My cousin and I laugh big belly laughs when people tell obvious lies. It’s stupid, it wastes energy, but more important, I find admitting your truths is a quick hack to feel happier.
To understand why, let’s think about putting new roofs on houses, and dating online.
Repair the roof, don’t just cover up stains
A couple of years ago, while unemployed for two years, I scrimped to live on my savings. Disaster struck. Within months I had to buy two new roofs–one for my residence and one for my rental property.
I did not want to lay out that much money. It felt like the worst of times. But what were my options?
I could have covered up the stains on my ceiling. Cheaper at the moment, but more costly overall. Unchecked moisture in a house causes rot and decay and attracts pests. It’s just not good business to paint over stains in the ceiling without first fixing the roof. Yet we often attempt that in our personal lives.
- Have news you fear others may not like? Don’t cover it up. It will come out, and you damage your credibility and trust by withholding it.
- Did your business, finances, or personal life fall apart? People will understand. Everyone has gone through something similar. Sometimes the deepest bonds rise from painful, real communication.
This year as you gather during the holidays, let trusted friends and family see your stained ceiling and offer compassion and care.
If you’re 5’ 6″ don’t pretend to be 5’ 10”
This kind of lie is hard to pull off. You know, because as soon as someone sees you the jig is up. Still, I’m surprised how often people try.
In the dark ages of the early 2000s, I attempted to meet my soulmate online. Everyone has a story about lies in online dating. Men complain about women who use pictures showing them fifty pounds lighter and/or ten years younger. I learned that men who stand less than five foot nine always add at least two inches to the height in their profile. I don’t get it, height is a stupid thing about which to lie. Lie about your job, your income, or heaven help us your marital status, and you can get by with it for a time. Lie about your height and I know the instant we meet!
To the employer you’re tempted to cheat, the friends who think you earn more money than you do, the family members from whom you try to hide your addiction…stop.
It’s often not an easy hack to feel happier, but honest authenticity is a quick hack to feel happier. When you stop pretending and stop hiding your true self, there’s an instant sense of a weight being lifted.
Suppressing feelings and truths requires an enormous amount of emotional energy. That’s why I believe journaling boost the health of both your mind and your body.
Health Benefits of Journaling
Writing about a past stressful event helps moderate release of the stress hormone cortisol and may allow an individual to experience a new stressor as less stressful. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00045/full It can help reduce symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10208146/ Journaling may even aid efforts to lose weight https://deborahrankinrd.com/journaling-for-weight-loss/
Like drinking poison, lying hurts the person who does it.
Live in your life
One warning: sometimes the encouragement to be more honest is received as an invitation to let it all out and tell everyone else exactly what you think of them. Umm, not really. I’m talking about being real with your stuff, your mistakes, your struggles. The best quick hack to feel happier is to live honestly in your life, not to spend your time calling out the problems in others’.
This year, fix that roof instead of painting over a stained ceiling. Be proud of your height and don’t add to it.
If you’d like help being more consistent with daily journaling, grab my free infographic “How to Keep Journaling When Every Day Is Different.” Just put your first name and email in the box below, and I’ll send it to you.
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