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How to be happy or how to increase your happiness

Updated on October 8, 2012

Can you really create your own happiness without winning the lottery first?

Yes you can. Many people are willing to believe that happiness is something that is given to them by someone else, but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. That would be too easy and we would be faced with cheesy joyful grins in the most strangest of situations if it did.

Happiness is more of a state of mind, and gaining it is about retraining your mind to think, react and deal with things differently in your everyday life.

Is it hard to retrain your mind?

Well its not easy, you won’t read this and leap out of bed tomorrow a whole new person that’s filled with joy at every corner your turn. But with some small alterations and a bit of time and effort everyday, you will soon start to feel like a happier person.

How do you retrain your mind?


First of all it’s a good idea to start with how you think about your self. Do you believe in your self enough, do you think you deserve to be happy? Every single one of us has our own bit of unique greatness inside, but often enough we see other peoples but can’t see our own. We feel put down that everyone else seems to be beaming with happiness when we struggle to find even the smallest amount. Well, you do deserve it (everyone deserves to be happy) and if you can find your reasons why you deserve it, then you will gain the extra confidence to believe in your self and find happiness.

Spend some time thinking about the good things you can do, maybe you can do something that someone else can’t. Maybe you can fix a car quicker than Mr Average. Maybe you can make beautiful scrapbooks or maybe it’s even that you can make a fantastic cup of tea. There are thousands of people, and if not millions that appreciate a good cup of tea (I know I do).

Learn to appreciate your own differences, whatever they are, however big or small. That is your unique greatness and having some greatness about yourself makes you feel good.

You could make a list if it helps you to identify your unique greatnesses and remind your self of them regularly. You can add to the list each time you think of something else you can do well. Something that you like about your self or something that has made you feel lucky to be who you are.


What else can you do?


Think about what things you enjoy doing and what makes you smile, also about the things you don’t enjoy doing so much. Maybe you feel happier when you’re spending time with friends, working out at the gym, having a long relaxing soak in the bath, taking the dog for a walk or simply reading a book quietly to yourself. See if you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy and less time doing the things you don’t.


What about your goals or dreams?


Can you do anything towards reaching them? You don’t have to set your self up to achieve everything all in one go, just one small step closer is another step to you being on your way.
If you’ve got your mind set on a different job you’d like to do, you could see if there are any courses that might help you towards getting it. Or if you would like to be a better cook, you could look around online or at the local library for some easy recipes to get you started. Don’t give up on yourself to quickly, other people reach their goals or dreams and so can you.


How does the way you react and deal with things change your happiness?


If you can deal with things better, you will feel better. Changing your perspective opens up a whole new happy place. Some situations that drive us insane and make us feel unhappy needn’t always be so bad.

For eg, a good friend of mine (John) gets the bus to work everyday, and nearly everyday he has the same rant about the guy or girl that has shoved their way in front of him, to get onto the same bus. This seems to ruin most mornings for John because he gets so frustrated with it and I can fully understand that he finds it so extremely rude of people. But if he could look at it from another point of view, then John would see that it is really the other person’s problem and not his. John could even find a little happiness in knowing that the person has gone to great trouble and effort to shove their way onto the bus, and the person is still not going to get to where they are going any quicker than John or than that bus is going drive them.


Making good out of bad

If you can weed out all the good things that have come out of a bad situation then the effect starts to change your point of view. You will soon see that appreciating the small things will make you feel rich in happiness.

A good idea for practicing this; is to keep a little notepad beside your bed and every night, write down one or two sentences starting with “I must be happy today because…” and give your self a rule that no matter how awful a day has been, you have to find at least one good positive thought, a happy moment. Even if it feels like your worse day ever, and you’re only happy thought of the day is that you didn’t get rained on and didn’t have to sit through that dreaded meeting in soaking wet clothes. That way, whether it has been a good or bad day, you will always go to bed with at least one happy thought on your mind.

“Positive thoughts = Happy. Negative thoughts = Unhappy.”

How can making other people happy make you happier?


Most of us have heard of the saying “smile and the world smiles with you”. It’s true, it does, but sometimes we need reminding to be the first one to smile at someone else. The signals you give out are often the ones you will receive back. Be genuine, try giving someone else a compliment, make them feel good about themselves, help them to feel happy. You never know one day when you need it the most, someone may just do the same for you. When we are better people ourselves, we naturally attract better people around us and in return for that, feel happier.

Be happy for other people even when you don’t feel up to it, your happiness will happen and when it does, you’ll feel even better if people are genuinely happy for you too.


