The words “happy,” “happiness,” and “joy” often make people think of goofy, wide grins. These words make people think of celebrations, of people jumping up and down, of pumped fists for a job well done. Happiness and similar words often bring up images of emotional extremes like the ones I’ve mentioned.
However, happiness does not necessarily have to be the active kind of happiness we often see in the media or the Internet. Happiness could be mere contentment and peace, such as when you are in the same room with your SO, doing things together but separately. It could be the way living suddenly stops being a chore, and you see yourself actually look forward to getting things done. It could be a certain liberation from unnecessary burdens that you’ve been carrying for a year or so. It could be a liberation through an unspoken forgiveness.
The world today is full of sadness and despair. How, then, can we live better lives? Well, we should learn to actively seek happiness and actively claim that happiness for ourselves. Seeing that happiness does not always manifest itself as emotional extremes, it is now easier to see that happiness be found in the little things. Happiness can come from the fulfillment of one’s daily tasks. It can come from a newfound appreciation of nature or a hobby. It can come from a better relationship with oneself, friends, and the divine.
Happiness may come from unexpected gifts and surprises. At the same time, it becomes important that we learn to create and seek our own happiness. After all, the world can only do so much. So, do whatever you know will make you happy today. Eat something nice. Chat up that friend you’ve been wanting to talk to for ages. Take a nice stroll down the neighborhood. Forgive someone or make amends. Say thank you for every good thing that has happened, is happening, and will be happening.