How to be happy
Happiness is one of many emotions and there is a science to it. This article will take you through how to be happy.
Since the beginning of the world, we human beings as one of the species God created have always been in pursuit of happiness.
There is nothing such as one single thing or act that can bring everlasting happiness. Believe it or not, there are things that can help bring happiness and these things differ for different people.
I am one of those people that like to live a life of happiness and meaning. We all have things that we value and I believe things we value most are the things that makes us happy.
One of the things I value most is family and memories.
I love to be around my family and I always embrace opportunities of important experiences that become lasting memories for me.
Growing up, our brains have been wired to believe somethings we were told by our parents, extended families, school teachers etc.
Things we see, touch, feel and smell all play important roles in the things we value most.
I seriously believe in this quote about happiness ‘Do more of the things that make you happy.’
If we are to do more of the things that make us happy, one thing will need to do is to explore the things that makes us happy the most.
What are the things that make us happy?
From a personal life experience, five things have played key roles in my happiness and they include:
Family and friends
For me, family remains the number one source of happiness. It does not matter who you are or what you have done, your family will always remain your family.
We all have different experiences of growing up.
I am privileged to have had a great upbringing. This has helped me to appreciate the values of my family, both immediate and extended family.
It is very sad to hear some people having bad experiences dealing with their family.
When you have family or friends that you can call upon in difficult times, your life will be peaceful.
Friends are great as well and at times, there are friends that have become adopted members of your family.
I have some friends in my life that have become my brothers and my sisters.
People that you have built a relationship with for a long time can play important role in your happiness.
Spending time with friends and family can boost your happiness and lift your mood in times of challenges.
In my culture, there is a huge community spirit that helps people to stay happy. Even at difficult times when it is not possible for an individual to feed himself or his family.
There are a lot of get together, such as somebody celebrating the arrival of a baby or celebrating their birthday.
These events do bring family and friends together to celebrate and I believe events like these help lift mood and make people happy.
I have to say thought that I am not a fan of people spending money that they do not have, acting rich when they are not or showing off.
It is essential not to show off to the extent of other people feeling depressed and asking themselves “why do I not have this kind of wealth?”
These type of gathering of bringing friends and family together does not really have to be about any particular celebration.
It could just be having few friends around your house to just relax, have a barbecue or have a drink together.
I have been blessed and happy many times having family and friends around at our house over weekends.
And we have been to family and friends’ houses as well for the weekend and sleepovers.
It is usually a wonderful time spent together to show love and appreciate family and friendship.
Events and experiences
Take the time and reminisce about some memorable events and moments of your childhood. Take a moment to savour the exciting times visiting a zoo or nature reserves or somewhere nice.
A lot of people will say they have never experienced anything like that before. I am sure if you take a moment to reflect, you will remember some of those times.
I remember during my time in Bauchi City, Nigeria during my undergraduate degree studies, we used to visit the Yankari National Park.
The park is a safari and known for a number of wildlife such as lions and elephants. The highlight of this national park for me was the springs.
At Yankari, one of the springs which comes from under a rock has a constant temperature of 31.1 °C all year both day and night.
Every time I visited Yankari, I enjoyed swimming in the spring. Whenever I remember Yankari National Park experience I fill delighted for the privilege of experiencing nature.
Another example is Malvern Hills, we used to live in Great Malvern, Worcestershire an area known for the Malvern Hills. It is one of the areas designated as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Whenever I go running or walking on the Malvern Hills, I do enjoy the natural environment and the stunning views from the hills.
This is an example of real beauty of Mother Nature and it does sometimes help unlock creativity and joy.
Happiness in its purest form comes from activities like this.
The great thing about such experiences is that there is no judgment of I like this or I do not like this person which is one of human nature.
When the only thing you see around you are beautiful things, there won’t be room for you to feel sad.
Let’s say you have the opportunity to go on tour of Inca trail or see the northern light, I can imagine it will be a wonderful experience that will create a great happy memory.
Experiences like these will help unlock the creativity inside you no matter who you are.
There are some experiences of which whenever the memory come to your mind you will always feel happy and blessed to have had the experience.
I have to admit, I have not visited Peru to see Inca Empire or the Scandinavia to see the northern lights.
Money cannot buy happiness and it cannot make you happy. However, money is essential for happiness.
Whether you like it or not the world runs on money, so is our lives. Most of the points mentioned in this post will need money.
When it comes to the topic of money a lot of people get it wrong. They believe having money is bad because their brain has been wired with the wrong bible quotation of ‘money is the root of all evil’.
There is nothing evil about money, it is just a tool that can be used to do good or bad.
Bad people can use money to perform evil acts while good people can use it to do good. For example, giving to charities and helping people in need.
Money will not buy you happiness but money will pay for the things that can make you happy.
Statistics has shown that having money has a link to happiness.
We know from research that one of the major causes of anxiety is lack of money and lack of money do cause a lot of worries.
In fact, money issue is the second on the list of why couples file for divorce.
Money issue is real. I am not saying here that you have to be a millionaire or financially independent to be happy.
I am not a millionaire or financially independent and I am happy.
If you have a good job and live within your means, you should have some money saved for investment and emergency.
Having this extra cushion in form of investment or savings will help your happiness.
You won’t be waking up in the night or in the morning worrying about paying your bills or providing for your family.
Giving, Generosity and Service
This might be in the form of giving something tangible or sacrificing your time to help others.
A lot of people think they do not have anything to give, so they try to wait until they have a lot of money before they can give.
I am a normal ‘everyday man’, I am not a millionaire nor am I a billionaire. Yet I am comfortable and contented with the blessings in my life.
I find fulfillment, happiness and joy in helping people around me that are in need. From giving money to good causes to going out at times when it is not comfortable to helping a friend or a family.
Giving comes in various form. Ask yourself, ‘how useful are you to other people around you?’.
I always take up the opportunity to help my fellow human being because these acts contribute to my happiness.
I have heard people say the likes of Bill Gate or Mark Zuckerberg can afford to give millions of dollars away for charitable causes because they are billionaires.
The thing is, if you cannot give one pence from your one pound, the chances are when you have a million pounds you will only keep it to yourself.
Giving could be to encourage someone who is depressed.
When you give you will get a return in multiple fold what you have given. With happiness and fulfillment being possible rewards for you when you give.
Giving time or money to help good causes and people around you can be a very great source of happiness and fulfillment.
The greatest teacher that ever lived who was a son of a carpenter said “… the greatest among you will be your servant”, “whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all”.
I personally find happiness in helping and supporting others.
Depending on what you do for a living, you could derive happiness from your business or vocation.
Going to work for me is exciting because I always look forward to meeting my colleagues and I love what I do.
When I am working, I am joyful knowing that the job I do have positive impact on the society.
If you get ‘satisfaction’ from your job, then you are likely to be happy when you are at work. And that will contribute to your over all happiness.
One of the most important things in any job, vocation or business is ‘work life balance’.
Though ‘9 to 5’ jobs get a lot of bad press but being unemployment will surely be bad for your happiness.
One of the benefit of going to work is that it is a way of socialising and socialising can be a source of happiness.
Going to a job you love or working on the business you enjoy can help shape your happiness.
I hope these five points provide you valuable information on things that can help your happiness.
Happiness does not come from just one particular thing but from a variety of experiences, activities and people.
We all have the responsibility to identify things that makes us happy.
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