This year there are two months of Adar because it is a Jewish leap year.

And we know when there are two months of Adar, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, the idea of simcha is even stronger. The Rebbe said that simcha poretz geder, breaks barriers. And since there is a concept of botul bshishim (nullification within 60, as, for example, when something non kosher is nullified with 60 times of kosher food) then also in a leap year, all negative thingsand undesirable elements are nullified within the 60 days of simcha in Adar.

But how do we accomplish feeling bsimcha in general?
It is not so easy to just tell someone to become happy. How do we do that?

If someone is feeling sad or anxious or depressed or worried, how can they simply switch to feeling happy?

The first thing to realize is that the feeling of sadness or anxiety etc. is not coming from the G-dly soul. It is coming from the animal soul. And it is not more of a true feeling than happiness is. We do not have to give so much credibility to our negative feelings. 

When we realize our negative feelings are not truthful, are not an expression of our G-dly selves, we realize we do not have to perpetrate those feelings. We do not have to hold on to them. They don’t define who we are or what our situation is.

We may be responding to various situations in our lives, but a response of sadness or depression is only one possible response. We have a choice to be happy as well, realizing that every challenge we go through is from Hashem and is for a good purpose and we are in Hashem’s hands at all times. So happiness or simcha comes from the G-dly soul and is much  more appropriate than any negative feelings.

Sometimes shaking a negative feeling is very difficult, but we have to make the effort: smile more, try to laugh more even if we have nothing particular to laugh about. We have to even try to dance, to sing, to do anything to increase positive happy feelings. When you increase positive activities and thoughts automatically you increase feelings of happiness.

And we also need to cultivate a feeling of gratitude for the good we have, and of course to thank Hashem for all the problems we do NOT have. That in itself is very helpful. Once we realize what we can be grateful for much of our sadness will disappear automatically.

We tend to concentrate on ourselves: on what we want, what we need, what we feel we are missing . And many times we are frustrated with our situation in life, or we feel helpless to change things.

But we still can achieve happiness by realizing that Hashem runs the world and our purpose in creation is specifically tailored to what He sees we can accomplish and what we need to purify ourselves and therefore whatever we go through should be seen in a positive way. We then can start to be happy just because we are Jewish and we have a mission to serve our Creator and to do good.

There is always something good we can do and feel happy about, even if it is just to say a prayer for another person who is suffering, saying some tehillim, giving charity to someone in need etc. etc. When we add in deeds of goodness and kindness we feel fulfilled and we have a reason to feel happy, despite our own difficulties.

So let’s all make the effort to feel happy. It is not Adar yet, but we can already get in the habit of being happy. When a person shows a shining happy countenance down here, the same happy countenance is shown to him from Above.