Act the way you want to feel

I’m really behind on my page-a-day calendars because I’d been – understandably – busy with school.  I’ve been going through Gretchen Rubin’s “A Happier 2017” when I came across something that interested me.

It’s from February 13:

Although we think our actions stem from our feelings, in fact, our feelings stem from the way we act.

As someone who deals with anxiety and depression, I can say that, on the surface at least, this doesn’t quite ring true.  I’d love to snap out of my anxiety and depression simply by acting differently.  It’s not that simple.

However, after thinking about the concept, something else occurred to me:  where does my optimism come from?  Honestly, I have no idea.  If I knew, I could write a book about it and then I’d be rich.  But I really don’t know.

Optimism is something that has always seemed to come naturally to me.  I can be going through some really hard times, but I won’t give up.  Somehow, I just know that I’ll be able to come out on the other side of it.

That’s not to say that I haven’t gone to dark places.  Believe me, I have.  And they suck.  But I’ve always been able to pull myself back from the edge and stop myself from doing something drastic.

However, optimism isn’t always a good thing.  Sometimes it gets me in trouble.  My positivity can make it seem like I don’t take something seriously even when I do.  Just because I’m not freaking out about something doesn’t mean I don’t care about it.  I used to freak out about things all the time, and it didn’t get me anywhere.  I have since learned to relax.  At least a little bit.

So, in some ways, optimism is one of my coping mechanisms.  I prefer to believe in myself and believe that things are going to get better.  People may not understand it, and that’s okay; I’m used to that.  I don’t even understand it half the time

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