I’ve heard several people often asking how they can be happy or feel this basic human emotion. They say they have been “suffering” from low moods for months and would do anything to smile again. They do smile, sometimes yet have this strong belief, that they do not deserve this state of mind. They keep waiting and worrying about the moment all their happiness would subside and lead back to the usual sadness. Ergo, they are unable to enjoy those moments of real happiness. So, the question is How can these people become happy?
What is happiness? It is a state of being happy or content.
Anyone can become happy, it’s only an emotion like fear, anger and sadness. A person feels them in the moment through their experiences, just like the other emotions. But, what these people are doing wrong is, they treat happiness like success and not just a emotion. Running a race to feel or achieve happiness, actually holds them back from truly feeling it in the moment.
Unlike any other species, we humans are lucky because we are capable of feeling many different emotions. Most of the people take this opportunity for granted and flaunt their happiness around like, a trophy rather than pausing at that time and embracing it completely with the people around them. Then, there are some who stick to believing they do not deserve the happiness they feel, as they have not “earned” it. Well, you don’t earn anger or sadness right? Then why do you expect to earn happiness? It’s just a feeling, so feel it.
Okay, I know it’s not that easy yet all it would take is turning your thinking around or reframing your thought process. When you are struggling with sadness or feel down, believe that it will pass and you’ll be happy again. Remind yourself of this as often as you can and it will become a habit. It is a difficult process and takes time but it’s not impossible. I’ve done it and it has been a journey but it works. Just believing and reminding yourself that it’s temporary, it will pass and you will become your strong self again, could go miles. I reassure myself of this everytime I’m in a crappy situation. Positive reinforcements condition our brain to believe and look for happiness in all situations and positive sentences like “I’m a strong person” or “I deserve to be happy” would have a similar reaction.
So next time I’m down, all I have to keep thinking is ‘I am strong enough to deal with this problem and I will rise above’, you could try it and tell me if it work.
Though, Happiness is not restricted to replacing self- criticising thoughts with positive ones. People have to let go of the unrealistic, high expectations, they have set for themselves. Let go of the negative energy, you hold so strongly within yourself. Pay attention to the little things in life that give you peace or make you smile, it could be as random as a child smiling at you or making a good cup of tea for yourself. Rather, than setting long term, difficult goals, think of shorter, more important ones that you would feel immensely proud of after completing. It’s the little things in life that could change your perspective on happiness.
I suppose, I hold strong beliefs about two other habits, created to help manage your emotions and let go of the stress leading to sadness. The first one that comes to thought is, Mindful Meditation. You could easily find some guided tracks on YouTube and it doesn’t have to be a strict format or professionally done. The tracks could help you relax and appreciate the present moment. You would be able to ward off the negative thoughts, that hinder you from loving yourself and might uncover an optimistic perspective to your life. Indulge in self-love, draw or color taking the artistic approach to positivity.
Another thing, I actually do everyday is Gratitude Journalling. Simple process that goes miles in developing your happiness. Every morning or the night before, write down what you were grateful for that day and two things you want to do that day. This would help you spot those little things that make you happy and live them.
For all of those, who are struggling to feel happy, remember that you deserve true happiness as much as anyone else. You don’t have to earn or search for this simple emotion because it sneaks in when you are present and content in the moment.
So, How can I finally be happy? Look at yourself in the mirror atleast once a day, really look and think about what made you smile today or yesterday, even if it was just for a second. Now, pause and repeat it, someway or the other get back to feeling that contentment and positivity. That’s just how it starts!
Happiness comes from peace. Peace comes from indifference. – Naval Ravikant.