Shiny Happy People

Posted: January 25, 2012 in Family, Friendship, Life, Love, Relationships
Tags: , , , ,

67% of Americans are unhappy in their job. 41% of them are unhappy in their marriage. 11% are taking antidepressants, but studies show that only 1/3 of people who are severely depressed are actually TAKING antidepressants. That’s a WHOLE lot of unhappiness. I don’t know who R.E.M. envisioned as their shiny, happy people–but it wasn’t today’s Americans.

How did we get here? How did we end up living in a world where everyone is so damn unhappy? I’m fairly certain that when our ancestors were working farms with hardly any of the equipment we have today, they were still whistling while they worked. I understand that times were simpler back then and that milk cost a nickel, but is the fact that times are tough reason enough for people to not be able to find joy in anything?

I get that some people have been dealt a bad hand. And I know that in the aftermath of a tragedy it’s hard to find happiness—but doesn’t every day offer us at least one small morsel of happy?

I told one of my friends the other day that I may not be happy ALL day, every day—but every day, whether it be for 12 seconds or 12 hours, I’m happy. Even on the days where my mood is dark and gloomy, something will happen to make me crack a smile. It might be an email forward. It could be a phone call from a friend or a family member. Maybe it’s a funny commercial. Whatever it is, and brief as it may be, in that moment—I’m happy.

Now I should note here that I’m generally a pretty happy person as it is—but I have bad days, just like everyone else. I actually touched on that in a blog I wrote a couple weeks ago. It’s just that it’s so easy to get bogged down in the daily grind that I think we forget about the little things that can make us happy. It doesn’t need to be a new job offer, or an extravagant gift, or winning the lottery. It could be a song on the radio, or a sunny day, or seeing someone open a door for a little old lady.

If we’re going to make it through life without being eaten alive, we HAVE to find more joy in the world. I know that sometimes life downright sucks. And I know that it seems like when you’re dealt one crappy blow, another one seems to follow right behind—but it ends up that when you’re miserable about the only thing you accomplish is making other people miserable.

We all have a lot more to be happy about than we realize—and I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes that makes me feel downright guilty. So when you start to lose sight of things, when you feel the need to write a guest list for your pity party—just stop for a minute and remember what you have. Or maybe WHO you have. Doing that may not take away whatever it is that’s put you down in the dumps—but it may help you to not wallow in it.

Everyone deserves happiness, and like I said yesterday, I think we could all have it if we’d get out of our own way. So just quit holding on so tightly—let the smile get all the way to your lips, let loose that chuckle, forgive, love, and hug. If a hug won’t make you happy, then I don’t know what else to say.

  1. wmarsau says:

    There is a lot to be said about wearing a smile. Every day we have a choice. Making the choice to be happy is a discipline that will help all areas of our life. Look at Joel Osteen, he is the happiest person I know.

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