Making Your Own Happiness

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

How can we make our happiness? What does that mean? First we have to decide if happiness is an end goal or a fluid state of mind. If getting an A on a test makes you happy, does that mean you are not happy while you are studying for the test? When you see a person you like, that usually makes you happy. Are you not also happy while you are anticipating seeing the friend? Or even thinking about him or her? Perhaps good feelings are available to us most of the time, even when we have not achieved what we hoped to, have been wronged or disappointed, or even when we have done something we regret.

Lists of things you can do to bring yourself peace of mind and happiness are readily available in self-help books and on-line. A few of my favorites include the following:

  • Start each day with an affirmative statement, no matter what you are facing that day. One example is “Today is going to be the best day ever!”
  • Let go of self-pity. It is enormously draining and elicits little or no sympathy from others
  • Reach out to someone else who needs cheering up. Focusing on someone else is a surefire way to decrease your own low mood
  • Compartmentalize your problems. Consider each one separately, allowing yourself to reflect on positives in your life in between, in order to feel the balance between both
  • Remind yourself that life has to have some negatives and unhappy moments. Feel the pain, then breathe into it and move onto a happy thought. Recall the last time you were happy and stay in that thought for a while.

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