Don’t feel guilty

It’s ok to not always feel like the life and soul of the party. There is plenty in life that drags us down sometimes but you shouldn’t feel guilty, it’s natural that we all have to experience it once in a while. You can always try to pick your self up again later and all your true friends will still be there for you at the end of the day. In fact, it’s very often a good way of determining who your true friends actually are and when you realise who your true friends are, you’ll be happy to have them.

It’s always worth remembering that occasionally our greatest moments come from our saddest moments. That moment when the penny drops and you say to yourself “right this is it, enough is enough. I am changing this or I am going to do that, no matter what gets in the way”, you become determined. There is an extremely thin line in between being content and happy all the time, and losing the will to drive your self forward. If we were happy all of the time, we would never choose to make any better decisions or changes to our lives. We would become bored and probably pretty miserable. See if you can work with an unhappy period to get the best out of it.

Stop thinking ‘I’ll be happy if this happens’


Stop living for just the future and live for now, the present. If you spend your time thinking I’ll be happy when this happens or that happens, you may be setting your self up for disappointment, you can’t always guarantee something is going to happen. Your future is everything you are going to do in a minute’s time, five minutes or in five years time, so the sooner you can start living for now, the better.


Let go of the past


It’s never easy letting go of the past but why let it spoil your happiness and your future? Find the good from the bad and let go. Everything that has ever happened in the past would have made you stronger and would have made you who you are today. Be proud of who you are, be proud of how far you’ve come and how much you have achieved in life so far.

We all make mistakes; we are only human after all. The key is to not regret mistakes and punish your self, but to learn from them and become a better person. If the mistake was someone else’s and not yours then become the better person and turn it around, show the world you can still be loving and you can still be everything you want to be. You are your own person. Think positively, you have the right and you do possess the power to make your life a happy one.

“To live is an adventure – To discover happiness is the journey”.


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    • Joe Aroyan profile image

      Joe Aroyan 5 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Another insightful artice! You must be a Wayne Dyer fan. Great job!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi Onrea,

      Your very welcome! :-)

      From my own experience I can safely say that letting go of the past can be one hell of a journey, but once you've finished then a new one can begin. That on it's own brings hope of what the future can hold.

      Good luck with

    • onrea profile image

      onrea 7 years ago from Rochester, NY

      Wow. I really needed this today. Thanks for the motivation. The biggest thing for me was the advice about letting go of the past. So hard but necessary for our happiness. Thanks again!!!!

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi Jennykokkines,

      We all need an eye opener sometimes and your right, life is defiantly to short to go through it unhappy. We plan so much into the future sometimes that we say "I'll be happy when that happens" and we forget to live for 'now'

      Thanks for stopping to have a read and leave a comment.


    • jennykokkines profile image

      jennykokkines 7 years ago

      This was wonderful. I really needed to read something like this, I need an eye-opener every once in awhile to remind myself why I should be happy. Life is too short to dwell. Thank you so much for sharing.


    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Hi wearing well,

      I'm really pleased to hear you have already found your happy place and are at peace with yourself, it's such a lovely feeling to have.

      I deliberately choose the big yellow follow as yellow it associated as being the colour of happiness so I'm glad to hear it made you smile. You might consider placing a few dashes of yellow around the home so that there is always something cheery that catches your eye.

      My kindest

    • wearing well profile image

      Deborah Waring 7 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

      I agree with everything you've addressed in your hub.Most disappointments in life are only ever brought about through having high expectations in the first place and therefore I have found to appreciate the small beautiful things that surround me each day:)I'm happy being by myself and totally at peace with who I am both good or bad,because nobody's perfect!Your wonderful yellow flower made me smile,thank you Victoria :)

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Thank you Gordon.

      It's very easy to let things get to us but if we are truely happy on the inside, then those things don't get to us as much.x

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Welcome to Hub Pages, Victoria.

      Very good advice. I don't think there can be too many people who wouldn't benefit from following it to at least some extent. We all let certain things get to us that we know we shouldn't, I suppose.

      Look forward to reading more from you.

    • Victoria Stephens profile image

      Victoria Stephens 7 years ago from London

      Inner peace plays a huge part in being happy.x

    • Kavita Trivedi profile image

      Kavita Trivedi 7 years ago from London

      I think we live in such a warped and fast tracked life that we sometimes forget what truly does make us happy. It's a great feeling having all the materialistic things and money but somehow it does not always give you that inner peace.

      Useful hub thanks for sharing :)