Should one pretend to be happy even when one is not. Why ? Are there any advantages?
This is a good question that I've pondered myself. I find that pretending is also highly dependent upon the situation as you would not want to worry others with what's ailing you but it is also very important to be true to yourself. I think the advantage of pretending to be happy even when you are not is that sometimes pretending does help lift your spirits however, it's certainly not a cure all for the real problems that lead to not being happy. So, if you're not addressing the real problems you may just be left with nothing but pretending.
I think it depends on the situation. If you're invited to a party, graduation, or something like that and you go even when you're not happy, you should at least pretend to be while you're there. Otherwise, I think people (men and women) need to let other people know how they feel. Keeping everything bottled up all the time is going to lead to problems down the road.
Sometimes it is good to pretend that you are happy even when you are not but also sometimes you have to address the situation you are in, in order to be happy. It is no good pretending to be happy on the outside but so miserable inside. Best thing to do is find what makes you happy be it people, things or places.
To answer your question, I would say yes on some occasions and no on some occasions. It depends on what situation you are pretending on. To seek happiness is our choice not others. So it is up to us to feel happy or to be happy in every situation.
If you like being happy then you should act happy even when you are not. Breath like a happy person, use good posture, talk like a happy person and think like a happy person. People have a lot of control over how they feel. Simply changing the way you breath can make a big difference.
Acting like a happy person can make you happier. The main advantages are that you would feel better, be healthier and spend less time being unhappy. I practice being relaxed and happy.
From a mental health perspective I would say there some advantages to "fake it until you make it". Most of depression is centered on the "here and now". People believe tomorrow will be just like today so they refuse to get their hopes up, visualize anything better, or affirm they are feeling better.
The first step to having a better future is being able to "imagine" having one and what they will feel like while you're still in the present. Whatever we tend to focus on is what see more of and experience more of.
Having said that everyone experiences the "blues" from time to time. However we do have a choice as to how long we want to have our "pity party".
The only real cure I know of for depression is taking action!
The action may vary depending on what is causing the depression or unhappiness. Sometimes it's just researching to find solutions to a problem, seeking out professional guidance, going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, going to the gym, reading a book, going to a movie, or simply going to sleep.
I often tell myself the following after a major disappointment which causes me to feel unhappy: "A year from now you'll be laughing at this". Subtly it makes me start to think in future tense as if what I'm feeling today is "temporary". What we tell ourselves is very important because it becomes our beliefs.
Just about everyone in an competitive situation or a person who went from rags to riches had to (imagine) a future where they won or beat the odds. The old adage "seeing is believing" should be probably be replaced with "believing is seeing". Feeling/believing as though you already have something is the start of making it a reality. Granted no one gets (everything) they want but odds are one is not going to get much of anything until they start to "act/believe" they will. You have tune out negativity as much as possible. Look for positive things and you'll feel positive.
"I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."
- Muhammad Ali
Sundeep....This a very good time for me to try to express my answer to this question. For some "unknown" reason, for the past 18 months, anything that could possibly go wrong in my life....has gone wrong. To put it mildly, I have been pushed far beyond my saturation point....which is fairly rare due to my tolerant & peace-loving nature. (Those who do not truly know my heart may choose to disagree with that statement, because I am also vocal and passionate on many fronts) Their "opinions" do not however, change the facts of my very nature.
Coming from a very personal level as opposed to basing my comment in general terms.....I have had to deal with the choice of being happy or unhappy, in spite of all outside influence.
Making the decision to be HAPPY is most often automatic.....quite simply, IMO this is like answering "Do you wish to be ill or well?" So, we can see the choice is an easy, natural one.
Putting this choice into action on a daily basis can be the struggle. I have a little problem with the word, "pretend," since this might indicate putting on a false front or being a "phony."
It's actually quite the OPPOSITE. It is a natural desire to be happy and sane, mature individuals prefer happiness to any and all negative emotion. So, IMHO, being happy, appearing to be happy, expressing happiness is merely maintaining a natural choice of being. We must not "pretend" nor do I believe people can do this convincingly.
To be clear, of course the reason for unhappiness and the level of it as well, are very crucial to understand. There is a time for authentic grief and sorrow, where no amount of "happy," comes into the picture.
Yet, even at that, Sundeep, we are deeply saddened by a particular event.....which does NOTnecessarily cause us to be completely despondent in any and all areas of our lives. (eg...I can sincerely grieve the loss of a loved one yet at the same time, find much joy and comfort in embracing a grandchild)
Per your question? One CAN and should strive to find the positive throughout the most negative of experiences......smile through tears....and continue to love in a world filled with hate.
The advantages are limitless.....and beats the HECK out of being terminally miserable.
Did I answer your question, Sundeep? Peace my friend, Paula
I work in a treatment prison and we teach our Offenders in the beginning to fake it till you make it. It has been determined that if you practice something long enough it will became natural for you to do it. As they progress in there program they do begin to feel genuine happiness. You can actually see it, it comes on over night.
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