You want to feel happy every day but it just does not seem to happen. You look at other people who seem happy and you wonder how they do it. You ask yourself: Are they smarter than you? Do they have a happy gene? Is their life easier than yours?
At times you feel guilty about wanting to be happy. After all, people all over the world are really suffering and here you are, relatively comfortable and safe, wanting more from life.
Or perhaps you do have very real hardships in your life and you want to be able to feel happy despite them. After all, you have read about the way many victims of natural disasters or tragedies pull their life together and say they feel happy with their lot.
You may be relieved to find out that the pursuit of happiness has been around for centuries. You are not alone in wanting to enjoy your life. It is not a selfish desire but seems to be a universal, eternal drive in human beings to want happiness.
While happiness may seem elusive and up in the air to you right now, please be reassured that it is a state of mind that can be acquired. There is a key to being happy which can be learned by anybody who is willing to put in some effort. Today there is a wealth of research which explains the factors that contribute to the happiness of millions of individuals' world wide. The science of psychology also has verified that you can be in control of your thoughts which will determine your feelings. Behavioural psychology has shown that certain behaviours will create a happy state of mind.
First of all let us define what happiness means. If you are looking for euphoria, or ecstasy or ongoing excitement, you are going to find it hard to achieve and impossible to sustain. These feelings are extreme and happen occasionally for short spurts of time, like when you get married or win a race. The happiness I am going to talk about is closer to descriptions like 'contentment', 'inner peace' and 'enjoyment of life'.
Another term that is useful is 'subjective wellbeing' or SWB. This means that when you stop and think about how you feel, you would describe yourself as feeling good. Only you can judge how you feel at any given moment and you may find that if you do this regularly, you feel good most of the time. In other words, you may be happier than you thought simply because you have taken the time to evaluate your emotional state rather than waiting for some rush of emotion to knock you off your feet.
On the other hand, perhaps your subjective analysis has told you that you are not feeling content today. You wish you were a different person. Or you are dreading going to work. Or it is raining and you feel blue. No problem. You see, most of your happiness is in your control. In fact, more than 50% of your happiness is in your voluntary control.
Happiness does not come from having a "happy gene", nor is it a result of being highly educated or rich. Happiness is a result of taking control of your thoughts, life style and behaviours.
It is not difficult, I assure you. You too can do this. Daily happiness is easier and closer than you ever dreamed possible.