I just saw "Time Stand Still"--the documentary about the final tour for the band Rush (yes, I'm a fan, although I don't think I'll ever get into their earliest stuff, LOL). What really struck me about the backstage footage was how HAPPY the band members were.
One story they recounted was the "Legend of the Bag" where Alex Lifeson would grab a paper bag, draw a face on it, shove his hands out his sweatpants by his knees (thereby making a short funny person) and talking in goofy voices...and this started back when they were quite unknown and definitely not the huge successes they are today.
This reminded me of a lesson from one of my teachers, T. Harv Eker, who explained that you have to be HAPPY NOW. Most people go through life thinking they will be happen when they have / do / are __X____(fill in the blank--could be more money, married, have that great job, lose the excess weight, whatever).
The thing is, the universe doesn't work that way and even if you manage to achieve X, you almost certainly still won't be happy. Abe Lincoln was famously quoted as saying "folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be" and it applies here. Rush was happy and having fun from the beginning of their careers (and probably before) both onstage and offstage. And further, they LOVE what they do.
Well that's great, you say...but how can I be happy when I have all of ___Y___ (fill in the blank...debt, a terrible boss, more month than money, illness, etc.)? I get it....I truly do.
So here are a few tips that I have found helpful and I hope they will for you too.
Have gratitude. Wake up and find something to be grateful for, even if it's just the fact that you are still alive! Take it a step further and make a list every morning of 10 things you are grateful for.
Tap! EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique improves your mood too! Don't know how? Too confusing? Not sure what to say when you tap? No worries! You really don't have to "say" anything to have benefits. These are very powerful acupressure points and even just tapping on them without any particular "agenda" can be beneficial. Click here to download the tapping points.
Smile. Or better yet, laugh. Even if it's for no reason at all. This is the old "fake it till you make it" idea and it works! Slap a smile on your face and see if your whole demeanor doesn't change.
Exercise. Get the blood pumping. At whatever level your current body can handle (obviously get doctor's approval!), even just for a few minutes. Do a few low impact jumping jacks or jog in place. Go for a walk. Lift a few weights. It doesn't have to be a major workout. A few minutes can change your mood (and is good for your health too).
Dance! Seriously! Dance like no one is watching. Put on some fun music, whatever gets you going, and dance around your living room. Even just a few minutes will improve your mood. Can't dance? Who cares! This is about HAVING FUN! (I often do this when I have to do my "chores"...you know, the dishes, housework, that kind of thing...put on fun music and make it fun!)
Love yourself. This will be another entire blog post so let's leave it at "have some compassion and love for yourself" like you would for, say a pet or small child.
Be happy NOW and love what you do...the rest will come in time. It certainly did for Rush and it can for you too.