This Wednesday is July 4th—our nation’s birthday—and, as Americans, we joyously celebrate this wonderful holiday! If you have the day off, you will likely have a great time at a barbeque with friends, or maybe you will go boating or just simply relax at home with your loved ones. Celebrations make us happy, don’t they? But what we may not realize is that happiness is contagious, and by being happy, we affect everyone in our space.
Have you ever been around a person who just seems to exude good energy and intentions? They are upbeat, positive, avoid speaking negatively, and try to see the good side of life—the happy side of things. Did you also notice that this is the same person you gravitate toward? They are at the top of everyone’s invitation list and seem to make those near them happy because of their positive outlook. Yes, their happiness is contagious! If you aren’t one already, you can be that good energy person, too!
I recently read that true happiness is a state of mind and a choice that we make each and every day. How awesome would it be if, every morning, we consciously choose to be happy and focus our thoughts positively? More important, how amazing it would be if we could affect others with this shift in attitude?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not perfect at this. I realized this past week that I may have repelled a couple of people with my attitude. One particular day, I was on a tight schedule running errands when I found myself getting a little grumpy. I tapped my foot impatiently as I waited on the checkout clerk, who was in no hurry. She smiled at me as I took my purchase and ran. Then, I became irritated when a car in front of mine was going 10 miles under the speed limit. “Arrggg!” I thought. I stomped on the gas and glared at the person as I passed them by. To my surprise, the man driving was singing at the top of his lungs—perfectly content and enjoying his drive. Suddenly it dawned on me: I was mad at these people because they seemed happy, and I was not feeling that way!
I finished my errands, drove myself home, and immediately sat myself down. I took a metaphysical “time-out” and did a 20-minute meditation to quiet my mind. Next, I decided that feeling happy would be my intention for the remainder of the day. I also sent a loving feeling out to the clerk and the driver, asking for their forgiveness of my shortsightedness. I put love in my heart, and for the rest of the day, I was kind to everyone I came across. And guess what? Happiness is contagious because everyone responded positively!
So this week I invite you to practice “Happiness.” Do something silly like sing, even if you do not sound good. Smile, even when things go wrong. Say positive, loving words even when you could choose otherwise. Create happiness, and you too will find that happiness is contagious to all those around you!