Happiness: Making Better Choices About How We Feel

Happiness is easy when everything is going our way. Some people seem happy all the time. How can we be happy even when life is challenging?

Happiness Takes Place Inside of Our Head.

When things frustrate, disappoint, or anger us, we feel unhappy.

These unhappy feelings have a healthy purpose.  They alert us to problems.  The discomfort of unhappiness motivates us to make changes either in ourselves or our circumstances.

When we are mentally and emotionally healthy, we can make these changes.

Furthermore, realizing that feelings take place inside of us helps us understand that we can have control over our feelings.

The Questions for Overcoming Unhappiness.

First, can we simply let the feelings pass?  Thinking about the unhappy experience heightens our unhappiness.  Even years later, when we think of bad experiences, the unhappy feelings can return.  Therefore, not thinking about the cause of our unhappiness allows us to find happiness and return to the present moment.  A process for letting feelings pass is to sit with a feeling and focus on the feeling, not the things that we think are causing our unhappiness.

Second, can we change things that make us unhappy?  If we can, we can concentrate on solutions and not the problem.

Third, is the situation beyond our control? We can concentrate on not making the situation worse. Furthermore, we can avoid repeating mistakes that we made to create the problem.

Fourth, what is our role in the problem? Nobody enjoys looking at their mistakes. Why should we look at our role in the problem when we can blame other people, places, or things? A useful process is to write why we are unhappy. We include in our description what happened and how it affected us. Then we look at our role in creating the problem. From there we correct the mistakes that we made. In this process, we find that we can more easily accept what happened and move on beyond our happiness.

Fifth, is our unhappiness mood related?  To understand how moods affect the things that make us unhappy, pay attention to what is going on when the unhappiness returns.  Are you hungry, tired, or lonely?  These things and other things push us into lower moods.  Consequently, the things that make us unhappy swing into force with our moods.