Everyone longs for happiness, and we would do anything to be happier, but we tell ourselves it’s not that easy. However, what if it really were that easy to be happy? The truth is, happiness is more attainable than we think.
Contrary to popular belief, happiness is a choice. However, this may be wrongly interpreted. People may refute this with something like, “I have depression, so it’s not that easy to just be happy.” It is true that someone with depression cannot necessarily think themselves out of the mental illness, but people with depression know that they are not depressed 24/7. You can still have depression and be happy at the same time. Don’t let your negative thoughts poison your mind with the idea that because you are depressed, you must be sad all the time. Even if you have depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any other mental illness no matter the severity level, it’s important to make the right choices that will bring you happiness. You may not be able to control your mental illness, but you can control your attitude and the outlook you wish to have on the world.
Once you’ve decided you want to be a happier, more positive person, you can learn ways to achieve the happiness that you’re hoping for.
One strategy to find happiness is to cultivate gratitude. Think of all the things you are grateful for, and you may realize that your life is better than you think. You can keep a journal and write down five things you are grateful for every day.
Another way to be happy is to forgive people. Let go of grudges and negative memories that you hold in the past, and learn to accept them. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with the people who hurt you, but it’s important to let go of the anger and negativity you hold in order to move on.
Do something that makes you feel like you have a purpose. If you like animals, volunteer at an animal shelter to make a difference in someone else’s life. If you like art, paint a picture and give it to someone who would enjoy it. Partake in hobbies and activities that are meaningful to you and make you feel good.
Counteract negative thoughts with positive ones. If you tend to be more of a pessimistic person, this may be very hard at first. It’s easy to fall back into old habits of complaining or having negative thoughts throughout the day, but remind yourself of your new choice to be happier. When you catch yourself thinking something negative, try arguing with yourself. For example, if you tell yourself, “It’s raining, I’ll probably be late to work and then have a moody day because of it,” your next rebuttal could be something like, “Yeah it’s raining, but that won’t affect my day because I have the power to be happy despite the environment.”
Ultimately, happiness begins with YOU. As much as they may try, other people cannot give you happiness or force you to be happy. You have to decide for yourself that you will make a conscious effort to be a positive, happy person. Remember that other people do not have the power to mess with your emotions. You decide how you feel, so be positive.