Yesterday I had the honor of being a guest on a podcast about mental health (and health in general) specifically in the WordPress space. I’m pretty much an open book. I don’t hide my struggles. I don’t sugar coat my problems.
I mean I don’t just go on and on about them either.
But I was talking about depression and anxiety, and Nathan asked me if I really am this cheerful or if I effect a mask of sorts for the world.
The truth is a little of both.
I am cheerful because I choose to be (and I am fortunate that I am able to choose so – not everyone can). But it is, indeed, true cheerfulness. I honestly seek out things in every day that bring me joy. Mostly these come in the forms of kindness and creativity. Things like writing a blog post, crafting a funny tweet, or drawing some zen doodling.
The other part of the truth is that no one is cheerful 100% of the time. I have down times. I have times when anxiety and dread creep in. I experience depression. My lows might be lower than what “normal” people experience. But, hey, what is “normal” anyway?
But one thing, for sure, that has helped me be cheerful, is focusing on being kind.
This morning I was speaking to someone on the phone and she commented that I was speaking too quickly and was only understanding every third word. So I slowed down and started to repeat what I had said.
She snapped at me with “I got that, I’m not a (vile word I won’t repeat).” I made myself smile, continue the conversation, answer her questions, and finish the call.
What I wanted to do was reach through the phone, grab her by the collar, and say “We don’t use that word.” Instead I smiled, let that emotion pass, and finished the call showing her kindness, and allowing myself to move past it.
Kindness breeds cheer.
So while I’m human, and things definitely get under my skin, I try to focus on positive things, kind things, kind people, and creativity. Because those things allow me to be happy and cheerful.
Hoping you can find cheerfulness in your life, too.