Avoiding depression is one thing. Attaining happiness is another – and there is a vast mundane distance between the two. Somewhere along the way, I completely forgot how to be happy and even have trouble imagining myself being happy. I have been finding videos about this topic from a psychology perspective and trying to get a handle on it.
- Happiness is not the absence of misery
Humans are wired to strive for happiness, and when they find it, they crave more and more. Sounds like an addiction. Sometimes I think all my booze and drug use earlier completely fried the ‘happiness’ center of my brain. Or maybe I have yet to come across a natural way to happiness that can complete with these chemical means.
- Happiness not thinking about yourself
I need to find happiness in the small things everyday. Waiting for intense events allows for vast stretches of flat unemotional existence. Focus on the little things everyday. Take a picture and document these small items.
I was talking about this while getting a haircut the other day and asked the gal what she does to stay so positive. Her advice was “Don’t go to sleep angry, sad, or mad – watch/read something amusing every evening”.
She also said her mom told here to “At least pretend to be happy and see if it soaks in / rubs off on others” Something to try this year anyway.
- I’d be happy if… fallacy.
Focus on process, not outcome – that whole journey not the destination thing. This is really difficult for goal oriented people. I spend all day focusing on getting things done and moving onto the next task. When things are done, I rarely stop to appreciate it.
- Accepting your situation as is
There have been some studies observing the happiness of prisoners, handicaps, etc. These are people who cannot change their situation who somehow are happier statistically than the population at large. Interstingly, fewer choices make finding happiness easier – not more choices.