I’ve always wondered what happiness actually is. Is it getting a present that you’ve wanted for a long time? Is it getting good grades in school? Is it being promoted to a higher salary at work? To me, that’s just short-term happiness – because soon you’ll want something different, those grades won’t mean anything once you get into your chosen college/university, and you’ll want more money after getting used to spending your salary. We always tend to look forward to happiness, as if it is in the future, and not in the present.
So what exactly is happiness?
Happiness is simple. So simple that sometimes we forget how to be happy. When we’re upset or angry, we drown in our irrational thoughts and begin to think nothing but negative things. When we are in a negative mood, we don’t even think about being happy, because we think that there is nothing to be happy about. What makes you think that this is true? People often say: “I will be happy someday” – “someday” is not a day of the week. You can choose to be happy now.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.” – Eckhart Tolle
I think that being happy links to being grateful. Why? When we start to become grateful for the things around us, we realise how much we take for granted, and that we should be happy and grateful to have these things. For example, as I am typing this, I am grateful for having a laptop. For having Wi-Fi. For having a roof above my head. For having a family. And the list goes on.
You think there is nothing to be grateful for? You are wrong. Take a look around you. What do you see? Start to think of what it would be like if that thing was not there. As you begin to analyse more and more, you start to realise how much we take this beautiful world for granted.
We only have a short amount of time on Earth, and God gave us a life for a reason. I believe that life is an adventure, and it is up to us to create it and to follow our own paths. So why spend your life being negative? It’s pointless to sit around and drown ourselves in self-pity. Happiness is up to you and you are the only one who can control it.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” – Maya Angelou
The next time you are in a negative mood, do something that makes you happy. Listen to uplifting music. Whilst you are doing this, start to think of things that make you happy, and things that you are grateful for. This trains your mind to think positively and the more you get used to this, the easier it is, and soon it’ll be your unconscious thoughts.
People focus too much on how they feel rather than how they should think. Once you change your mind to think positively, you become a happier person, and you also influence those around you. I’ve found from my own experience that when you are happy, you radiate positive energy. I want to be that person who brightens up someone else’s day simply by being happy and giving out happiness.
“Be happy… not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything.”
Written by Jade Nhin, a 19 year old English Literature student from London. Follow Jade on instagram @_jadeyyx to find out more!