Meaghan B Murphy is the queen of happiness, but “being happy” isn’t what everyone thinks it is.
I received some backlash for my previous posts on anxiety and preventing mental funks. While I would normally wallow in self-pity that someone hurt my feelings, I got over it rather quickly, and decided to turn those negative comments into a positive learning experience. So, thank you to my new critics. I think I’m growing up! It feels neat.
That said, I want to remind you that I write these posts with the intention of making you feel better, and nothing more. I am not pretending to be a mindset expert, nor am I trying to diagnose and cure anyone with a serious mental health disorder. Like Tiffany Roe says:
“Although mental health is serious work, we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.”
This is my approach, as well. This newsletter is meant to uplift, inspire, and motivate you into living your best life as your most fabulous self. If that’s not your cup of tea, please feel free to unsubscribe, and I wish you a long and happy life.
How Do You “Do” Happy?
Meaghan B Murphy is a high-spirited, high-energy, longtime magazine editor who believes toxic positivity is bullshit, admitting that being happy doesn’t mean being happy all the time. Her argument lies in the experience-based fact that doing happy is how we become happier. Her book, Your Fully Charged Life, is a guide to “filling every day with YAY.”
This might sound overly optimistic for some people’s tastes, but I support it. I don’t know about you, but I would rather hang out with someone smiling and laughing than someone rolling their eyes and bitching about their lukewarm coffee.
In an interview with The Newsette (my favorite daily newsletter), Murphy says this:
“The first thing is understanding that you can't be happy unless you do happy, and recognize and acknowledge the actions you can take to feel happier. But understanding what contributes to your well-being is really what it’s about.”
Did that not smack you in the face? You can’t BE happy unless you DO happy. Aka you can’t sit on a park bench willing your way to a happier state of mind. You have to get off the park bench, offer your seat to someone else, and then go do a cartwheel in the grass, so to speak. On the one hand, it’s like DUH. You must take action to see results. And on the other, it’s like alright, how do I “do” happy, then?
Like all self-improvement advice, that answer is subjective, and looks wildly different for everyone. I would say I “do” happy by going to cycle class + reading suspense novels + going to the movies with my husband + dreaming of my future clothing line + lunching with friends + laughing with my sister + experimenting with my style + exploring new restaurants and cities.
Ask Yourself, “How Can I Function Better in the World?”
During a podcast interview with Zibby Owens, founder of the award-winning podcast, Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books, Murphy expands on this idea of “doing happy,” blatantly confessing she is no expert or scientist, but her “doing happy” experiences are indeed backed up by science and psychology.
“You can make active choices to feel and be and do happy,” she says. “And then it becomes addicting, not a chore. I know I function better in the world when I get great sleep, move my body, put on a swipe of mascara, and wear something colorful with a lightening bolt. It’s all about looking at what makes you tick and doing more of that. And eventually, doing happy becomes automatic.”
What makes me love her most is that she thinks of her wardrobe as a costume, stating she dresses the way she wants to feel — which, in most cases, is in bright colors.
I feel like I have met my person. Finally.
Questions For You
What are your tricks for feeling good? Are you doing them?
If you’re feeling “off” right now, what changes can you make to feel better?
What active choices are you making (or not making) to bring more meaning to your life?
Are you living how you want to live, or how someone else expects you to live?
Thank you for reading today!
I hope you found today’s post helpful. Hit reply to this email and let me know how you are “doing happy.” I would love to do a follow-up post on how different people “do happy,” with the intention of providing women with different perspectives on how they can infuse more fun and enjoyment into their everyday.
See you next week.
Be you (even if it pisses some people off)