- Whether one is happy or not does not depend on external
circumstances. It depends on one's attitude. Many famous people have
suffered very unfortunate external circumstances who showed that they
can lead happy and fulfilled lives. E.g. Bernadette of Lourdes, with
painful bone cancer; Helen Keller who was blind, deaf, and mute. Many
poor people who are happy, while many rich people are unhappy; many
celebrities have committed suicide despite their "success." Again these
show that happiness does not depend on external achievement. Be aware
of your moods and the times when you feelings are heavy, either when
you are experiencing fear, anger, resentment, jealousy, etc. These are
the times when you feel unhappy. Master your moods, rather than be
their slave. Feeling heavy is often due to habitual behavior. Awareness
of them is a first step to dealing with it.
- Learn to relax and take care of your health. Stress and tension
are the common sources of daily unhappiness and heaviness. Learn how to
relax, such as by breathing exercises; or by tensing each muscle and
then relaxing it. Ill health can often be the cause of unhappiness,
including fatigue. A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full
description of a happy state in this world. - John Locke.
Do regular aerobic exercise -- research shows that it reduces anxiety.
Maintain a balanced life, a balanced diet, and sufficient rest.
- Be positive and optimistic. Let your thoughts dwell on positive
things rather than negative things. Some people habitually think of the
misfortune of others -- gossip; or complain about small inconveniences
during the day -- traffic, heat, etc. They dwell on the negative and
tend to induce their own low level of enthusiasm or fulfillment. (But
it does not mean we are blind to the problems around us. We accept them
but not habitually dwell on them, unless there is something positive
that we can do.) In every thing there is always a bright side and a
dark side. It is within your choice whether to appreciate the bright
side, or whether to complain about the dark side.
- Be more selfless; do not be constantly absorbed about your own
self-interest. This is one of the most important secrets of
happiness -- forgetting oneself. Unhappiness is always accompanied by
egocentricity -- including self-pity, need for attention, expectations,
Geoffrey Hodson's advice on marital happiness: "Think always
of the welfare of your spouse; and never of yourself."
In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be gainer,
to forget oneself is to be happy. (Robert Louis Stevenson)
To me there is in happiness an element of self-forgetfulness. You lose
yourself in something outside yourself when you are happy; just as when
you are desperately miserable you are intensely conscious of yourself,
are a solid little lump of ego weighing a ton.-- J.B. Priestley
- Awaken love and caring within you. Love creates a state of being
in us that makes unhappiness less likely to come. Love is a genuine and
unconditional concern for the welfare and happiness of others. Start with
After you have sought over the wide world, you learn that happiness
is to be found only in your own home. - Voltaire
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have past
at home in the bosom of my family. . . . public employment contributes
neither to advantage nor happiness. It is but honorable exile from
one's family and affairs. --THOMAS JEFFERSON
Awaken genuine compassion and concern for every person you encounter
every day. There are only two roads that lead to something like human
happiness. They are marked by the words: love and achievement. . . In
order to be happy oneself it is necessary to make at least one other
person happy. . . .The secret of human happiness is not in self-seeking
but in self-forgetting. - THEODORE REIK, A Psychologist Looks at
- Learn to develop compassionate detachment. Attachment is often the
cause of our sorrows. It is a form of psychological dependence, an
inability to let go.
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather
than in attempting to satisfy them. (John Stuart Mill)
The secret of happiness is renunciation. (Andrew Carnegie)
Learn to appreciate rather than be attached. You appreciate and enjoy
ice cream or sunset, but you won't be unhappy if you don't have them.
Learn to transcend daily ups and downs by entering into regular
- Help others in their need. You will discover joy in helping
The harvest of happiness is most often reaped by the hands of
Only one thing I know. The only ones among you who will be really
happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
- Devote yourself to some worthy cause or noble pursuit. This is
an important key to living a meaningful and fulfilled life -- to devote
oneself to a cause one recognizes as greater than oneself.
Many persons have a wrong idea about what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to
a worthy purpose. (Helen Keller)