Happiness is a state of mind, not a goal or a destination. It isn’t something that can be earned or bought and it isn’t something reserved for special people. It is meant for everyone and indeed everyone can find it, if they take the time to look.
For years I’ve struggled with finding my happiness. Whenever a difficulty, whether great or small, presents itself, it takes center stage in my emotional life, stealing the spotlight and making it impossible to focus on anything else. I would keep telling myself, “When I get past this challenge, then I can be happy.” Then another challenge would come to take its place.
When I wasn’t sleeping because of babies I’d tell myself how much better life would be when they slept through the night. When it was too hot or cold to escape outside I’d tell myself how much nicer things would be in a few months. When I was lonely and needed a friend I would sit and be sad and lonely hoping for someone to show up on my doorstep, or worse try to find a sense of belonging by lurking on Facebook.
The butterfly of happiness won’t land on people who keep brushing it away. It is a delicate creature and seeks only those who it can trust not to harm it. It doesn’t care about financial situations, personal problems, skin color, or body weight; all it wants is a safe place to land.
Want to get your happy on?
- Watch the documentary “Happy” – available on Netflix
- Go feed the ducks
- Call a friend just to say “Hi”
- Spend time reading for pleasure
- Watch a favorite movie with someone you like spending time with
- Take a class about something you’ve wanted to learn more about
- Do something nice for a stranger
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Take time to be thankful
- Seek out the good in your current situation
- Give an honest compliment
- Spend more time with real people than you do with your phone
- Listen (and dance!) to your favorite music
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
What makes you happy? Share in the comments!
I’m not a mopey, depressed person, but I wouldn’t call myself cheerful either. I think it’s easiest to be happy when you don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. I know that sounds like hokey folk wisdom, but I think it’s true.
I think there’s a whole movement devoted to the living in the moment concept, so it qualifies as sound advice. Not that it having a movement makes any idea sound, the Happy Family Hippies that are camping on the other side of the mountain have already had dozens of arrests…