When people feel unhappy or depressed they often stop doing things. They don’t feel motivated to work or go out so they don’t.
You know how when you’re happy, you tend to smile? Most people also know smiling makes you feel happier, at least for a moment. Forcing a smile won’t solve all your problems, but we can build on what it demonstrates. Not only does emotion motivate behavior, but behavior influences mood.
While brief behavior influences emotion briefly, longer term behavior influences emotion long term. To keep your mood stable, keep up your habits consistently. It may not make your life perfect, but it helps a lot. It gives you a solid platform to build the rest of your life on.
I’ve written about my routine habits and the exercises I do twice daily without exception. My emotions are like everyone else’s — sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down. When my mood is down and I feel discouraged, lazy, or depressed, I make sure to keep up my routine — I exercise, eat, shave, and everything as I would. I don’t always feel like starting to exercise, but I’m always glad afterward for having done it.
Since emotions influence behavior and behavior influences emotions, if you start things getting happier, you can get them to spiral ever happier for a while. This is one of the main values of discipline.
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