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Finding Happiness During Hard Times

Updated on December 2, 2018
Listening to the waves is relaxing ~ Cape Cod
Listening to the waves is relaxing ~ Cape Cod | Source


I am dedicating this article to my family, and to many of my friends on both Facebook and HubPages who have been supportive and comforting to me in my own time of unhappiness, especially the wonderful Epigramman and the esteemed Billybuc, Cat, Shanmarie, Nellieanna, Just Ask Susan, Abby Campbell, Suzie HQ and Karen Hellier. I appreciate every one of you, as well as many others whose names I haven't listed.

Fleeting Happiness

Life can throw us curveballs, and sometimes it is hard to be positive during these times. When we focus on the bad things happening in our life, it is hard to make room for any ounce of happiness that is waiting to sneak in.

"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it." ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open." ~ John Barrymore


Basic Contents:

In this article, I provide:

  • many tips and suggestions for finding happiness, although not everything will work for you. Everyone is different, and what may be fun for one person could be boring or frustrating for another.
  • I am also sharing with you many quotes on happiness that I have found inspiring.
  • Feel free to participate in the poll on "sources of happiness", and to comment once you are finished reading this. I always enjoy feedback from my readers.
  • I have also provided some links to a post on stress-relieving hobbies, fascinating articles on happiness, and to a couple of beautiful poems. To round it out, there's a video on art, as well as a couple of happy music videos. I hope you get something positive out of this.
  • Please check out the link to Faith's beautiful hub, "Smiles That Hide Our Pain". It is just above the videos.

Going To A Park Is Fun In Any Season

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Wickham Park in the SummertimeThe Moon Bridge in the Oriental GardenFountain at the park's Lotus GardenWickham Park in Autumn
Wickham Park in the Summertime
Wickham Park in the Summertime | Source
The Moon Bridge in the Oriental Garden
The Moon Bridge in the Oriental Garden | Source
Fountain at the park's Lotus Garden
Fountain at the park's Lotus Garden | Source
Wickham Park in Autumn
Wickham Park in Autumn | Source

Quotes That Explain What Happiness Is

  • "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • "Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." ~ Joseph Addison
  • "Happiness is a function of accepting what is." ~Werner Erhard

Walking Along The Water Cheers Me Up

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The causeway in South BostonComing back from Castle Island
The causeway in South Boston
The causeway in South Boston | Source
Coming back from Castle Island
Coming back from Castle Island | Source

Nonstop Happiness

If you are looking for a secret way to be happy for eternity, without ever feeling sadness or despair, stop right here! It doesn't exist. Happiness is not by any means unreachable, but it is also not something that stays with you once you attain it. Sometimes you have to actively do something to make yourself happy, and other times simply taking action will distract your mind into becoming content. Just remember that without pain, we wouldn't understand happiness as much.

"In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness- otherwise how would you know when you're happy?" ~ Leslie Caron

"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self." ~Iris Murdoch

How Can You Become Happy When You're Sad?

  • Count your blessings, and don't let negativity rule you
  • Don't surround yourself with toxic people, but with those who are supportive and positive
  • Keep your eyes out for opportunities in life, and pursue them even if your mind tells you that you're not good enough
  • Don't listen to the negative thoughts in your mind. If it helps, find and write down affirmations that help you to feel more positive
  • Accept what is
  • Mourn over your loss. It's important to get it out
  • Let it go. If there's anything you can do to help the situation, do it. But when it is out of your hands, don't dwell on what you can't help
  • Find things to preoccupy your time. These can be things that are productive, fun, or a mix of both
  • Remember that life changes constantly. Don't resist, but let it change, and do what you can to be resilient and adaptive without losing who you are at the core
  • If you are not happy about who you are at the core, take the extra effort to change yourself- your behaviors, your attitude, or the way you react. But if you do so, watch your intentions. If you are changing an important part of yourself for someone else in the hopes they'll accept you, it might backfire. Do it for yourself, unless this part of you is truly detrimental to others

Happiness Changes As We Journey Through Life

  • "The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up" ~ Charles L. Morgan

Create Your Own Happiness

"Some pursue happiness, others create it." ~ author unknown

"You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you'll seldom have the chance to be happy by your circumstance." ~ Lavetta Sue Wegman

"A man's as miserable as he thinks he is." ~ Seneca

Know Yourself

Everyone is unique. Each one of us have different things going on in our lives, and react differently to an event or tragedy. Some take a long time to get over it, and others are resilient, snapping back in no time. We each have our own ideas of what happiness is, and what causes it.

