How To Be Happy

by - November 14, 2015

How to be happy - The answers

It's funny what intrigues us, isn't it. Psychology has to be one of the most researched and puzzling subjects out there: the human mind, emotion, behaviour, impulses, characteristics, personality, learnt behaviour, genetics, attraction, memory etc.

But what about happiness?

What makes us happy?

How do we stay happy when circumstances beyond our control change?
Love, money, health, relationships, work - the core pillars of life which can impact, so greatly, upon our happiness.

We often look to external influences in our pursuit of happiness. Maybe if I get a new job/career/girlfriend/dog/pair of shoes etc I will be happy. But do these things satisfy us for long? To rely on those things is unstable, as essentially, they will always be out of our control.

Destination addiction is a term used to describe when people feel that they will find happiness in the next place to which they travel or relocate. It's great to travel and explore but you'll always be with yourself no matter where you go. Is that going to be ok? 

Buddha says that the happiness of our minds depends on the quality of our thoughts. 
Your thoughts become your words which become your actions which make your life.

We are so concerned with our exteriors, our hair, clothes, bodies, makeup. Polish, polish, polish! But what about inside, upstairs in that mind?

What do we do for that one thing which has the power to effect everything else for the better

Do we nurture it? 
Exercise it?
Do we give it as much attention?
 Some love? 
We should because once you realise you have the power to change everything, you'll be happy
Who wouldn't want that?

The three virtues we must strive to practise in order to achieve and maintain happiness are:

Self Care
A Positive Attitude

Resilience is the key to success.
 Intelligence, defined by Stephen Hawking is "The ability to adapt to change"
The ability to deal with stress and adversity. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Etc. 

Sure, we hear it all the time, "Be positive" How difficult that is to adopt when times are bad depends on how much we practise it when times are good. Just like our friendships: nurture them during the good times and they'll be there for you during the storms.

 Positivity is a coping mechanism allowed to us by our conscious ability to rationalise and classify information. Use it. 

Appreciate everything you love that you are thankful for. Do it now. Appreciate the fact you can read, you can see, you can afford a computer. Appreciate that you've taken the time to work on your happiness by reading this. You're doing something good for yourself. Appreciate the level of self care you practise on a daily basis.

When you have appreciation for the tiniest things you are more resilient to the bad times. When you think you have nothing, you are rich. When you think everything is lost you still have so much.

You've lost your job? It's a minor inconvenience. You still have your limbs, appreciate them. Your friends. Appreciate them and show them that you do. Keep a happiness journal - identify things which make you happy. They can become your prescribed activities for when you're low.

Be Authentic 
You've seen the inspirational quotes: do more of what you love. Do more of what makes you happy. Don't worry about it. Just do it. When you allow someone to be themselves and credit them for it, they will turn into the best possible version they can be.

Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing. You are more aware than you think. 
Give your mind a break from time to time. We are bombarded with constant streams of information - social media, phones, news, busy trains, work, emails.

Don't fill every bit of time by looking at your phone, be wary of what you fill your mind with: limit your time spent with negative people.

Practise mindfulness: stare into the blankness of the grass, the sea, the sky. Let your mind wander.
Your mind will achieve clarity as it files the new information into the appropriate spaces in your mind. 

What makes you happy?  Comment below or using the social media links above.
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