Although this is a long awaiting post that I have been meaning to share with you all, (along with, “How to Avoid Stress” which will follow shortly), after having recently stumbled on a “How I Became Happy” video on Youtube, I was greatly encouraged to get this typed up and with you guys…
Defining what it means to be happy is ambiguous because we all define our standard of happiness differently but having said that, not many of us know how to find and sustain our happiness especially when we are constantly faced with realities which draw us into low, drained and negative moods. This post aims to encourage someone to take the time to relocate their happiness and/or find ways of owning it so that it does not seem to be something abstract from us in this day and age where we are experiencing constant changes and life pressure.
Content; Cheery; Merry; Joyful; Blessed; Untroubled; Satisfied; Pleasured; Fulfilled – Happy!
Count Up Your Blessings!
Recording the good things which happen on a day-to-day basis brings instant happiness because you realise that, actually, life is not so bad after all… One great way in doing this is by writing and keeping “thank-you” notes in a jar and reading back on them on New Year’s Eve. I first started doing this in March 2015 (again in January 2016), and after reading each one, I said a short prayer of thanks and honestly, it is an amazing feeling being able to reflect back on the year and remembering all the forgotten yet great moments I experienced. I use different coloured post-its (plain paper is not as exciting, but is still as good), so that when I empty the jar out, the flow of vibrant colours reassures me that, despite the ups and downs throughout that year, I had many reasons to be happy and grateful for, and there is more to come in the year ahead…
Positive Beginnings and Endings!
What is the first thing you look at when you wake up? Keep on reading if your phone is the first thing…
Without realising, your mood throughout the course of your day is likely to be set within minutes of waking up, depending on what you read or listen to, first thing in the morning. I decided to get into the habit of waking up to positive affirmations about myself and the day ahead followed by a prayer session with God. I set alarm notes which I read the moment I pick up my phone to turn (or snooze) my alarm off. I also set positive and encouraging scriptures to pop up as reminders at certain times during the day (usually before and after work) which usually lift up my mood or sustain an optimistic attitude. By the grace of God, the organisation I now work for encourages us to share joys at the end of each day but I have taken this further and have started recording an additional joy each evening/night. I know it may sound tedious but this is what I have found works so well for reminding me that I have every reason to be happy! It does not go to say that bad things will/do not happen, but by getting into these habits, when bad things do happen, my mind is set on searching for the positive rather than dwelling on the negative.
Humbly helping others even if it is, what seems to be, in the slightest way can bring happiness because it brings inner peace and helps to suppress the tension you may feel from your own problems by encouraging you to demonstrate kindness, patience and care. The smallest we do for others can have a rippling effect which uplifts others on a wider scale. If the person we are caring for feels better about themselves, we do so too about ourselves and so the people around us feed off of our uplifted mood. Happiness and positivity is contagious and if a problem shared is a problem cared, then we are able to transmit a warm vibe between one another.
Take a break
Walk away from it for an hour, a day, a week; take however long you need away from whatever is stealing your peace and joy so that you avoid losing it permanently. Life and time will continue to pass on by and even faster when it is wasted on stress and worry so do not lose your happiness to pressures of work, health, relationships or financial circumstances, but instead, take a break so you reenergise and relocate your happiness as this is something that neither money or the world can bring. Your mind and heart are constantly working and battling little wars which many people cannot see so let them breathe by setting yourself free and escaping either mentally or physically so that your happiness is not diluted or drained. Problems will not vanish overnight but do not lose your happiness to the realities of life; instead, protect it so that you have something to hold onto during the midst of the battles
Know and Do what makes you Happy
One of the most awkward and hardest questions to answer is “What makes you happy?”… Is it just me who goes blank and wonders, “Good question, what actually makes me happy?”? I have learnt that, although is it great to want to see others happy, it is just as important to have my own standard of happiness so that when others are not around, I am able to stand on my own two feet and openly say “this makes me happy”. I encourage you to do the same; find and be aware of what really feels you with great pleasure, delight and joy so that a) you do not depend on the happiness of others, b) when others are not around, you remain uplifted and energised and c) even when you are around low moods, you are able to hold onto your sanity and hope.
Decide you are going to be happy
Once your mind decides on something, your heart follows and then your actions; decide you are going to be happy and without realising, you will purposely yet effortlessly search for the good in the bad and will stand up against situations which try to steal your joy. Deciding to be happy, or at least deciding not to be overpowered by difficult situations, is the brave decision to be resilient and courageous during the midst of the storm. When difficult times arise, deciding to remain happy is a form of control and a grasp on emotional intelligence which helps one with succeeding. Own happiness; keep a leash on it, put your name on it, keep it close to you so that even when strife lurks to steal, kill and destroy, it will know that you are deciding not to trade in what is yours because you deserve to have it, and to have it to the full.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”
~John 10:10, NKJV~