How To: Be Happy

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I think it's safe to say that most everyone has gone on their own pursuit of happiness at some point in their life. I'd never thought about it much until one of my friends recently told me, "You are such a happy person. How do you become happy? What's your secret?"

It was a Monday, I was tired, and I'm pretty sure that I was scrambling to finish some homework that I'd successfully avoided doing the entire weekend. We had run out of almond milk at home, so I couldn't have my favorite smoothie for breakfast, and my uniform skirt had seen much better wrinkle-free days. But I was happy, and I couldn't quite explain why I had any reason to be happy, but at that moment, I was completely content with my life. 

As a person who frequently overanalyzes everything, I couldn't get her question out of my mind. How do you find happiness? What's the secret? What's my secret? I inevitably ended up here, ready to fight this out with my weapons of choice; a laptop and my Spotify playlist. 

  • One of the scariest/coolest aspects of being human is the fact that you can change your life whenever you feel like it. If you don't want to be who you were this morning, you don't have to be. It's that simple. So first and foremost, I've found that happiness is often a result of recognizing both the things you can and can't change. You can't change the past, but you can most definitely change the future. So, let go of the things you can't change, and stop worrying about them. 
  • You are in charge of how you feel, so choose happiness. I know it's not always that simple, but deciding that you're going to be happy is a game changer.
  • Compliment someone. It sounds weird, but building other people up can make you feel all warm inside. After you compliment them, watch how their eyes sparkle when they smile. Watch as their cheeks turn pink and lips turn upwards. You made someone else happy. You are a source of happiness. Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone else completely happy to make you feel happy.

.baby bunnies
  • Look at pictures of baby animals. When was the last time a cute puppy made you said?
  • There are over 7 billion people in the world. Don't let one of those people get you down. Is someone being mean to you? Has someone not treated you right? Let them go. So many people will want to be your friend. So many people will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Let go of the ones who don't. 
  • Turn off your notifications. Waking up to 200 Whatsapp notifications and 51 emails and everything in between can be really daunting. 
  • Always make time for the things you love. We glorify the idea of being busy. The idea of relaxing and doing what you love is frowned upon. Everyone seems to think you always have to be doing something important. Do something you love every day; whether it's an hour of yoga or listening to your favorite song. That one little thing can make all the difference.
  • You have on average around 30,000 thoughts a day. How many of these thoughts are happy thoughts? Are you constantly thinking negatively? Your mindset is everything. What you think really coincides with how you feel. Think happy, be happy. "If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

  • Go buy some flowers. They can be for yourself or your mom or a total stranger. Buy a single stemmed rose or a whole bouquet. Look at how pretty the flowers are. Some are large and curvy, some are small and thin. Some have large marks on them and little spots. Some are missing a few petals, some look fairly odd. But all of the flowers are beautiful. Look at yourself like you do the flowers. Even though they're all different and slightly imperfect, they're beautiful. You are too. 
  • Laugh at yourself. Sometimes life seems way too serious. Living can be really hard sometimes, and we all make really stupid mistakes. One of the easiest ways to feel happy is to just laugh. Laugh at your mistakes. Nothing is permanent, so take a minute to let things go and laugh. As Taylor Swift says, "Shake it off." 

  •  Look up. Sometimes we're so busy doing this and that, and we forget to look up. Sometimes you just have to stop what you're doing and take a minute to appreciate how awesome the sky looks. Is  something bothering you? Look at the sky. Think about how vast the universe is and how small your problems are. It's going to be okay :-)
  • Don't like your hair? Cut it. Is someone in your life negatively influencing you? Drop them. Want to be a runner or wish you knew how to knit? Start today. Stop waiting for the weekend or for the new year or for summer to do what you want. You can make changes right now. Your happiness is a priority, so what's preventing you from starting right now?
  • Just because someone else is successful doesn't mean you're a failure. Don't compare yourself and your accomplishments to your friends. Compare yourself to your former self and nobody else. Try to be better than you were yesterday, not better than your friends.

Life's much too short to be anything but happy. Think about it. Even your worst days have only 24 hours. So, if you're still feeling sad, just remember that some of the best days of our lives haven't even happened yet, and that's pretty cool. I hope you're a little bit happier now. :-)

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9 Happy Thoughts

  1. Right! Just do it! Make yourself happy by doing what you love and change the things you don't (but can)! XOXOXOXO

  2. It could not have been said any better. Literally, you are such an inspiration :) If there is one thing I have learned recently, it is that you cannot be everything, but you can always be a better version of yourself. I find that to be the most beautiful and motivating thing in the world. And you just hit the nail on the head. All I can say is Wow.

    1. YOU make me so happy too! What you've learned would've been another great tip. I've tried the "I'll try to be everything" route, and it really doesn't work!! Thank you for your sweet words :)

  3. Love this! You seem so enlightened for someone in high school! I love it. I love how your friend recognized this about you and that you pondered it for awhile. Looking up is so helpful sometimes! This week I have been taking some deep, exhaling breaths and looking up at the sky and the clouds and feeling so much gratitude.
    Thank you for this post, Katherine!

    1. I hardly think I'm enlightened, but thank you for the compliment :-) Deep breaths is a GREAT way to be happy. Seriously, a good deep breath is so highly underrated sometimes!!

  4. Oh. my. goodness. I would say that I have no words for how incredible and wonderful you are, but here I am with some words anyway. I must reiterate that I adore your writing and your way with words, and I also must say that these are some awesome tips and tricks for staying happy in a world that is filled with negativity. Thank you ♥ YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL IN SO MANY WAYS.

    1. Oh. my. goodness you are like my favorite person. I adore you and your lovely comments even when I'm really busy and a slacker and a bad commenter/blog friend. I hope you are doing well. I'm off to your blog right now! <3

  5. You must be an old soul, Katherine, this is quite wise!


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