…when your favorite song starts playing and you have been listening on it on repeat for a few days
…when you pay a compliment and see that person’s smile really getting wide and her face shining
…when you travel and see a really beautiful place, and your heart just feels full and screaming with joy, like wanting to escape your chest
…when you have the feeling of “being really lucky” for whatever just happened
…when you pull a joke and people laugh hard at it
…when you just accomplished a hard goal at work and got some praise for it as well
…when you surprise someone and can see the confusion and then the excitement on their face
…when you smile at the one you secretly like when you meet randomly somewhere and you get a smile back
…when you meet someone you haven’t met in a while and you realized you really missed them
…when you dance your moves at a party, they turn out just great and you’re really happy
…when you date a special someone, when your hands hold, when you speak to them and discover how many things you have in common
…when you end a really hard training, run, hike or anything that required all your strength and realize you’ve done it
…when you opened up and discovered that some people around you share your fears and hopes
…when you read something that is exactly what you needed
…when you realize life gives you the things you need and can see at that moment – the right experiences, the right people, the right conversations
…when your heart feels super excited for whatever the reason
…when you feel liberated of a secret or burden that has weighted heavily on your soul
…when you realize you really like the person you’re with, love her and feel good about the whole relationship thing
…when you come to realize that you’re so lucky to be living in a war-free zone, that you have friends and family you love around, that you’re healthy and optimist. Chances are you already are this way, but the realization and appreciation of it is what brings the beauty in life and the happiness feeling.
You might have guessed it or heard it before – happiness depends on you. Let’s not overrate it and let’s not put the others in charge for our own happiness. Happiness is not constant, can come suddenly and also fade away quickly but if we know where it lays for us, we can always go back and trigger it again. Or – it’s ok to just feel the way you feel, maybe not that happy.
But being happy is seldom attached to a material thing we long to have. It might sound as a cliche, but happiness does lay in the journey – you remember more how hard you worked and how happy you were to just reach the stage where you could get the thing you wanted. You don’t really recall much happiness when you got that thing.
Happiness lays in small things, and lays within us – and a way to discover the things that make you happy is to become aware of them. How? At the end of each day, while you rest your head on the pillow to fall asleep, take 5 minutes to go over the day. Go through what happened from the moment you woke up, how you interacted with the people throughout the day, how you felt when you felt really good and why. Become aware of what made you feel happy – even just a little happy. That’s how you realize things like the fact that drinking your favorite cup of tea or that noticing the sunset on a clear sky make you feel so happy.
Happiness comes when we exchange ourselves with the world – when we share something we have or when we receive something unexpectedly, when we are surprised. Giving usually triggers happiness in others and that is contagious to us as well. Receiving and being grateful for that also triggers the good feelings within us. While we cannot control what and when we receive something, we can always decide when and what we are going to give. And the most complex form of giving is to give yourself completely, merge yourself totally in whatever you do – be present with the people around you, notice the landscape, get into the “flow” state during the tasks you have at your job or school. Give small gifts – material or not. A joke, a compliment, a flower, a coffee, or just a “how are you” while really listening and caring for the answer. Feel free to be happy – and focus your attention on what you can do to make you happy by giving. You can’t control what will come back to you but you can always choose to give and be happy about that.
In the end, the question is – do you want to be happy? Of course you do, I imagine. Then take it in your own hands, the mission to feel happy, at least a few times a day.