In Pursuit of Happiness: How to Become and Stay Happy

happy woman

On the surface, this is a classic song with a catchy tune and simple message, that everybody can relate to; don’t worry be happy, This all seems so delightfully easy. All you have to do is stop worrying and you will be happy. But if the truth is known, happiness is far from simple, which perhaps explains why so many people struggle to achieve it.

Ironically, happiness is a serious business. So serious, that in fact, it is one of the cornerstones of American culture. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are seen as inalienable rights in America’s Constitution.

That fleeting moment named happiness.

Happiness is defined in the Oxford English dictionary as the state of being happy, and in the Cambridge dictionary as the feeling of being happy. The important words to note here are “state” and “feeling”. Happiness is not a trait, but a state of being. Happiness is a state of mind, a feeling, and therefore not permanent.

Happiness is by definition impermanent and elusive, but the good news is that we can actively pursue and attain happiness just by following some simple steps.

Think happy, be happy.

Happiness may be a feeling, a fleeting moment in the sands of time, but it is also something we can work towards by employing some simple strategies. It has been argued that the state of being happy is a direct result of our thinking processes. Therefore, a simple yet effective strategy towards obtaining happiness is to think happy thoughts.

Yes, it really is that simple. Happiness is a choice, which we acquire from within. Thinking happy thoughts is our way of choosing happiness, and at the same time, reconnecting with the source of happiness that lies within us.

The glass is always half full.

soul searching

It’s all a matter of perspective, or how we see things. For some, the glass is half full, while for others, it is half empty. One key to happiness is to maintain a positive, or a glass half full, attitude. Here are some examples of how to maintain a positive attitude and achieve happiness.

Always remember, everything passes and life will go on. When confronted by the trials and tribulations of life always remember they do not last forever and eventually they will pass. By adopting the ‘everything passes and life will go on’ perspective, you push aside the negative and embrace the positive.

In their now cult movie, ‘The Life of Brian,’ the Monty Python Crew sang, “Always look on the bright side of life”. Although meant sarcastically, this song somewhat ironically encompasses one of the key elements of happiness. Every cloud has a silver lining, or put another way, there is a bright side to everything and being able to find the bright side, is definitely one key to happiness.

It’s a wonderful world

In his song, “What a wonderful world”, Louie Armstrong reminds us that the world is a beautiful place full of love, happiness, and joy. All we have to do is open our eyes and take it all in. This delightful Sachmo anthem shows us that there is beauty all around and it can be found in the simplest of things.

The world around us is truly a wonderful thing and in your pursuit of happiness, it is probably well worth your time to open your eyes, sit back and let it all sink in.

Therapy, your path to being happy.

So now we have looked at some easy ways to pursue and attain happiness, but unfortunately, things are not always that simple. There are some mental health conditions that cannot be cured simply by attitude adjustment or opening your eyes to the beauty of the world around you.

In today’s psychiatric world, mental illnesses are recognized, categorized, and treated with specific forms of psychiatry. The two most common approaches are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

As the number of people suffering from mental illness has grown so too has the number of people who treat it. Psychiatrists across America are treating mental illness using CBT and DBT techniques, and with their help, many people have managed to turn their lives around and find that elusive state of happiness.

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