International Day of Happiness 20.03.2016

Sunday was International Day of Happiness.

A state of happiness is something that most of us strive for everyday; we can then get so wrapped up on the stresses and feel guilty about not being happy that we spend lots of time, money and energy on achieving a happy mindset to the point that we forget happiness is often a simple choice.

Feeling happy is much more about making a conscious effort to be grateful, focus on the good and reframe your day to see everyday events in a positive light, than it is about a magical series of events that create a mystical sense of happiness.

If we rely on these ‘perfect,’ special occasions to feel good then we’re only going to feel good a few times a year and this is a shame really – we should all be looking to find a way to feel good everyday, no matter what craziness is going on around us.

Hugh Downs says: ‘A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.’

Ralph Marston puts it perfectly when he says: ‘Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.’

There are times in your life, of course when this isn’t the case and it’s not just a simple choice. I appreciate and respect that, but for most of us, most of the time it is a choice and we need to find a way to embrace that choice.

There’s always a way to look at a situation differently and find a silver lining. We can always gain something from a negative experience, we just need to be understanding enough of ourselves and open enough to find that and focus on it.

I think an image of perfection can also get in the way of us really feeling happy.

We are bombarded with social media, celebrity culture and a constant knowledge of what everyone we know is doing that we can quickly feel unhappy about ourselves or our lives as we think someone else has it better. It’s much harder to feel positive about your situation if you’re wishing for a second that you were someone else or somewhere else, which we all do sometimes because we all see what our friends and total strangers are up to without knowing how they really feel about it.

But a bit of advice to help with this would be to never compare yourself to anyone else, you never know what they’re really feeling and comparison is always the thief of joy. In this sense, make sure you always rationalise social media, don’t let it bring out your insecurities and jealousies.

Remember that a state of happiness is not attached to a state of perfection, perfection does not exist and happiness can be found in almost every situation if we let go of preconceived ideas of what something should be.

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