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How and why you should be cheerful

How to be cheerful

Cheerful is such an old-fashioned word. We hardly ever hear (or say) it anymore. (We reserve the word “cheerful” for Santa Claus.) To be cheerful means to be full of good spirits, to communicate good to those around you. However, watching the news, rushing around, and just living in our modern world can take its toll. We must consciously decide to be cheerful.

Cheerfulness is an inside job. Your partner can’t make you cheerful. It seems to be common practice to throw down the gauntlet and issue challenges to those around us. I often hear people say “I will be cheerful when my partner is “y”, or I will do “x” when my partner does “y”. These kinds of stalemates are not easy to break. When you practice being cheerful, it’s harder to get mad because your partner didn’t do it right, didn’t do enough, etc. 

Instead, try something different. Try being cheerful just because. Here are some tips to cheerfulness:

  • Choose to wake up in the morning in a good mood.
  • Smile.
  • Don’t talk endlessly about depressing subjects.
  • Appreciate what there is to appreciate in your day. For example, the weather, a little child’s infectious smile, a flower, good coffee, etc.

Being cheerful makes you attractive to others

Being cheerful may sound like a lightweight practice, but it really is both important and effective. Many of us strive to be problem solvers, to do whatever it takes, to be fierce, to be amazing, etc. etc. I am here to encourage you to be cheerful! When you are cheerful, you are unbelievably attractive to practically everyone in your life! Unfortunately, we have decided that it is better to be brilliant, special, etc. than it is to be cheerful. Being cheerful is fun and easy; it’s something anyone can do. You don’t have to be better than the average bear to be cheerful. Being cheerful is strong medicine for so many things. And just because it’s not difficult doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.

  • Practice smiling at your nearest and dearest.
  • Practice smiling at people in the grocery store.
  • Practice greeting people with enthusiasm. Don’t greet them with an “Oh, it’s you” kind of greeting.
  • Act happy to see the people in your life.

“But,” you say, “I am not happy with the people in my life. They are ignoring me. They are not doing what I want. They don’t take my needs seriously. I am NOT going to be cheerful until they ‘get it right’. They need to try harder. Besides, I don’t feel cheerful, so if I act cheerful, it would be dishonest and manipulative. I am supposed to tell my spouse/children/parents/friends about all my problems all the time and get their support.”

I don’t mean to sound snarky, but how is that approach working for you? Do you find that the people in your life change to your specifications? Do you find that the more you complain, the better you feel, and the more support you get? I’m going to take that as a no.

I am giving you some valuable information here! And it is no less valuable because it is so simple. When you are cheerful, the environment around you becomes so much safer. People don’t need to be defensive. They can afford to listen to you and to show you they care about you. You will also be communicating to yourself that there are things in life worth celebrating. You will experience your own life in a more enjoyable way.

Notice I am not telling you to be positive, which we all hear so much, because that seems to come with work attached. There is no extra work involved with being cheerful. Cheerfulness is a tonic to the soul. It will make you feel better, and all the people (and animals) in your life as well.

Give it a try this week and see how much you feel better practicing cheerfulness!