It’s a classic chicken-and-the-egg conundrum: do you need resilience to be happy or do you need to be happy in order to be resilient?
Let’s say you’re bopping around, feeling your happy-go-lucky self, singing love songs in the shower. And then…disaster strikes (imagine something that can really get you down for the count). Bah bah bum.
What now? How much does that vast storehouse of good feelings last you?
Chances are that, if you’re all aces, you’ve got a few arrows of good habits stored in your quiver o’ joy. You may be meditating. You may be exercising. You may be journaling. Whatever your habits of choice are, those help to temper the shitstorm rumbling in overhead.
Just because you’re happy or been that way for a while, doesn’t mean you don’t experience negative feelings like anger, guilt, rage, or jealousy. Happy or sad, people experience about the same amount of positive and negative feelings—it’s just that happier people choose how they’re going to view the presence of those feelings in their life.
It’s probably a safe guess that when you’re happy, you’re enjoying the company of some trusted and valued friends—the ones you throw a beer back with, the ones you share BFF charm necklaces with, the ones you form a Super Pac with. Those same friends can be awesome sounding boards and social supports when things start getting a little rough for you.
Now, on the other hand, say you find yourself in the throes of this disaster sitch. At some point, you choose that you want to get out of how unhappy you’re feeling. You could choose to be miserable and let whatever it is get you down or you choose to hop on the get-me-the-hell-out-of-this bandwagon. However murky that path is, getting through it and on the other side is a great confidence and self-esteem booster.
Remember those amigos and amigas you were snagging ice cream and doing shots with? Well, you and those blessed souls who had your back have made it through this journey together. Your relationship is even deeper and stronger than it would have been otherwise, which is kinda nice and probably would make you a bit (or a lot) happier.
And when you’ve gone through some kind of disaster, chances are that bad taste in your mouth will lead you on to new paths—that is, new behaviors or new friends possibly. You may take on a different perspective about what that experience meant to you, perhaps something more meaningful and one that offers you a greater appreciation for life.