11/19/2013 06:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Be an Animal! Act on Instinct

If my dog walks into a room, and something feels off, she just turns and walks out. She doesn't worry about whose feelings she might hurt, or what anyone will say about her after she goes, she just gets the hell out of there.

Man is the only animal who ignores his own instincts. Why do we do that? How many times in life do we find ourselves up a creek in a situation that we knew felt wrong when we got into it?

Have you ever hit "Send" when something in the back of your mind said you shouldn't? Went ahead and signed the loan documents because you didn't want to be embarrassed in front of the salesman, even though the payments seemed too high, then discovered that you'd just bought the undercoating? Let someone talk you out of breaking up, only to prolong the inevitable, losing months or years of potential happiness with someone else?

A huge element of learning happiness is knowing when to listen to yourself. As humans, we've been evolving for millions of years, and not just our physical form, but our brain power, too. If something feels wrong, chances are it is wrong and your body knows it, so stop plunging ahead, forcing yourself to finish something just because you started it, or because someone expects it of you, or because you keep telling yourself it's the right thing to do, even though you doubt that's true.

Honor your instincts. Gut feelings. Women's intuition. Whatever you want to call it, give yourself the freedom to say, "I don't know why this doesn't feel right, but it doesn't so I'm not going to do it. Sorry. Sayonara."

You may regret the decision, or you may be much happier, but most of the time, you will never know. You will never know if your choice was for the better or the worse, and you have no way of knowing the long-term results, so decide to just be happy. Tell yourself it was the right thing to do and move on.
We know in our hearts what's good for us, and in our heads, and in our guts. We just have to overcome the noise that interferes with our ability to act on instinct.

From now on, I'm going to behave like a German Shepherd. If it feels wrong, I will get out and not look back. After all, I know of few creatures in the world as happy as my dog, and maybe, just maybe, trusting her gut is the reason.

For a guidebook in achieving lasting, permanent happiness, check out "Happiness as a Second Language," a Happiness Top Seller on Amazon. For added fun, watch The Happiest Book Trailer Ever, and for even more happiness, please visit Speak, and follow Speak Happiness on Facebook and Twitter.

For more by Valerie Alexander on Huffington Post, click here.

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