You might not like this answer (I sure didn’t), but here it is. Happiness is a choice. It’s that simple and yet so hard to put into daily practice. If you want it, really want it, you can have it.
Here’s how to be happy.
Accept what is
When you find yourself in a situation that elicits a negative emotional response, pause. This could be an argument with a friend or spouse or colleague in the workplace. By pausing for a few conscious breaths you force the space necessary for a conscious reaction or non-reaction that is not rooted in defending a mental position or derived from an emotional response. Accept that your spouse or co-worker feels the way they do. Understand their ego is hurt and that you are both arguing unconsciously. By pausing and accepting the situation you immediately bring presence to the moment. Watch how your demeanor changes and theirs. Your muscles relax, your ego feels less triggered, and you are both able to respond with love.
Take Conscious Action
When a situation is repetitively painful and you feel that you need to leave, breathe and then act consciously. Act not from a place of pain, judgement, or vengeance and your action will always be true. By pausing for a few conscious breaths, you can be sure you are always taking the right action that will lead to peace and happiness in your life.
These practices are the foundation of building happiness in your life. They are very basic, but so hard to master. However, with time and dedication you will find that your whole world changes. Without daily conflict, you can then inject more peace, love, and fulfillment into your life.
Follow the peace
When something feels good, take notice and follow it. It doesn’t always have to be something that has a “worthwhile” end result. It could be painting just for the fun of it, knowing that you will never be a professional artist or baking a cake for yourself. If you find simple joy and satisfaction in the smallest of tasks then do it! Fill every space of your day with something that feels good. Follow the peace. That’s how you will be happy.