How To Be Happy
Happiness can be as elusive as a shooting star, especially in today's world, where bad news is delivered left and right. Many of us don't know how to experience sustainable satisfaction in our lives, because we are often forced to suppress our emotions to deal with daily responsibilities. And when drastic events occur, society expects us to continue living our lives without skipping a beat.
This presents a major issue with the balance of our lives, because we are no longer coping with life day-by-day, but instead, we are putting our stress deep into our mind, in a place where it won't bother us for a while, where it can wait patiently to be processed, but instead, there are parts of this stress that remain unaddressed. This can lead to a poor attitude and a bad outlook on life itself. It turns into a vicious cycle, where we relive the nightmares of the past and distract ourselves with temporary joy, because we don't know how to make our inner turmoil disappear permanently. Coping with stressful events in our past becomes a large project, occupying space in our psyche, forever to remain unfinished.
Instead of suffering in anguish forever, take a journal and break down your eternal suffering into tiny, bite-sized pieces. Dissect each idea into as many pieces as possible. Work through each idea to find an easy, sustainable resolution. Try to see both sides of each judgement. Search for light wherever light could be. Your goal is to be your own therapist, your own negotiator, your own best friend, and your own peacemaker. This will take a lot of work, but if you are consistent, persistent, and strategic, you will notice meaningful results in less time than you would expect.
You may reach an impasse with certain negative prenotions, judgements, beliefs, or other knowledge from experience, which hinders your ability to live a happy life. The great men and women who have walked this earth have turned to religion and philosophy in these desperate times, but religion has the potential to cloud judgement, while philosophy serves to show multiple paths to transition from this current point of hardship, and it becomes a guessing game to decide which school of philosophy is superior, so that we can pursue the proper path. In these times, we feel that in order to be happy, we have to become one of the wise sages who meditated among the heavens to reach enlightenment, pondering the color of the sky for decades, working resiliently to decipher the great truths of the world. This is a promising path, but it is not the path of least resistance.
Happiness comes from being comfortable with oneself, with the state of the word, with the future, with the past, and with everything in between. Philosophical schools, such as Stoicism and Taoism, serve to deliver oneself from discomfort and discontent. Those who desire to be great should invest in Stoicism by reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. For those who desire to be happy in their own skin should invest in Taoism by reading the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. For those who abandon Taoism (being happy as oneself) for Stoicism (being happy by pursuing greatness), it is important to realize that pursuing greatness is seen as a sin in Taoism, unless you are pursuing greatness for selfless reasons. If you pursue greatness for your own sake, then you will never be happy as you currently are. It is important to acknowledge and accept your flaws under the school of Stoicism.
A final key for happiness is mindfulness, which is a state of mind where we are only reacting to the present moment. A lot of discontent comes from unpleasant thoughts from the past and future. Anxiety and depression are emotions that are commonly anchored in these spaces of time. If we remove the ideas of "past" and "future", we also remove 90% of our stress. Over time, we can train this ability to become more present when enjoying our favorite activities, instead of dwelling on the past or future. Because of this, mindfulness becomes an indispensable tool for our everyday lives.
One important thing to know about happiness is that it takes consistent maintenance. You have to continue to grow and cultivate it. You cannot neglect it. You cannot let toxic thoughts grow in your mind. It is important to have pure intentions and overall closure of what you have done in your life. You will have others attack your emotional wellbeing with negative thoughts. You have to remember that they only project these negative thoughts, because they too are suffering with emotional hardship. This is something that you do not have direct control over. You can attempt to help, but do not linger for too long. You are only in charge of your own happiness. When others are truly ready, only then will they follow the same path.
You have the power to feel any way you want to feel, and this is the perfect excuse to work towards your own happiness, because you are fully capable of experiencing it.