Today, as you know, is Election Day! Depending on the results, half of the population might not be thrilled with the outcome. That is a LOT of people... and a LOT of emotions. While being cheerful is probably something most may consider to be impossible amidst these circumstances, it is POSSIBLE and it's the right thing to do.
You may think that cheerfulness is a trait... something that just comes naturally to some people... those with sunny dispositions, who always see the good. If that's truly the case, we give up responsibility for it, as if we have no power to change. But, we DO the power to change and we actually do have responsibility for it,
therefore, cheerfulness is NOT a personality trait, but a CHOICE! And we should practice that choice, as it's something our world desperately needs.
It can be HARD acting cheerfully when we don’t feel cheerful and the circumstances of life don’t cooperate with our wishes. It’s precisely when things are rough that it matters the most, though. That’s when it's the most admirable and helpful.
In a wonderful article entitled, "Cheerfulness is not a personality trait, it's a virtue", author Nick Wignall says that, "Cheerfulness means choosing to act in a cheerful way despite how we feel because it’s the right thing to do." You may be thinking, "well isn't that being fake or disingenuous?" Good question! The answer... no!
Wignall explains, "Acting cheerfully despite feeling upset isn’t suppression; it’s character.!"
"Suppression is when we deliberately avoid a certain emotion because we’re afraid of it. If we were to act cheerfully because we were afraid of feeling irritable or sad, that would be suppression. In suppression, the object of our action is our feelings, specifically, avoidance of them.
Character or virtue, on the other hand, is recognizing that we feel one way (irritated, sad, afraid, etc.) and deciding to act according to our values despite those feelings pulling us in another direction.
Suppression is about making ourselves feel good. Character is about doing good."
We have character, America! We can do this, regardless of who wins. We are strong and capable and we value goodness and cooperation. If we live by these VALUES, then choosing to be cheerful just makes sense and it is in alignment with who we are.
Be sure not to downplay the benefits of this type of outlook and perspective. It can loosen up your muscles and lower your stress levels. That is good any way you look at it... especially from our perspective in chiropractic care!
So, no matter the outcome of today's election, no matter which candidate you would prefer, it is possible to choose cheerfulness. To see today as an opportunity to do more good, to choose hope for the future of our country, to recognize our own abilities to make lasting change, and to act in accordance with our personal values.
So, what can YOU do to see the good today? How will YOU choose to be cheerful?
You get to decide!