How to Cure UnHappiness
Happiness is the way most of us choose to live. The right to seek happiness is one of our basic human rights. But what exactly is it?
Happiness includes good feelings based on the presence of joy, satisfaction, the positive feeling that one is doing well, and a sense of meaningfulness to life.
However, it is strange to think that only about 10 percent of this feeling is actually based on the ‘reality of life’. Many people who report that they are very happy are neither well enough, nor rich enough, or engaged in such worthwhile work that they ought to be very happy. But they are! So obviously this state is not just because of one’s life circumstances. Happiness is not the product of riches, success, beauty or popularity. We all know hundreds of people with everything – who are miserable all the same.
Happiness is more correctly stated to be the product of one’s attitude to life, and temperament. Happiness doesn’t come from happenings, which help you to reach your goal in life, as measured by some preset scale. Instead, it is the result of a set of thoughts and behaviors, which determine the way you experience every turn in life.
The benefits of happiness
- Happiness makes us able to cope better with stress, and so improves our health
- Happy people are good workers because they are more motivated to work hard and innovate, as well as to be honest
- Happiness improves our health because we have higher immunity
- Happy people tend to live longer because they bear illnesses better and are generally healthier in attitude.
- Happy people pursue more and deeper relationships, giving more than they get
- Happy people tend to have happy marriages and happy children
- Happy people are more likely to last out tough times
- Happy people are more likely to have more friends
- Happy people sleep better and are therefore less tired, more enthusiastic and more productive
- Happy people use their time better
- Happy people share more and are happy to give
- Happy people see that the present is just as important as the past and appreciate what life gives them as a whole
Obstacles to being happy
A happy temperament is something you are born with, no doubt. Fortunately for the rest of us, it can be learned as well! But first you need to recognize some of the hindrances which will pop up right across your path.
- Comparing yourself with others – this is certain to make you UN-happy because no matter how well-off you are, you can always find something to envy about another man.
- You must avoid seeing yourself as a victim. Once you take responsibility for your life, you see how you can change yourself for the better. Despite what anyone has done to you (or not done!) you can find help if you are determined to be happy. It’s your life and it’s what you make of it with help from above.
- Always beware of setting material goals as the finish line. You’ll be setting yourself up for the endless rat race.
- Beware also of giving importance to others’ expectations and the image they have of success. You are unique, with your own special talents to give to the world. You may have to go off the beaten path, and that doesn’t make a particle of difference to the fact that you are still special and successful at being happy.
How to be happy
The happiest people are those who have learned the following habits because these are what make the present moment delightful and valuable.
1. Appreciate all you are and have
It’s always true that everyone can find a drop of happiness in the bitterest circumstances, if you try with open eyes. No one is born with absolutely nothing going for them. Don’t look at what you don’t have.
2. Live in the present
Being mindful is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Don’t live in yesterday’s tragedy even though it colors the present. Just think quietly of what is going on right now. You’re alive. You’re conscious. You choose to be happy in that realization, to enjoy the feel, the touch, even the pain of being alive.
3. Capitalize on family and friends
Relationships are the only thing that matter for a man. If you know this early enough to set the course of your life by it, you’re happy and successful indeed! A happy person knows how precious love is, and he cultivates his emotional balance by putting in time to talk, to laugh, to share – to be there whenever he can.
4. Be hopeful
Life is meant for the hopeful; for the others, it’s empty. Things always have a silver lining; pray and seek it sincerely and it’ll come. You could, for instance, ask yourself: is my thinking negative? Do I know that nothing good can come out of this? Is there another way to see what has happened? Have I something to learn from this?
5. Be thankful
Being grateful for what you already have makes you ashamed not to be happy when you’re so rich. Gratitude has a way of enriching you and bringing down more blessings of happiness on your head! If you’re feeling sad, try to think of just one thing to be thankful for! You’ll be happier for that one thing.
6. Have a purpose
To live happily, you need to have a purpose which will leave the world happier than it was before. A purpose bigger than yourself will always keep you big-souled, happily ambitious and generously demanding. Think of people and think of your talent when you try to identify your purpose – it will keep you humming the whole day long!
7. Practice generous forgiveness
A happy person is one who has learned that it is better to give than to receive – forgiveness among other things. Forgiveness opens your heart to joy in a strange way – it sets you free to examine the matter in a fresh way and to see the good that has come to you through it. It gives you self-respect and integrity, while it brings you closer to others.
8. Stay active
Sluggishness is the mother of grumpy. To be happier, get off the couch and help someone with their work – cleaning, homework, a special project – whatever. It’ll give you exercise and more importantly it builds a good relationship which will multiply your common happiness. And a workout gives you a shot of euphoric brain chemicals which will motivate you to continue next time too. Exercise not only improves the way you feel about yourself, it is a time-tested remedy for stress, sadness and depression.
Happiness, in short, is a skill, one which every child knows but which we forget as we grow older. Making the best of what is, squeezing the sponge of life dry with enthusiasm and vitality, seeing the rainbow in every cloud while being grateful for the rain, will turn you into a person whom it is a joy to be around.
Be happy, and infect others with happiness too!