Last week I was listening to some podcasts from Jillian Michaels and she was talking about happiness. There is just too much to say on the topic of happiness that I don't even know where to begin. Perhaps we should begin with the problem of happiness. She says, "problem with being happy is we're afraid for the bottom to fall out." This is very true, there are many people, myself included, who when they are faced with the emotion of happiness we are unable to hold on to this emotion for too long, there is always a fear of that the sky is going to be coming down on us.
She compared happiness to being a relationship, when you are with someone you really care about you want to hold onto it but still hold onto the fear that one day they will leave you. The problem with this approach to holding onto things is that we tend to drive them away. Our fears become the reality and this makes it very difficult to be happy. There has to be a way to break the cycle, to stop you from trying to predict the future when in reality you can't. One can never know what is going to happen tomorrow, you have to starts living for today.
This more easily said than done, how does one just up and change how they have been living their life until now? Jillian had a good answer, it was to live in the moment. When something good happens savor it, when something bad happens think about something good thats going to happen later. For example there was a day when things weren't going well for me, buses were slow, traffic was bad... but when I got to the bus stop in Tel Aviv for the bus to Be'er Sheva the bus I was sure I missed was still sitting there granted it was full and I had to sit on the floor, but in that moment I couldn't be upset anymore because I had made it. You just have to find more moments like this to focus on in your life.
Its funny as I write this whats coming to mind is the patronus charm from Harry Potter. How the dementors try to bring you down but you have that one happy thought to focus on to drive them away. Its the same idea, but you have to hold on to it and tell yourself that you deserve it. Most of the time when a depressed or pessimistic person has a moment of happiness they feel that they don't deserve it. I know this happens to me sometimes, something good will happen that I should be happy about but it just seems to bounce off me. We're not rubber, we are sponges. We take things in and hold on to them, why should we hold on stronger to bad feelings? Shouldn't we be repelling those and absorbing the good?