  • Decide for yourself what happiness means to you
  • Make a list of things that often make you happy, and refer to it when you're feeling down
  • Think about what you could do to improve your life in general, and work towards achieving it
  • Write a list of things you are thankful for. Even when life seems to be going downhill, I am often surprised at how long the list of things I have to be grateful for is

Art Can Sometimes Improve Your Mood

  • "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling." ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck
  • "Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel

Things To Do To Make Yourself Happy

Here are some of my own ideas:

  • Listen to an upbeat playlist of music you enjoy- just beware of songs that make you sad
  • Watch a comedy of some kind
  • Writing can sometimes be therapeutic. I like to write out my thoughts and reflections in a journal
  • Read a good book that takes you far away from the negativity in your life
  • Watch a good movie
  • Go to an art museum, or look at art from the comfort of your chair- to the right is a great video showcasing the 50 most famous paintings of all time, accompanied by music
  • Talk to friends and family who boost your spirits
  • Write down words of encouragement that you have received, so that you can refer to them again later. Positive reinforcement is good
  • Visit family or friends
  • Go out with friends
  • Reconnect with an old friend
  • Hug someone that you love- as long as they don't mind! Affection can be very warm
  • Pay attention to a domesticated animal- I find that petting a cat or a dog can change my mood pretty fast
  • Work out- it is good for you, and boosts feelings of wellbeing
  • Go on a walk. If you are able to go somewhere that relaxes you, that is especially ideal
  • Take a walk in the park
  • Enjoy nature. Go hiking, camping, or picnicking
  • Being near water brightens my mood- whether a river, a lake a pond, or the ocean. In a pinch, a water fountain will do
  • Go swimming

  • Take a hot bubble bath
  • Pamper yourself
  • A good scent can turn your mood around. Burn a candle, bake an apple pie, brew coffee, or put on some lovely scented lotion or cologne
  • Do some gardening, even if it is only in pots indoors
  • Breathe in the scent of flowers as you pass them
  • Buy yourself flowers, or a plant
  • Productivity can sometimes make you feel better
  • Create something with your own two hands- that can be a great feeling. Whether it be an arts and crafts project, putting photos in an album, painting a bookshelf, woodworking, building a car, sewing- whatever floats your boat. The simple act of making something can make you feel good
  • Treat yourself to some comfort food- something that you take great pleasure out of eating
  • If there is a beverage that boosts your spirits or provides you great enjoyment, have some. If it is alcoholic or caffeinated, don't overdo it (that could backfire, and leave you unhappier than when you started out)
  • Go to a little café, and relax there for a while
  • Get out, and people watch
  • Go on a vacation, or a day trip
  • Explore the area you live in, and find new spots that you have never been to
  • Change your routine a little
  • Watch a sunrise or a sunset
  • Watch a moonrise, or gaze at the stars
  • Watch a thunderstorm (from a safe place)
  • Play games
  • Daydream, without giving in to negative thoughts
  • Reminisce about good times
  • Live in the moment
  • Practice meditation

Sources of Happiness

What makes you the most happy?

See results

Critters Can Be Comforting

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cats are often sensitive to those who are sadChipmunks can be fun to watch Blue-Jays have a lot of personalityI love watching the seagulls
Cats are often sensitive to those who are sad
Cats are often sensitive to those who are sad | Source
Chipmunks can be fun to watch
Chipmunks can be fun to watch | Source
Blue-Jays have a lot of personality
Blue-Jays have a lot of personality | Source
I love watching the seagulls
I love watching the seagulls | Source
  • Smile like a madman or woman! It's hard to be sad when you're smiling
  • Smile at someone else- not only will a genuine smile boost your mood, but maybe you will make the other person happy, at least for a moment
  • Do something for someone else
  • Listen to someone else, without listening to your own thoughts during that time. Be there for them in their time of need or happiness

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." ~ Mark Twain

Enjoy the Little Things

  • "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~ Robert Brault

    "Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is." ~ Maxim Gorky

  • "Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it." ~ William Feather
  • "The happiness of most people is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things." ~ Ernest Dimnet

Good Advice I Have Received

I have had so many inspiring things said to me, but here are a couple of things that my brother said that struck a chord with me.

  • Look at photos that inspire you- silly things that make you happy- people that you know, or celebrities, places you'd like to go- something to distract you, and make you smile
  • Allow yourself to sulk for 10 minutes at a time- life is too short, and 10 minutes is more than enough time to waste on being depressed

~ Michael Stratford

Just Smile!

A Peppy Song To Brighten Your Mood


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