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Where is My Happiness?

by Jessica Zhang

Just be happy, they say. Sounds much easier than done — but it can be done. I think one of the most commonly glazed over realities is the fact that happiness is a mentality. Though we have more control over our emotions than we realize, we still allow external factors to dictate us. Believe me, I get it. It’s tough to think beyond the failures of today and muster enough energy to confront the challenges of tomorrow. I know all this philosophical talk is way overdone, and people are tired of hearing it, but I thought I’d give you all a few tips on how to regain control over your own mentality. Also, there will be a few items on this list that make you glare because you’ve probably heard it a million times, but take a moment to think: Did I really do it? And if so, for how long? Without further ado, here is how I found happiness:

1.Be grateful.

Yep, I know you’re glaring already, but pretty please trust me on this one. Through my personal journey of leading a bland life in the dark to an exciting one in bliss, my one key difference was finding gratitude in what I already have. It’s so easy to fall into a hole of pity after you fail a math test, get into an argument, or lose a loved one, but it’s incredibly important to know that it could have been worse. No matter how hard it is to search for something you appreciate in your life, I promise you it exists. Whether it be a plant you have in your room, a family member, a supportive friend, or even a necklace, there is always something to help you stand back on your feet. I recommend taking ten minutes or less to reflect on what you’re grateful for for the day, and perhaps recording them somewhere.

2. Set goals. 

It’s tough to find passion when you’re just aimlessly wandering through life. Start your goals small. Maybe your goal is to visit your grandma, or finish a select amount of tasks in the next hour. Write them down. Or, if you want to add on to a nightly routine, jot down a few goals you have for the next day. It’s healthy to understand there’s always room to improve your life, and having objectives helps you do so. Not to mention, a sense of accomplishment will boost your mood for sure.

3. This could be for the better. 

Perhaps there’s something on your mind that makes your brows furrow and your chest cave in. Remember, there’s a good and bad side to EVERYTHING. Yes, EVERYTHING. An old Chinese tale once described the occasion of a man’s horse escaping the farm. Everyone started sending condolences for the man’s loss, but the man asked, “how do I know if this is a loss?” A few days later, the horse returned with an entire herd for the man to keep. No matter your struggles, please remember that there’s good that arises from it. Whether you left it stronger, or you avoided an even greater trouble by confronting this one, take out the good and learn from the bad. In fact, this could be a blessing in disguise. 

4. Your life is your own. Use it.

Who knows if there’s tomorrow? Who knows if there’s an afterlife? I sure don’t. Remember that your life is so much more than the stresses you may be focusing on right now. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with work or your pet fish passed away. Trust me when I say it will be alright, and I know you got this. But also, look beyond the scope of your pains and think about the amazing people in your world and incredible memories you may have made. Turn it around, and use your life to accomplish what you’d like instead of living in regret or strain.

5. Don’t beat yourself up for things outside of your control.

When things are already out of my control, I teach myself to expect the worst and hope for the best — to some extent. I’m not saying you should dwell on the most mortifying possibility of your troubles; I’m saying you should keep yourself reasonably prepared for undesirable results but keep an open mind. Think of the possibilities where it could all work out. Don’t torture yourself by thinking there’s no up only down, but rather hold on to the possibility of good while being aware of the bad. Allow yourself some peace of mind; you deserve it. 

6. Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

Find confidence. Believe in yourself, and others will too. You don’t need to adjust your actions, thoughts, or future based on others or your environment. Set your own surroundings, and be proactive in what you want. That being said, if you want happiness, go get it.

Hopefully you didn’t cringe too much while reading through some of the more basic tips, but I really do hope you can give this all a shot. To answer the title of this article, happiness is already yours — you just need to find it. Also, never be scared to seek professional help if you feel you need it. They’re professionals for a reason! Remember, you’re extraordinary and deserve to have a smile on your face. 🙂


Featured photo – Photo by Catalin Pop on Unsplash

Grateful – Photo by Ann on Unsplash

Goals – Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

For the Better – Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Your Life – Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Out of Your Control – Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Thermostat – Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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