I'm going to be completely honest and admit that trying to be happy this past week was a struggle. There was no particular reason for me to be sad. I know that sadness is a perfectly acceptable emotion, but to remain that way for several days is not so fun. I've learned that when my mind is in an unhealthy state, I cannot allow myself to be idle.
Being idle means too much brooding. I get stuck in a spiral of negative thoughts, and pulling myself out takes a special recipe of productivity, socializing, and time. I cannot even meditate unless it is a fully guided session.
So if you're like me, don't dwell. Keep yourself busy. Figure out your special recipe. For me, at least, that is the short-term solution. As for the long-term solution, I'm going to do my best to follow Pema Chodron's advice.
“The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.”
Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
That last part about withdrawing? That's exactly my issue! It's tough, so I'm going to have to practice. A lot. (Check out my friend's thoughts on practice and perfection.)
P.S. I read Living Beautifully a few months ago, and it was begrudgingly eye-opening. I highly recommend it to the entire human race. :)