(n.) the quality or state of being happy
What is happiness? We all aspire to achieve happiness, yet very few of us really understand what it means to be happy. We try so hard to achieve it, but often fall at the first or second hurdle because we put too much expectation on ourselves. Psychologists and philosophers spent years trying to discover the true definition of happiness, so it’s no wonder that we haven’t been able to get our heads around it either.
More than being in a good mood, happiness is about an overall state of wellbeing that embodies a deeper sense of meaning. Just look at the Danish and their approach to happiness, in the form of hygge (pronounced hoo-gah). They find joy and comfort in the smallest of acts – family time around the dinner table, cuddling up and watching a movie, or sitting down to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. After seeing it first-hand myself at the height of the Christmas season – as hygge as it gets – I came back wondering how I could bring a part of it into my own life. As I expected, it’s not something that just happens.
It would make sense then, that happiness is often described as an art. Something that we, as humans, must learn. If you think about the amount of books that have come out in recent years about happiness, mindfulness and positivity, it’s hard not to believe that it’s something we need to educate ourselves about – and we’re all starting to realise that. It sadly isn’t something that comes naturally to us, so in order to appreciate the true feelings of happiness we actually have to put some effort into it.
Next time you find yourself searching for happiness, remember that it won’t just turn up on your doorstep. Only you can make it happen. We don’t have to be happy 100% of the time, but if we can find out what it is that makes us truly happy and focus on the small things, then we can move that little bit closer.
Here are 16 reasons that each and every one of us should be happy today, and every day.
You have a roof over your head.
In light of recent news events, this hits home more than ever. If you can say that you have a roof over your head and a warm duvet to sleep in at night, you have every reason to smile.
Somebody loves you.
More people love you than you even realise. Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, Grandma, Grandad, Boyfriend, Girlfriend or even your Dog. Knowing someone loves you is as heartwarming as it gets.
You have arms, legs, eyes and a voice.
This is something we all take for granted, yet we should feel so grateful to have all of these things as our lives would be hugely affected without any of them.
You have choices.
You have the choice to do what you want, be who you want and act how you want today. Make it wonderful, and you will feel wonderful in return.
You live in a beautiful world.
No matter what might be going on in the world right now to put a dampener on our moods, just remember to look around and notice the beauty that surrounds you. There will be something that catches your eye. Sit and admire it, just for a minute.
You don’t know what’s ahead of you.
There is so much hope for the day ahead. Be excited about what you could achieve today and find joy in all the small things throughout the day.
You can use the weather to your advantage.
If it’s sunny, get out and enjoy it in any way that makes you happy. If it’s raining, make yourself cosy, put the kettle on and get stuck into your favourite book or watch episode after episode on Netflix.
You have passions.
You will have something that you are passionate about, and that will be unique to you. To have any passion or dream is a big reason to smile.
You live in the 21st century.
We live in a modern world where there are so many opportunities open to us. Talk to your parents, and you’ll soon realise that you’re much more fortunate than they were at your age.
Your relationship will thank you.
When you’re happy, you invite others around you to join you. By being happy, your relationship will benefit hugely.
You have the power to make today a great day.
If you tell yourself this each morning, accept the challenge. You have every opportunity to turn a good day into a great day.
You are good enough.
We don’t tell ourselves this anywhere near as much as we should. You are good enough for anyone and anything.
You can take time out for you, if you want to.
Who is stopping you? Go home, put your pyjamas on and get into bed with a hot chocolate at 7 pm if you want to!
You are not alone.
If your emotions are a little wobbly today, find solace in the fact that there are others out there feeling the same.
You can make a difference to someone else’s world.
A small act of kindness can totally make someone’s day. Hold a door open for a stranger today, or smile at a passer-by who looks like they need it.
You’ve been through tough times and made it out the other side.
You will have undoubtedly experienced some low points in your life, but look at you now – you shouldn’t underestimate your strength!