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