Happiness Is In Your Hands: 4 Ways To Discover Your Path To Finding It

by Deirdre McAndrew

Often, we allow for our happiness to depend on someone outside of ourselves: a significant other, a family member, a best friend. While these people can very well make us happy, this cannot be the sole form of goodness in our lives.

We must find happiness within ourselves before we seek it from other people, places or materialistic things.

Confiding in someone else for happiness is similar to retail therapy in that it is dangerous. It's initially helpful, but in the long run, the overpriced sweater you purchased — similar to the person you turn to for a smile or a laugh — will become dull and worn out.

Creating happiness is essential for us to experience worthwhile and full lives. We are told to surround ourselves with people who make us live better. Their purpose is to enhance the happiness we already created for ourselves.

If we are not happy with ourselves, we cannot make happiness for ourselves. This dependency we seek through others causes us to be stuck in the mud of mediocrity.

Depending on someone else for happiness will drive you and the other person crazy, and your relationship will eventually fall apart.

When you confide in someone for anything in life, it leads you to have heightened expectations for the person. Something as simple as receiving a "good morning" text message every day for a month from the person you just started to date can cause turmoil.

While it is a kind gesture that makes you smile after hitting the snooze button once or twice, you will come to expect it to happen each and every day.

The dreaded day that this person does not make this effort will be the source of your first argument and you will feel "disappointed." Both the small things and the big things will begin to bother you. Essentially, the two of you will drive each other crazy and drive each other apart, solely because you expected him or her to make you happy.

Happiness comes from the little things in your life.

Happiness should be simplistic. It shouldn't be a shopping spree or a 10,000 dollar vacation. It should be things you can do every day. Happiness can be achieved at such a smaller scale: a sunrise, a sunset, walking your dog, the perfect cup of coffee or your favorite television show.

When you find happiness in such basic, everyday things, you'll know you're one step closer to keeping it in your own hands. Happiness should be something you can show and share.

And by share, I do not mean physically share, but to inspire others. When you are having a good day or week, share your sunshine with the world.

Say hello to a stranger, wave someone on to make the impossible lefthand turn on your usual commute to work, or do a favor for a friend — or a stranger — in need. While no one should depend on others' happiness, letting your own shine may have an amazing effect on someone else.

So, if you are in a fabulous mood, let it show. Style your hair nicely, wear a bright-colored sundress and treat yourself to something sweet — anything to emphasize and control your wonderful mood!

Happiness is something you can find within yourself.

If you wake up to a cloudy Monday, anxious about the busy week you'll have, you have two decisions. You can stay in bed all day, yielding to all responsibilities, yearning for your next vacation day; or, you can do the opposite — arguably the most important version of self-happiness.

You can seize the day and realize that while mental health days are sometimes a great idea, productivity and being active is the best way to create happiness. As strong, independent individuals, we must dig deep into ourselves and realize that we are in control of our lives.

We are in control of our smiles, frowns, tears from crying too much or laughing too hard. We are our own happiness.

Self-happiness should motivate you to meet success.

Some of the most successful people are the ones who are in control of their own happiness. Success is not a reflection of who drives the nicest car or wears the nicest shoes. Rather, success is defined by who loves what they do. If you find happiness in being a housewife, then do that.

If you find happiness in working at an accounting firm from 9 to 5 every day, then do that. If you are able to create your own happiness, you will create your own success.

If you are happy with yourself, you are stable. You can take risks, make differences, let people in your life for the right reasons and live.

Happiness and you are the priority.

Prioritizing always helps to reach your desired goal. Make a list of things you've designated to be priorities. Make a list of your priorities that will bring you happiness in the future. Put yourself first. Be with whom you want to share your happiness.

Make decisions that create happiness within you. By making yourself the priority, you are immediately creating and controlling your own happiness.

So, keep happiness in your own hands — even if it isn't yet obvious why you should.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It