Happiness a feeling of pleasure, contentment, or joy.
Who knows what it like is to be really happy? Recently? Really?
Everything that follows is based upon my own direct, personal, painful experiences.
I am not at all happy just now, but there’s a reason for my lack of pleasure, contentment and joy. A couple of weeks ago I suffered some skull trauma, and I’ve had a dull headache and nausea ever since. It is difficult to be truly happy if one is feeling unwell. Ask any guy who has influenza if he’s happy? Any woman will tell you the kind of answer he will give ~ it’s likely to include the word miserable.
Rule #1 for being happy. First be physically fit and well. If you are feeling miserable and depressed, get yourself out for a walk, have something healthy to eat, go to the gym, or if you are really unwell make an appointment with your doctor. Do not indulge in self-diagnosis. Take whatever medication you are prescribed.
Have you ever seen a truly happy alcoholic? Or a joyful heroin addict? Or come to that, a contented compulsive gambler? Addicts may be happy for a while, but sooner rather than later they will hit rock bottom and be caught in a slough of misery and depression. That’s if they’re lucky. If an alcoholic or drug addict is unlucky they’ll just be dead.
Rule #2 for being happy. Quit whatever you’re addicted to. Again, you may want to visit your doctor. Withdrawal from substance abuse, (including alcohol), can be terrible, it can kill you, you may need medical support. Think about attending an appropriate 12-step group, or getting some professional counselling. In any event, you can’t follow rule #1 if you’re continually as drunk as a skunk.
Some people, in my experience men especially, become obsessed with their partner and / or the object of their romantic or sexual fantasy. This is a short route to total misery. Perhaps she will not love you, or return your affections, or when you get to know her she may disappoint you, she may turn out to be a carnal slut, or she may be a real ‘bunny boiler’.
Rule #3 for being happy. Never put your happiness in the hands of another. Other people will not always do as you wish. They may not be nice to you. They may not want to spend time with you, or have sex with you. They may ignore you, or get a restraining order. You may spend your life wishing for things which are never going to happen because the object of your desires does not want what you want.
Some people are plagued by guilt. This may be a rational thing. You may have done something utterly terrible, bad enough to carry the scars on your soul. It may be irrational guilt. Some feel guilty for no good reason whatsoever. At most they should be embarrassed for a while. Yet some people are addicted to guilt, don’t want to be free of it at all. Guilt is a black and corrosive thing.
Rule #4 for being happy. Learn to forgive yourself. Whatever you did is in the past, it’s done and gone. So you weren’t always there for your drug addict child, and they died of an overdose. That was bad but the best you can do is learn from the tragic experience. Nobody is completely in control of events, not even you. Accept yourself, unconditionally. Forgive whatever mistakes you believe you made and move on.
Then there are the angry, aggressive and hostile people. There is a savage pleasure in giving free rein to insane anger for a while ~ trust me I know all about that one. Yet there are some people who are constantly angry, always aggressive, usually immoral, often sinister and vicious. These people should either receive anger management counselling or be taken out and shot. If you are often angry you will also have diabolical depression under the anger. You are not truly happy, sooner or later you will be physically and psychologically ill.
Rule #5 for being happy. Learn how to control and diminish your anger. You make yourself angry. Nobody else can really make you feel anything. If you are angry it’s all down to you. You do not make rules for everyone else to follow. If you are an alcoholic or addict then you are probably often angry, so first quit your addiction. Learn to accept life for what it is and stop trying to make everyone else jump when you bark.
These rules cannot be applied by everyone in every situation. Some of us are genuinely, deeply, obscenely unhappy. Some of us may be suffering from clinical depression. This is not an easy trap to get out of. May I suggest that the first thing to do is to gain some spirituality and genuine acceptance of your situation. There is a well-known prayer;
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Don’t worry, don’t doubt, be happy.