Set Your Emostat to Happy (3:27)

Young@HeartSet your Emostat on "Happy"


In this week's Young@Heart article and video, I wrote about setting our intention to be happy regardless of our circumstances.

I wonder if the guy who invented the thermostat got the idea from his own emotional meter. Consider an emostat. Instead of temperatures imagine words on a meter with emotions like miserable, overwhelmed, worried, desperate, optimistic, hopeful, happy, and blissful.

When I think about the happy people I know personally, one of the attributes they seem to have in common is a wonderful outlook on life. It’s like they have an emostat that’s programmed for joy and contentment no matter what happens to them. Unfortunately many of us have emostats set on negative emotions, but we can always reprogram them for happy by deciding to practice being joyful regardless of the forces outside of us. What’s interesting about setting an intention of being happy all the time, is when something pulls you from that place you know it and you can kick in and put yourself back on happy. Abraham Lincoln said: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Is your emostat properly adjusted?

There’s no guesswork in knowing your emostat is off. When you realize it consider these four things first; Am I thirsty? Am I hungry? Am I tired? Do I need some fresh air? Usually one of those four deficiencies will affect your emostat. When those four elements are taken seriously and taken care of, it’s much easier to stay on happy.

It can sound selfish to consider your happiness as a priority when there are people in your life who think they need you to consider theirs first. I like to call it enlightened selfishness, because when you take care of your emotions first then you are in a position to serve others in joy. If you don’t keep yourself healthy and happy you can’t be of the best service to others.

When was the last time you smiled at yourself in the mirror? In Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise one of our rules
when Peggy and I got organized was to shower, dress all the way to shoes and put on makeup first thing in the morning.

Excerpt from the book: One woman returned to class with this story: “I got up like you said we have to do, and I showered, shampooed my hair, and put my makeup on. I felt wonderful! I went to wake up my teenage son, and he said, ‘Aw, Mom, you slept in your clothes!’”

I remember it was even a bit of a shock to us to pass ourselves in a mirror and catch a glimpse of a stranger in our house. We began complimenting ourselves for looking so nice. “Oh, now don’t you look pretty!” We felt a little strange at first, giving complements to our image in the mirror, but we decided we needed some positive strokes. Was it egotistical to tell ourselves how well we were doing? NO! We decided that if egotistical people would take some time to tell themselves they were “all right,” maybe they wouldn’t’ have to tell everybody else. To quote Lincoln again, “Everybody likes a compliment.”happiness_file

Now go look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love YOU and how nice you look, smile and set your emostat on HAPPY. Oh, and get a drink of water, get some fresh air, a bite to eat and go to bed at a decent hour.

newestsigHappiness all 12 Months of the Year

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