“Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”Daphne du Maurier
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being but however, a lot of external factors can contribute to its entirety. But whether or not those factors are powerful enough to influence our will power is what I want to emphasize. External conditions no doubt, such as our social systems, can have a lot to do with our feelings of happiness, contentment and satisfaction in life. As our social systems continue to privilege some groups over others, it seems almost unfair to say that happiness comes from within. However, from the perspective of someone who cares a lot about, personal responsibility, growth and empowerment, the way we perceive the world is largely dependent on our inner state of mind and we have to search for that source of happiness from within us regardless because happiness doesn’t come to us but from inside us. First of all, we must acknowledge that happiness is a state of mind, which can stem from positive and good emotions and most importantly can be created by us. A state of mind can be created by external factors that have influence in our life, but most importantly a state of mind can be created by ourselves and since we can create our state of mind, then we can create our happiness. For our emotions are as a result of our thoughts and happiness is within our grasps but sometimes just out of our reach. The harsh truth is not everyone cares about your feelings or what you think. Yes, all of the social injustice and unfair treatments notwithstanding but in the end, you don’t expect another person or the society to make you happy.
Both happiness and well-being are important and necessary part of our lives as an individual. For both of these bring about the positive feelings of joy, satisfaction and pleasure. No doubt in real life, we come across some sort of stress and frustration every now and them either at our workplace or at our homes and as a result, we lose control of our thoughts and then give access to negative thoughts. Once a negative thought is developed in our mind, it is quite difficult to think positive and be happy.
Have you been unhappy for a long time? Remaining in this state for a long time can be harmful to our body and mind. We all crave to be happy but how do we achieve it? It is very common a lot of people in their search for happiness, search for it not within themselves but in other people and in material things. Happiness coming from material things is only temporary, is not really happiness but just pleasure. If we rely on happiness from material things, our pursuit of happiness will never end. Though our experience of happiness sometimes appears to be coming from an outer source or event, the true happiness always comes from deep within us hence we need to stop believing that we need to have a reason to be happy.
You might not experience much happiness in your life right now, but there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of finding it. According to Greek Philosophers, success is not the main cause of happiness but virtuous characters which are stable and enduring and are not products of fortune is; happiness does not bring success because a very rich person may be unhappy and a poor person may be happy. Money, fame, power, prestige, property are good but they only tend to provide us with a limited sense of well-being. So they argue that happiness cannot consist simply in “external goods” or “goods of fortune,” for these goods are external to our own choosing and deciding.
Even though some believe that external factors decide our happiness while others like myself are of the notion that happiness thus comes from within us. I believe it’s what makes us different and human. The bottom line is we all want to feel happy or don’t we? though we all have different ways of getting there.
Here are 6 great steps you can take to increase and bring more happiness into your life:
1. Forget the past, focus on the present and be hopeful for the future
“Don’t let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.” Unknown
Always remember, you only have control over what is in your hands. The past is gone and the future is beyond your reach. Always remember this and remind yourself constantly that yesterday is a memory that is long gone and we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. If you feel sad or when life feels hard, remember nothing last forever and someday “this too shall pass” and you will smile and be happy again. When you suddenly notice your mood is changed and you are not feeling happy or excited, instead of transferring aggression as it’s called, relax and look inward and find that happiness that can only come from within you. Look inward to know exactly what is the cause of that unhappiness that you feel, perhaps you might find the cause and maybe that you are having a negative feeling, it’s important that you replace those negative vibes with positive ones immediately. Always remember to find that happy spot because no one is going to do that for you. If you could develop this kind of mindset, you’ll definitely not miss a great deal of happiness in your life. Don’t let what has happened yesterday to ruin how you feel today.
2. Stop comparing your life with someone else
“Don’t underestimate your worth by comparing yourself with others.” Jaachynma N.E Agu
Ultimately, much of our unhappiness comes from us looking onto other people’s life and neglecting ours. We focus on comparing and competing instead of creating the future we desire for ourselves. Not having something we desire right now does not make us any less but when we constantly remind ourselves of these needs absolutely does and this can mess with our feelings and before you realized you become frustrated and unhappy. We tend to lose our self-worth when we attach it to anything or anyone. Looking at what others have that you don’t instead of developing yourself brings unhappiness. Comparing yourself with another person doesn’t move you farther, or solve your problems it only fuels your feelings of inadequacy and ultimately keeps you stuck. Everyone has their unique journey in life and there is no one particular right path neither are you on a wrong or right path. Just because you are not doing what other people are doing doesn’t mean you are failing it only mean that you are different.
3. Accept what you can’t change
“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” Dodinsky
Most unhappiness we experience in life comes from holding to things we cannot change instead of letting go. To experience true happiness in life, you need to assess your life. What is making you unhappy? Are their negative patterns you have formed in your life that keeps playing in your brain? Try to assess what aspects of your life adds to you in a positive way and those aspects which drain your energy then you can detract from those that don’t add any positive value or impact. Even if it doesn’t feel good, change is inevitable and will always happen, so make plans and emotionally prepare yourself for those unfavourable experiences. Let go of what you can’t change do more with what’s in front of you.
4. Associate with happy people
“Happiness is meeting an old friend after a long time and feeling that nothing has changed.” Unknown
Research has shown that happiness is contagious. That means that people are happier if they are around other happy people. Being always around sadist or miserable people or friends it’s a recipe for unhappiness and social network matters a lot in this aspect. So engage in things that make you happy and befriend and spend your time with people who are always happy. Well, that is not to say that you ignore friends who are going through a difficult time in their life but that you shouldn’t have or be around friends who are miserable or constantly in a sad mood for this can also affect your mood in no time.
5. Find your passion
“Man is only truly great when he acts from his passions.” Benjamin Disraeli
This simply implies that you should look for the things you love and do them and love what you do. Choose a profession or job that drives you and one that you enjoy. If you are stuck in a miserable profession or a job, find a way to change your circumstance and come out of it. Being part of something bigger than yourself can make you a lot happier. Some philosophers have argued that once people’s basic needs are met, they become more interested in things like achievements, freedom of expression, the pursuit of moral excellence and other tangible concepts. Those who believe they are contributing to the well-being of humanity tend to feel better about their lives. Most people want to be part of something greater than they are, simply because it’s fulfilling. Life isn’t made up of many big decisions, but several small ones.
6. Develop an attitude of gratitude
“It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Rast
Gratitude is the quickest and most effective way to turn your negative attitude into a more positive one. Having an attitude of gratitude is what opens doors of love and prosperity in your life and also gives you a sense of self-worth and satisfaction. Learn to be grateful to others and also to the simple things in your life. Be grateful for what you have and how far you’ve come in life no matter where you are or what you have achieved. Your life is way more honourable than most people and there are people out there who wish to be where you are. For there is always something to be thankful for, learn to see the good in everything, be grateful for the little things and big things will show up. Look at your life and take stock of what’s working, and don’t push away something just because it isn’t working or perfect. Most especially be grateful for Life because that is what makes you different from someone that is dead and gone.