moments. neurotransmitters are doing their thing to mess with you as hard as they can, and all of the choosing in the world is not the answer. you’re a kind person and i have full faith that your intentions with this post were 100% positive and honorable. i just wanted to shed some light on the other side – for some of us, it’s very far from this simple, and it has nothing to do with a choice.

    • I agree. It’s really annoying when I see others state that being happy is a “choice”. If I could choose to be happy, I wouldn’t be depressed. I would be just that — happy. But I’m not, and I cannot control it.

      • Liz – welcome to my blog. Thank you for visiting my blog and voicing your opinion. Rather than copy and paste, please see my comment to Dominique. Hope you come back again soon.

    • I appreciate your comment. I encourage discussion from my posts. I know there are circumstances like that of which you described. I know first hand from family members what this is like. And I know that you don’t choose to have depression. That is like saying people choose to be gay. It is something you are born with and cannot control. However, this post was intended to inspire those who do have a choice, those who intentionally choose drama over peace, negative energy over positive.Those who can choose. There are many people who do not suffer from clinical depression who get trapped into the downward spiral of negativity.

      Despite all my efforts to be mentally positive, my body has had physical reactions to the immense stress I have been under lately. Mentally, I have made the conscience choice to be as positive as possible and I can see how my daily interactions, thoughts, and life has been impacted by choosing to focus on being happy. But physically, my body has had it’s own reactions to stress (acne breakouts, missing periods, sleep changes). If all of this has continued to physically happen while I have remained positive, I seriously cannot imagine what I would be like if I let the stress encompass me entirely. Thank you for speaking up and continuing this conversation.

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