Can You Be Happy During a Pandemic?
Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash
I woke this morning grateful for a good night’s sleep, excited to go downstairs, put on the coffee and get my day going.
Then I remembered
Then I remembered the corona virus and all it’s implications: death and sickness, no work or money coming in, shortages in the stores, no hugs from my grandchildren or fun gatherings with friends. Cancellations and closings and restrictions. Uncertainty. More uncertainty than I’ve ever known in my seventy plus years.
Well, I said to myself, so what! I can still get the coffee going and do all my little morning routines. I can wake my husband and we will enjoy watching whatever kind of sunrise surprises us today. There are things to look for, things to savor. Just the quietness of the morning and the prospect of a new day full of possibilities. Limited and restricted possibilities, surely. Maybe it will be ok.
Well, I said to myself, so what!
I do tend to be perennially optimistic, an attitude I got from my cheerful mother. I consider it an asset. It helps to self-correct my occasional spirals into depression. I try not to be too annoying and Pollyanna-like when others feel down. But being miserable is not my natural home base.
You have some control over your happiness.
We are each born with a particular balance of neurotransmitters which play a big role in our moods. And we are also products of the people who raised us in our developing years. What we learned then about how to act in relationships and how to respond to stressors plays another role in who we are and how we act and feel.
But our moods are also a product of our thinking habits. And this is one thing we can change. We can control how we think and where we focus most of our attention. (We even have the ability to alter unconscious assumptions that are at the foundation of our thought. Some of this may require quite a bit of unearthing and rearranging and practicing, probably with a professional. But it can be done)