A Strange Way to be Instantly Happier (That Most People Won’t Do)

by Rachel Miller

November 16, 2021

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When you absolutely do not feel like doing something, it can feel impossible to force yourself to do it. It’s hard to follow through, especially when there’s an easier option right in front of you. And it’s even harder when you don’t have to. And why would you? Why make things harder on yourself? Why voluntarily choose the discomfort when you don’t have to?

It’s hard to negotiate with yourself when you have a perfect reason to choose the comfortable option. “Listen to your body,” we say. And yes, we should, but is our body always right? Is what our body feels right now the best option? It’s hard to do what your body repels, what you don’t want to do, but the outcome speaks for itself: what you feel like doing isn’t always the most satisfying option–often, it’s the opposite.

Here’s what I find so fascinating: a mysterious happiness arises when we choose to do what we least feel like doing. You absolutely don’t want to do it, but you do it anyway. You feel uncomfortable, but you feel unstoppable. You feel energized, free. You know that no one is making you do this thing–you are doing it voluntarily. You know that you could pull the plug at any time, but still, you press on. It’s strangely elating to do the very thing you don’t feel like doing.

Consider:

  • Choose to do what you least feel like doing. Choose regularly throughout the day. Especially the small choices and actions. The choices themselves don’t matter—the more trivial, the better! They mean daily opportunities to get better at choosing discomfort and daily opportunities for happiness in return.

  • The more often you choose the difficult thing, the better you get. It gets easier and easier with time and repetition. You ingrain and automate the decision. It’s no longer a conundrum, but a habit.

  • When feelings are no longer a barrier, you can choose to do what you really want–what you wish you would do. You no longer fear the discomfort–you know you can handle it. You no longer hold yourself back–you know you will see it through. When you know nothing can deter you—no pain, discomfort, or even your self—that is happiness. You’re the one calling the shots and your options are endless. You can choose what you want, because feelings no longer stand in your way.

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