People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
– Abraham Lincoln
Everyone wants to be happy. It’s the old moving-towards-pleasure-and-away-from-pain mode for which we’re all wired. The challenge for most is that being happy is something they wait to happen (it’s a state of mind they sense after the fact). The problem for the rest is that being happy is event- or object- or person-specific (it’s a state of mind that is dependent on something outside ourselves).
Now, I must break it to you: any life strategy that depends on something or someone to happen, or puts trust in surrounding yourself with happenings, and things, and like-minded souls to put a smile on your face is ultimately doomed to failure!
What if there is a magical secret, though, to being happy? What if there is a devious technique that you can have faith in and that will keep the twinkle in your eye and the jump in your step?
The Magic of Saying I’m Happy Out Loud
There have been various studies which have outlined research into the areas of attraction and likeability. In one study, it was suggested that the mere act of telling someone I like you might be enough to get them to like you. In another investigation, it was found that saying I like you was enough to get you to like another person. The common thread here is that actually formulating and saying the words I like you was pivotal to the success that was sought. Why? Well, it is believed that your attitude is actually shifted by the words you choose. In other words, you can program how you feel at any time.
So what can you do?
Just start saying the words
That’s right. Say them out loud!
By saying the words out loud you begin to trigger the feeling inside. Rabbi Noah Weinberg calls this arichat sfatayim (arrange it on your lips). It is taking what sleeps and is latent within you and manifests it out into the world.
Call it suggestibility. Call it self-persuasion. Call it anything you want if that also makes you happy. The fact is that, by saying these two words, you literally program yourself so that you realize you are happy.
An Explanation of the Magic
Saying the words I’m happy out loud (rather than merely thinking them in your head) does a few things:
1. It clarifies your intention. By speaking the words I’m happy, you literally create the opportunity for yourself to . . . be happy. Most importantly, by verbalizing I’m happy, you create an obligation and devotion in yourself. Also, start watching the subtle shifts in your body as you say the words and as you start to align with the energy you are putting out into the world around you.
2. It creates a personal mantra. The words I’m happy, when said aloud, create a transformation in you. These two powerful words become an energy of there own and, in effect, lift you to a higher place.
3. It uses a different part of your brain. Others have said that, if you want to reinforce a concept or remember something, say it out loud! It’s no different here. Who doesn’t want to reinforce the concept of happiness and remember that they are happy in the first place?
You will notice that I have not said you have to believe anything. I have not even said that you have to feel at all. I just want you to start saying the words early and often and let the phrase I’m happy work its magic.
Oh, one more thing, if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t say your joyful phrase out loud, then write it out! Don’t keep the words in your head. They need to get out to have their power.
Keeping Your Happiness Consistent
Your thoughts affect your beliefs. Your beliefs, in turn, affect your attitudes. And your attitudes affect your actions. Thus, when you say things, you begin to move and react and act in ways that are in harmony with what you have said.
When you say the words I’m happy out loud, you start feeling happy. It is then that you will start acting happy, as well. If you doubt this (and there will be some of you who will), position yourself in front of a mirror and watch yourself as you say the phrase over and over. Pretty soon, even you will be smiling!
When you finally make the decision that your happiness is significant, you will find that this new way of programming your feelings is an essential tool for instantly changing the way you feel. Perhaps it’s time that you take a more vigilant look at how you are treating your own happiness and realize that your delight and pleasure don’t have to be the prey for something or someone else.
As it turns out, Mr. Lincoln was right. You are always free to choose how happy you want to be. You only have to remember the simple rule: Just say it!
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