3 Ways to be Truly Happy (+ free happiness quiz)

3 Ways To Be Truly Happy

By Barbara @ Follow Your Own Rhythm

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"Happiness is always knocking on your door, you just gotta let it in."

The kind of happiness I am referring to is not the one that comes and goes as life around you changes.  I am referring to true happiness; the kind that remains constant.  The kind of happiness that is present even when everything around you is chaotic, even when your life doesn't go exactly the way you want, and even when you are under a lot of stress.  I am referring to becoming a happier person as a whole.

People often say “I’ll be happy when…” or “I’d be happy if…” insinuating that they cannot be happy unless something happens first. 

This is what I call conditional happiness... happiness based on certain conditions and criteria. If the conditions are good, you are happy. If the conditions are bad, you are unhappy.

This is obviously a recipe for disaster; however, many of us don’t realize just how much our happiness is dependent on external things and events.  Especially when we actively go out of our way to buy or do something because we believe it will make us happier, only to leave us unfulfilled shortly thereafter.

However, this is how we have been conditioned to relate to happiness. We have been taught to view happiness as something that happens as a result of life going a certain way or having certain things.

Much of this is due to mainstream advertising and the confusing message they send about us needing their products to be happy; a flawed idea that has shaped our beliefs and created some of the limitations we have today.

Here is a funny, truth exposing, quick 2 minute video on how commercials attempt to do this and how we buy into it.

So how do we remain unconditionally happy?

By implementing the following practices:


1.     Accept that happiness is an inner state and a choice you can make in every moment

Happiness is not based on anything that happens outside of you; it’s an inner state.  Two people can be in the same exact situation, and one can view it as good and appreciate it for what it is, and the other can view it as bad and complain about it.  Same situation, two perspectives. 

This goes to show that happiness isn't dependent on what happens to you, it's dependent on how you respond to what happens to you. It's a choice you can make in every moment. 

For true happiness, don't rely on external things to make you happy such as a new product, drugs, alcohol, shopping, being liked, being wealthy, or a situation going the way you expected. When you rely on these things to make you happy, than what happens when you no longer have them in your life or life doesn't go as planned? You become unhappy. 

True happiness is an underlying state of contentment, peace and joy.  It remains constant no matter what happens on the surface.  Even if you get irritated by an unpleasant situation, you still have an underlying sense of acceptance and peace because you know that this situation does not define your happiness.  And this true happiness is available to you right now because it is already within you.  You just have to learn to tap into it.


2.     Accept that things that happen to you are not personal and life is not here to hurt or punish you

To be happy, try not to take things personally and don’t assume that life is here to hurt or punish you.  Lots of times when things go bad in our lives, we get angry, we start to blame other people, and we believe that we are unlucky, cursed, that life sucks, life is against us, life is hard, or that God hates us.  That’s a victim mentality that for sure will lead to unhappiness.   

Instead, shift your perspective and realize that what happens to you is not here to hurt or punish you, and there is nothing negative about the events that happen to you. 

For one, they are just neutral events that happen that YOU interpret as good or bad.  The situation in and of itself is neutral.  And two, every challenge, obstacle, or hardship that you face, is here to help you grow and evolve as a person.  So there is nothing negative about anything that happens to you.

When you accept this, you will be much happier because you are no longer assuming that everything’s out to get you. When someone cuts you off on the road or yells at you, it’s not because they personally hate you.  It's because they are angry, impatient, and intolerant. It has nothing to do with you so there is no need to take it personally. 

When unpleasant things happen to you and you take it personally, you hang onto the negativity a lot more and become more prone to unhappiness.


3.     Focus on the good and/or on finding solutions

What makes us unhappy is when we focus too much on the negative side of a situation rather than on the good.  There are always two ways to look at everything. In addition, the situation is only “bad” because we label it as bad.  As mentioned earlier, the situation in itself is neutral. So we can start by not labeling it as bad, but labeling it as a challenge to overcome. That already sounds more positive. 

And then, don't get stuck up on the negative side of a situation.  Instead of nitpicking, overdramatizing, and making it out to be worse than it actually is, focus your energy on what's good about the situation. Look at the bright side. 

Also see what you can learn from it and how you can grow from it. Or if it’s hard to find the good in the situation because let’s say something really traumatizing or heartbreaking happened, then focus on finding a solution instead of dwelling in victim mentality such as “why me, why did this happen to me, life hates me, etc."  Think about how you can resolve this situation, make yourself feel better, or turn this problem into a cause for good. 


The point is, we have to find peace, happiness, and contentment within ourselves so that we don’t look for it in things outside of ourselves.  That way, we can truly enjoy and embrace the nice things we have and do, instead of constantly seeking them out in order to be more happy.  And when things don’t go so well, at least our happiness isn't compromised; and we simply just flow with it, learn from it, and grow from it.  

Quick recap: Happiness is a mindset not dependent on anything outside of you. It’s an inner state of being. You have a choice to be happy in each moment because you have the power to perceive each situation as you wish.  Life is here to guide you, not punish you, and when inconvenient things happen, they are opportunities to LEARN, GROW, and EVOLVE.

I really hope that this inspired you to find the happiness that already exists within you and to live a truly fulfilling life.

Take the quiz: How happy are you?

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