I know it's not considered cool to show emotion these days. When you start dating someone or when you're applying for a job, or hell, when you're walking down the street by yourself, you're supposed to keep your cool. Not show your hand. Maintain a poker face.
I say, screw that.
One of my favorite things about myself (that I'm pretty sure is a result of my acting training) is that I feel things and that I allow myself to feel things. Feeling things is fun. It's great to be happy, it's useful to be sad, it can be cathartic to get really angry for a short while. And I love that I'm the sort of person who lets herself be affected by things. Even the little things. Especially the little things.
There have been some seemingly minor things in my life lately that have been bringing me immense joy and I want to take a moment to acknowledge them. Mostly, they have to do with the people around me choosing to invest their time and energy in me and then letting me know that not only do they not regret the investment, but feel that they have received a significant return on investment by doing so. I know, I know, it sounds so clinical when I say it that way, but I think we're all used to the level of anonymity I like to maintain in these posts. What I mean is that I feel appreciated in my personal and professional lives at the moment, and that the simple kindness of these people letting me know I am appreciated in actions and in words moves me to tears sometimes. Usually when it would be really inappropriate to start crying. But I love that the impulse is there.
So my advice to you would be this. Find one small thing in your life that makes you happy. Put your music-listening device on shuffle and let your smile take over your face when your favorite song comes on when you weren't expecting it. Let yourself take thirty seconds in the middle of your work day to think about how you can make best friend or lover smile that day. Treat yourself to your favorite sandwich. Forget about everything else you have to do and just enjoy playing catch or tug of war with your dog for a few minutes. Find one small thing that makes you happy. And revel in that joy. Treat that small thing as if it were the most important thing in all the world. Because it is. For you, in that moment, all you have to do is feel joy.
Once you master that, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to find joy when you need it. And how easy it is to give to others, too.