The pursuit of happiness

I was asked recently why I was always so happy. As this was the second time I had been asked that in as many weeks I thought it was high time to find the answer.

Musing over it, the conclusion I arrived it is that I am basically lazy.

Life is too short to be miserable, and being unhappy and depressed* just consumes far too much energy and effort, both emotionally and physically. Alternatively, and this is quite a thought, it could be that I am too stupid to be depressed.

Either way, it is plain that sending out negative energy only results in receiving negative energy and slipping into a tail spin. Much better, then, to send out positive energy and get positive energy back. You are doing yourself and others a favour.

This outlook is pretty much underpinned by the belief that you only get out of life what you put in. In my experience you always get repaid and, more often than not, receive an extra bonus on top. Good karma begets good karma.

I can’t say I am particularly religious. More of a sceptic than anything else. But good things do appear to happen to good people. No need to set yourself up to fail. Perfection is unattainable, and the lowest standard you can set.

Nobody is perfect

In these circumstances, acknowledging you aren’t perfect is the way to go. Then you can work on avoiding the triggers that make you fail in your quest to be a good person. This assumes, of course, being a good person equates to being happy. I strongly suspect that it does.

For ultimately we must be here on planet Earth with a purpose. And surely that purpose is the pursuit of happiness, so long as your actions don’t harm anyone else. It would indeed be a strange and spiteful situation to find ourselves in if that wasn’t the case. If you can’t be happy what is the point?

We are here for a short time. Let’s enjoy it and make the most of what we have. Happiness is out there, you owe it to yourself to find it. No one else is responsible for your happiness, only you.

That being so, then, depression and negativity are therefore hijacking your happiness. You need to let go of negative energy and thoughts for, in the end, all you are doing is sabotaging your own pursuit of happiness. While you can’t be relentlessly happy all the time; being ticked off and fed up are part and parcel of life, neither can you afford to be constantly pessimistic and down.

When you weigh it all up with the benefit of experience, both states of mind are self-fulfilling. So when things are bleak, escape. You will always find a silver lining if you look hard enough. Cling onto that plus, for it is an ill wind that that blows nobody any good. It’s there. You just need to look.

Don’t let negative thoughts – usually relating to people – dwell rent-free in your brain. It’s highly unlikely the other person is even giving you a second thought. You need to let go. As far as I can see, there are two ways to do this.

Firstly, imagine a large cardboard box. Open it up and stuff all your negative thoughts into that box, shut the lid tight and push it away to the back of your brain. If needs be you can unpack these thoughts. Reassess and then put them firmly back into the box. Eventually you will forget the box even exists.

The other method is to imagine ( you need a bit of imagination for these to work) a red balloon. The red balloon represents all your anger, loathing, fear etc. The balloon has a string and you’re holding onto the string.

Count backwards from ten and then imagine that you let go of the string. Exhale, and watch as the red balloon, and all your negativity, gently floats away into the distance. Watch as the balloon fades away over the horizon never to return.

If you can do either of these, then you are onto a far happier life.

  • If you are struggling with depression, see a healthcare professional. This blog post does not constitute medical advice.
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