Here’s a secret happy people know that unhappy people spend much of their lives overlooking:
Sometimes, the only difference between the person who has a good day and the person who has a bad day is the way they choose to describe their day.
People who are happy could just as easily offer negative descriptions about their day as do people who are unhappy. But they generally tend to not do so because they understand that language is a two-sided coin.
Words are not only descriptions, but they are also prescriptions.
Descriptions DESCRIBE what is. Prescriptions DEFINE what they will be.
Descriptions regurgitate. Prescriptions create.
Descriptions obey the rules. Prescriptions establish the rules.
When you make a statement like “this situation stinks”, you are not only describing your experience, but you’re also solidifying the illusion that the hopeless way you’re seeing things is the only way to see it.
Talking about how bad your day is going may offer the short-term reward of garnering pity from others, but it also conditions your brain to prioritize negative information which leads to a greater tendency to notice the things that are going wrong.
When someone asks “how was your day/night/week/weekend?”, your answer to that question will be one of the leading factors in determining the kind of day/night/week/weekend you’ll have the next time around.
There is a practical advantage to describing your life the way you want it to be.
You don’t have to lie in order to achieve this goal. You simply develop the habit of highlighting the positive aspects.
So, if ten events occurred today and only one of them was pleasant, then make that one pleasant event be the one which defines your day. When people ask “how’s it going?”, happily mention that one pleasant event and move on. Eventually, this will become a natural practice and you’ll simply stop noticing all the good reasons to be irritated and stressed out that most people can’t help but obsess over.
You’re not going to have a good day until you learn to talk about as if it were that way.
“Today is a pretty good day. I have much to be grateful for.”
At some point you have to say it. So you might as well get it over with ASAP