“Can I ask you something?” My friend Amanda asked, a challenging expression on on her pretty face. I was nattering about the difficulties and challenges of writing and publishing and promoting my new blog, and it seems she'd had just about enough.
“Have you felt any real change that's directly connected to writing this blog?”
That made her eyes pop. “Explain,” she demanded.
"For one thing, I’m actually doing the darned thing. Every time I add another little article, I experience a perfectly delightful sense of accomplishment. That’s directly connected to writing the blog. But the writing ain’t the half of it.”
"Whaddaya mean?” She emphasized her words with a waggle of her glass. A few drops splashed onto the table.
"Calm down," I laughed, "I'll tell you all about it."
The Happiness Experiment, First 3 Months:
Late December, 2018. The busy holiday season is behind us, fun family time packed away for another year, and I'm faced with the inevitable question:
Now What? What do I want, now that Christmas is done? The answer cam as clear as if someone had spoken it for me: I want to feel happier. That's all. Who was it said that "If it is to be, it's up to me"? Trite, yes, but who knows? Maybe it IS up to me.
I stumbled across another trite little truth.
"Happiness is a choice we make as we begin each day."
“I decided to run a little experiment,” I told Amanda as she tilted out the last of our wine. "I decided to find out if a person really could choose happiness."
More to the point, I wondered if I could train myself to be feel happy, habitually happy. I decided to give it a year and so the Happiness Experiment began.
It started with a promise to myself: Every morning before I got out of bed, I would affirm thaty "I choose to feel happy, right now." Happiness would be my choice, over and over again.
I wondered what would happen.
January: As usual, I awake most mornings in a low-ish mood, and spend a few minutes brooding about this and that. The day must begin, however, so finally I shove the covers back and slide my feet out …
Wait a Minute Here!
I slam my toes back under the duvet. “I choose to feel happy. It’s my choice, and I choose to feel happy.”
I don’t know if this sort of thing works for everyone, but I find that when I assert happiness, it creates an instantaneous reaction. Without my conscious volition, a smile starts. My morning mood shifts radically upwards and next thing I know, I'm awash with appreciation and enjoyment of all the good things in my life. In short, as I speak the words, I feel and experience the happiness. How great is that? I love it!
February: Almost every morning, within a moment of two of surfacing into consciousness, I automatically begin to affirm my happiness-choice. By the time I’m fully awake and ready to fling the covers back, I am in a good mood, eagerly anticipating that first cup of coffee, and whatever other good things the day may bring.
Mid-March: I wake up smiling, feeling happy for no particular reason. It doesn’t happen every day but it does occur promisingly often.
Amanda drains her wineglass. “So why write a blog about it? That's what I don’t get. it's not like you're trying to teach other people how to do it. You're just making the experiment for your own self." She taps her empty glass on the table for emphasis.
"I like to write," I respond with a dismissive shrug. "It's my idea of fun."
In truth, tht's only half the story. I've got quite a track-record of false-starts and failures, The only way I can trust myself to follow through with this Happiness Experiment is by committing to write about it. So far, it's working very well. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the year will bring. If you haven't done so already, you too can find out what happens next by Subscribing to this Blog Right Here.
All the Best Always, Elaine