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Joy and Happiness 101

Updated on April 27, 2017

Introduction

I decided to write an essay on happiness since there seem to be so many unhappy people around these days.

- Apr. 2017

Background

Years ago, Dennis Prager wrote a book called "Happiness is a Serious Problem" and it goes into deep explanation about philosophy and spiritual needs. I don't have all his expertise. I am just a simple human being dealing with life as best as I can. In my 60 plus years of existence, I have learned a few things which might help others.

You can take my words at face value. I have no hidden agenda here. What I say is some of the things that worked for me and it may not work for others. I hope you will try it and see.

Some Of My Techniques...

We all have our ups and downs. It is part of life. Happiness is a state of mind. What I mean by that is we can't really make it happen. It is something we feel at any moment in time.

However, there are somethings we can do to improve our odds of being happy. For example, we can choose a mate that is compatible. We can learn a new skill or develop a talent such as playing an instrument. We can also participate in activities that are fun such as going on a roller coaster ride or a fishing trip or a vacation to exotic places. These are all temporary measures that comes and goes. A longer term of happiness is more like contentment. We can feel content with our current state of affairs. We may be at a good point of our lives. For some, it may be retirement or just be in general good health.

In addition, here are a few things that helps me.

Doing volunteer work is a good activity. It may be counter intuitive but it is truth. When you do work that is voluntary, it becomes less of a choir but more enjoyable. The work is appreciated by someone. You are providing a service to someone else.

Doing or performing a good deed. When you do something out of the ordinary, you feel different and happy. Helping an old lady across the street or giving up a seat on the bus to someone else is good for our ego.

Giving a gift to someone you know. It doesn't have to be expensive. The simple act of giving brings joy to both the giver and the receiver.

Doing something you enjoy. It could be as simple as reading a book or going for a jog.

Making something with your hands. A hobby such as woodworking or pottery is very enjoyable. That is because you are using your creative side to make something unique.

Sing a song. There is something about good music that bring us happiness and joy.

Celebrate something. A birthday, or a holiday or an anniversary are all good occasions to have some fun.

Play with a young child. They will bring joy to all.

Get a pet. Caring for something and having a companion is a joy.

Pray or meditate. This simple activity takes the worry out of your mind.

Give people the benefit of doubt. When you feel slighted by someone, don't assume the worst. It often is the case that, the people does not even know what happened was ofensive.

Forgive and let go. Finally, the last advice is to forgive. If someone did you wrong, don't carry a grudge. By forgiving, you are helping the person who did wrong but also helping yourself move on.

Summary

The power of positive thinking cannot be overlooked. When you train your brain to always look for that silver lining, things have a way of getting better.

In my own case, I find having faith is a big component in my happiness. It is like a burden lifted from my shoulders when I realize that there is a higher power, watching over me. In fact, some of my ideas to happiness are aligned with the christian message. You don't even have to be a believer to take advantage of the benefits.

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

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    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I also wrote a hub about my RCIA experience -

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/My-RCIA-E...

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Sarah, I chose Catholicism because of the long history of the church. It was the one passed down since the Apostles where Peter was chosen to be the first Pope. Also, the people who helped me in my journey of RCIA were living examples of a happy and faithful parish and it made me want to be a part of that. I was lucky to have an Irish Godmother and a few other parishioner and a nun who was an excellent ecumennical director.

    • Sarah Howett profile image

      Sarah Howett 4 months ago

      So what made you choose Catholicism?

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I am a practicing Catholic. My ideas are my own learned from experience.

    • Sarah Howett profile image

      Sarah Howett 4 months ago

      Are you about the faith ministry or non-denominational?

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Eric, thanks. I am hoping more hubbers will find this hub. I am sensing many people could use some joy...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right On!