15 Ways of Finding Happiness, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

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When “life happens,” do you know how to keep your head held high?

Anyone who has been through difficult times knows that staying happy isn’t always about painting a smile on your face. Life is precious and everyone deserves to find happiness; sometimes keeping it is more difficult than finding it.  If you are committed to finding happiness, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of 15 ways to handle many of the trials that life throws at you and to bring more joy into your life.

#1 – Be Happy–not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything.

Image-Being-happy...not

When something goes wrong in your life, you can look at the situation in one of two ways: It is so easy to see, like the metaphor goes, a “glass half empty” but changing your perspective allows you to recognize that the glass is also half full.  

#2 – Being optimistic isn’t always being happy–it’s taking what the world throws at you and saying, “I’m not going to let this get me down.”

#2 - Being optimistic isn’t always being happy. It’s taking what the world throws at you and saying: I’m not going to let this get me down.

Optimism is different than happiness. Chasing happiness is as fleeting as chasing the wind because once you think you have it, the wind changes direction. Being optimistic is a decision to find an internal place of contentment despite the storm swirling around you.

#3 – Never be ashamed of how you feel.  You have the right to feel any emotion you want, and do what makes you happy. – Demi Lovato

#3 - Never be ashamed of how you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion you want, and do what makes you happy. – Demi Lovato

It’s easy to think that being happy means looking happy. Demi Lovato reminds us that true happiness is in finding yourself and expressing yourself in any way you feel. Happiness is less about pleasing others and more about being true to yourself and your needs.

#4 – Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself. – Alice Walker

#4 - Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself. – Alice Walke

Trying to reach for the expectations of others is a losing battle–once you think you have someone’s approval, someone else will always come around to knock you down. Find happiness from inside yourself and nobody can take that away.

#5 – You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way [of your happiness]. – Jennifer J. Freeman

You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way [of your happiness]. – Jennifer J. Freeman

Life will present enough obstacles–getting in your own way will just add to the barriers. Since everyone gets stuck in a rut from time to time, periodically take a moment to evaluate your life.  Ask yourself if you’re truly experiencing the level of happiness you really want. You can make any personal changes within your control, and then you can begin to tackle outside sources one by one.   

#6 – Find happiness in giving love and receiving love.  Your future self will thank you for it.

06-Find happiness in giving love and receiving love. Your future self will thank you for it.

Along with happiness, love is a foundation of life. Your life is strung together by a certain number of days, weeks, and years. When you break it down, you can see the importance of finding opportunities to encourage and uplift the people in your life every single day. They say it’s better to give than receive, but when it comes to love, reciprocation is key. Knowing how to receive love is just as important as giving it.

#7 – The secret to happiness is in finding joy in the simple things of life.

07-The secret to happiness is in finding joy in the simple things of life.

Many people tie their happiness to getting the things they want. The joy you get from having possessions or going on expensive vacations is only temporary. After a while, they’re no longer new and shiny and you’ll soon want something bigger and better. Instead, find happiness in simple things: take time to smell a flower in a garden, bake something from scratch, have a game night with friends. Since opportunities to enjoy the common things are all around you, it’s easier to enjoy yourself and sustain a happy life.  

#8 – Having a happy spirit will help you to see that everything will always work out.

08-Having a happy spirit will help you to see that everything will always work out.

A happy spirit will take you a long way. It gives you an internal joy to tap into anytime you need it. In life, disappointments are inevitable. Having a happy spirit won’t change the difficult circumstances, but it will protect you from getting your heart broken or your spirit crushed. Having a happy spirit keeps your mind and heart from getting stuck in a rut. It allows you to see beyond the bad, as you anticipate better times ahead.       

#9 – Try not to be easily offended or unhappy; what people say about you is a reflection of them, not you.

09-Try not to be easily offended or unhappy; what people say about you is a reflection of them, not you.

Reducing the number of times you get offended by others makes a huge difference in your ability to stay a happy person. To do this, you must realize that the harsh things people say is a greater reflection of their unhappiness and negativity, than their so-called opinion of you. Once you master this, you will have a powerful protection against unhappiness.

#10 – Whatever makes you happy is most important.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. – Cara Delevingne

10-­Whatever makes you happy is most important. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. – Cara Delevingne

The Paper Towns star Cara Delevingne has some bold advice on happiness, which happens to be in keeping with her role as Margo in the John Green movie. According to Cara, there is not a moment to waste on unhappiness. The opinions of others become noise and chatter in comparison to the single voice inside you which matters the most.

#11 – Happy, motivated & successful–this is what your best self looks like.

11-Happy, motivated & successful... this is what your best self looks like.

Living your dreams doesn’t happen overnight. There is no such thing as an overnight success. The road to getting there begins with knowing what makes you happy. Once you tap into that, motivation will rise up within you to propel you further along your journey to success.

#12 – Happiness is a healthy state of mind. It is a decision.

12-Happiness is a healthy state of mind. It is a decision.

Making the choice to do something that will bring you happiness isn’t always easy. It might not always feel good at the time, but you may choose to do it because it will help you to grow as a person and bring you happiness in the long run.

#13 – Happiness should be a high priority. Make it your ultimate goal to find something to be happy about–most of the time.

13-Happiness should be a high priority. Make it your ultimate goal to find something to be happy about – most of the time.

Prioritize happiness. Happiness doesn’t always come naturally for everyone. Even if you feel happy a lot of the time, make a practice of finding something to be happy about on a regular basis. Always be on the lookout for ways to lift yourself up. Similar to an injection of vitamin B12, regular boosts of joy will positively affect your level of happiness and overall emotional well-being.  

#14 – Take responsibility for your own happiness.

14-Take responsibility for your own happiness.

Responsibility is defined as, “a duty or task that you are required or expected to do.”  Just like managing other important areas of your life, happiness should be near the top of the list. Are you a “people pleaser?” Do you spend most of your time trying to make others happy? If so, it’s time to turn the tables around and give your attention, time, and energy to fostering happiness within your own life.

#15 – Happiness turns into exhilaration when in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

15-Happiness turns into exhilaration when in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Get passionate about something and just watch yourself change from just a generally happy person and into an unstoppable force. When the fire is lit inside you for your education, career or goals, a type of chemical reaction is released in your body to take your level of joy to a whole new level.

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