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How to be Happy

Updated on September 21, 2008

To Be or Not to Be


Why is it that some people are happy and others aren't? No, it isn't controlled by the circumstances that they are in. It is controlled by the way they react to those circumstances.

Happiness doesn't just happen. It is chosen. No matter how bad the circumstances, you can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy. Many people confuse someone's happiness with whether or not they are always smiling. I have seen many people who always seem to smile in public but yet they are miserable on the inside.

Happiness is a state of contentment, regardless of the circumstances. You can be unhappy about the circumstances going on in your life and still be a happy person. For example, I may not be happy with an illness in my family but yet still be happy and content with my life in general. Happiness is more than just a temporary emotion. Otherwise, everyone would be unhappy in their life because bad things happen to people all the time.

Each day when we awake, we make a choice. We either choose to be happy or we choose to be miserable. Whichever you choose, you will be, if you are in that mindset. Your happiness is controlled by you, not by your circumstances.

For example, let's say that you have 2 people with the exact same situation stuck in traffic on a freeway. They will be there for at least an hour. One is screaming and yelling, blowing the horn like crazy, trying to dodge around on the side with no luck. Now they are even angrier than ever.

The other person, same situation, picks up the phone, calls the boss to let them know they will be late, takes the lid from their coffee and picks up a newspaper and settles in for a good read.

Now, if the circumstances controlled happiness, both people would be angry and miserable, right? So it is obvious that the control lies with the individual. Rather than letting the circumstances control you, you can decide to react differently and keep control of your happiness.

Some of the main health problems we have today is stress related illnesses. This isn't a circumstance problem. It is a people problem. When we learn to react differently to stressful situations, we can greatly reduce our stress levels. This doesn't mean that we have to like what is happening in our lives in order to be happy. We simply have to learn how to react differently so that we are content and happy with our lives in spite of them.

© 2008 Bonnie N. Ramsey


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    • profile image

      john 7 years ago

      happiness is your choice. it really is your choice. its in the mind, its your optimism, visualization skills, its thinking of the big picture, and not just focusing on small things. its thinking "i will be on that sandy beach one day", while you are looking at a picture of that sandy beach. Look, life is to short, to worry about daily trivials. whats the point. is worrying going to solve anything, no, it magnifies the worry, and manifests unhappiness. PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE RIGHT NOW, and say to yourself "Its gonna be okay" or, "im better than that", think of small joyous occassions from your past, a smile from someone, someone mentioning your name when you were not present, your relationships with your friends, family. Think in your mind that you are confident. because being confident is how you become happy, and vice versa. the more happy u feel the more confident u will feel and the cycle just increases. try it, it works. be appreciate for what u have in your life, no matter how small. imagine how much worse it could be.

      god bless you

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 10 years ago from DC Area

      Absolutely! Don't worry, be happy... :D

      This is the only way to achieve happiness. Nobody and nothing will do this for you. You either want to be happy - and then you do everything to be happy; or you don't want to be happy - and then you do everything to be unhappy...

      Extremely simple concept, and extremely hard to comprehend for many people, and even harder to implement to most of us :)

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      im quite :( most of the time but i shall try these tips to become more:)

      They do say laughter is the best medicine and boy do i need it!!

      Great tips:O

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States


      Thanks for the reply. I totally agree with you. It actually is a technique as you can totally reprogram your thinking to control your responses to situations. In that sense, you create your own happiness. Thanks again!


    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 10 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Great Hub,

      Happiness is something that I've been willingly trying to attain through various changes and techniques. As silly as saying "techniques" may sound I find it works. I dabbled with neuro linguistic programming, a new phsycological field that attempts to change the way we assosicate with negative experiences, and "re-wire them". A technique often used to treat phobias.

      Most people still seem to believe that, as you say, some people are happier. The truth is it is all about reaction and thought process (as you say).

      It is a fascinating field, one I'm starting to make huge steps forward in, for myself and those around me.