How to Find Happiness in Life?


By Jayaram V

There are many theories about how to achieve happiness. You will find many essays about happiness written by me earlier. Happiness is a state of mind, and like many states of mind you can determine your happiness quotient. You may not always succeed in your effort or sustain your happiness for long due to various reasons. However, none can tell that you cannot make yourself happy. The following are a few important methods to feel happy or change your mood

1. By changing your thinking.

Your current state of mind is largely influenced by the thoughts that dominate your thinking or your memory. Such thoughts may arise if you are prone to irrational and exaggerated thinking, generalize your experiences, or focus upon the negative and depressing facts of life. You can intentionally change those thoughts and divert your mind to more positive ones, or you can replace you negative thoughts with positive ones. You can also learn to accept problems and worries as part of your life and learn to live with them without being overwhelmed by them.

2. By finding happiness in your daily events.

Because of your preconceived notions about happiness or what makes you happy, you may be missing to notice many positive experiences in your life which should normally make you happy. Happiness does not lie in finding the best date, meeting a person you love, having a candle light dinner in one of the nicest restaurants or going on a memorable vacation. Find happiness in the simple pleasures of life, such as having a cup of Coffee or chocolate, seeing a beautiful flower, watching a good movie and try to let those moments linger longer in your memory. If every day you can find and focus upon a few positive experiences, your mood will change into positive, even if you have problems.

3. By recollecting positive experiences in your life.

If you are largely listless or unhappy for whatever reason, try to recollect positive experiences that you had in your past. Sometimes when you are oppressed by negativity, you may find it difficult to remember any positive experience. However, by closing your eyes and relaxing, you can bring them into your active memory. It can be any event or experience that made you happy, such as how you impressed someone, reached some goal, met someone you loved, heard how you were appreciated, or achieved success and recognition in a specific task. It can be even a simple incident such as going on a walk or on a journey with your parents in childhood.

4. By associating with positive people in your life.

Our relationships can make us happy or unhappy. By all means, avoid people who are unhappy themselves, depressed, critical, negative, or troublesome. Happiness is contagious, and so is depression. Association with happy people can make you happy. Nowadays, it is indeed very difficult to find genuinely happy people who are genuinely interested in others. If you have a few in your friend's list, you are lucky. You do not have to go and meet them. They may be living even far away. By merely talking to them over phone, you may feel happy.

5. By doing what you like most.

Only few people in the world have the luxury to what they like most. The rest have to do unpleasant jobs to pay bills and manage their lives. However, you can use your spare time to do tasks that you would normally like to do. For example, if you are interested in design, painting, or something else, you can pursue those interests when you find time and if you feel confident you can gradually increase the time you spend in doing them. This is a compromise, but then life is all about compromise and adjustment. You must make things happen. This should always be the first choice. Otherwise, you should adapt and adjust to what happens. This is the second best option to move forward in your life, stay focused and still hope for the better.

6. By not hoping for happiness in wealth or success only.

There are three beautiful passages in The Bible (1 Timothy 6:17-19) which talk about not to build your security and hope on the foundation of wealth but upon good deeds. "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain ... Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." The general belief which most people entertain is that if they can retire with a million dollars or so they can comfortably spend their retirement lives. Wealth has the tendency to make you feel confident, secure, and even arrogant. You might have seen many people how they change when they become wealthy. They even become more selfish and less generous and philanthropic with their riches. It is okay to have wealth and become rich. However, you should NOT hope to find happiness only being rich or upon becoming rich. You must have hope in your ability to find happiness, in having control over your life and emotions, in becoming a good person and in living a good life that enriches not only you but all those who are touched by it.

Jayaram V is the Founder President of and author of 12 books, including Think Success: Essays on Self-help.