Can we really be happy all the time?

After watching The Secret we can be left thinking that the key to happiness is to think happy thoughts.  Since most of us aren’t having those kinds of thoughts we begin the hunt for them.  We start sending emails with smiley faces and chanting “happy, happy, happy” when all we want to do was kick a hole in the wall or scream at the top of our lungs because we are so frustrated.  This positive thinking stuff isn’t as easy as they make it seem in the move!

If your introduction to the law of attraction doesn’t go any deeper than The Secret or some of the other movies that are out there on the power of positive thinking, you may have walked away thinking that this stuff doesn’t work (and maybe even a little frustrated, yes?).  Being happy all the time is not very realistic.  If happy thoughts bring us all that we want for our lives, then negative thoughts must do the opposite.  If we follow this train of thought, we’re left to fear all of our emotions that we don’t classify as positive.  We start to feel guilty for experiencing authentic emotions because we believe that we’ll end up paying for those negative thoughts in the long run.

We aren’t doing ourselves any good by ignoring or trying to bury our negative emotions.  Living authentically is the key to happiness.  We ought to acknowledge our emotions, honour them, not pretend as if they don’t exist!  We are meant to experience the gamut of emotions that we as humans are capable of.  The trick with the negative emotions is to not allow them to swallow you whole. Acknowledge them, discover what that feeling reveals about you and then let it go!

It’s important to understand that all this talk about positive thinking is more about being mindful of where you’re focusing your energy.  Are you spending all your time thinking about what’s not working and feeling as if the world is plotting against you? Or are you focusing your energy on all the things that are going well for you, being thankful for life’s blessings?  Obviously focusing on one of these is going to make you feel better than focusing on the other.

If you’re struggling with the idea of positive thinking and believe that thinking happy thoughts all the time isn’t realistic, you’re right.  Instead, consider this: do you want to live in a world where nothing happens the way you want it to and life is a constant struggle, or do you want to live in a world where everything unfolds as it should and life is an amazing journey with a few bumps along the way.  That’s really what positive thinking is all about.  It’s about focusing on the opportunities, not on the perceived losses.  It’s about living, as Albert Einstein said, “as if everything is a miracle”.