There are so many beautiful things in this world, so many beautiful people, so much love. Even if this life gets a little cramped and crooked sometimes, it’s all we’ve got and there are so many things to love about it. You just have to learn how to see the light. Yes, I know being happy is hard. It’s temperamental. It’s exhausting. I hope one day being happy doesn’t have to be so hard.
- Invest in relationships. Surround yourself with happy people. Being around people who are content lifts your own mood too! In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Surround yourself only with people who will lift you higher”. Although it’s easy to take friends and family for granted, these relationships need nurturing. Let people know that you appreciate what they do for you or even just that you’re glad they’re part of your life.
- Express gratitude. Gratitude is more than saying thank you. It’s a sense of wonder, appreciation and, yes, thankfulness for life. Often, it takes a serious illness or other tragic event to jolt people into appreciating the good things in their lives. Don’t wait for something like that to happen to you. Make a commitment to practice gratitude. Each day identify at least one thing that enriches your life.
- Cultivate optimism. Develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things. Bad things do happen (it would be silly to pretend otherwise), but you don’t have to let the negatives color your whole outlook on life. Start by recognizing negative thoughts as you have them. Then take a step back and ask yourself these key questions: Is the situation really as bad as I think? Is there another way to look at the situation? What can I learn from this experience that I can use in the future?
- Live in the moment. Don’t postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful. That day may never come. Instead, look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
I am consistently learning new ways to be happy every single day of my life. Happiness should be practiced. I am not always happy; humans can never always be happy. I experience sadness, anger, jealousy, etc., but having a solid base of happiness and optimism to lean on really, truly helps me not dwell on negative emotions for too long. You just have to train yourself. It takes time. Baby steps. Tackle one thing at a time.