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Happiness is one of those things that’s almost impossible to describe in words, even though we instantly know whether we’re feeling happy – or not (!). 
 
Have you ever wondered why this is? 
 
For a start, happiness is unique. What makes me happy is different than for you. 
 
 
The only way to find out what really makes you happy is to experience it for yourself. To go out and live your life so you can discover all the unique things that make you happy. 
 
Happiness is all about emotions and feelings. Not logic and thinking. At any moment, you either feel happy or you don’t. If you have to think about whether you’re feeling happy, then the answer is that you’re probably not! 
 
Most crucially, true and lasting happiness comes from inside. It’s a common mistake to think that happiness comes from outside, but this simply isn’t the case. How you react to something – positively or negatively – doesn’t come from the thing itself, but your own emotions and feelings about it. For example, whether you love or hate cats, this feeling doesn’t come from the cat itself, but your feelings about it… 
 
It also explains why happiness can’t be bought with all the latest “stuff”. At best it only gives a temporary “high” quickly followed by a “low”. And why people who don’t seem to have much, by conventional standards, can still be happy. 
 
Having talked to lots of people about what makes them truly happy, it’s always about the little – and often simple – things in life. Ephemeral and easily missed. A child’s laugh. Beautiful sunsets. Picnics with friends. A song on the radio. The list goes on and on. 
 
And the best thing is that, as soon as you start to notice them, more come along. Your focus starts to change to the things that make you feel happy and, gradually, the things that don’t start to fade into the background. If this sounds too good to be true, just try it. It works! 
 
Many people have said that being happy is our natural state. So why do we seem to find it so hard to be happy? 
 
An easy answer would be that we’re too easily distracted by the modern world around us. Too busy rushing around. Too busy worrying about the future or reliving the past. 
 
We simply don’t spend enough time in the here and now to notice the things that make us happy. They are there for us to see, if only we’re paying attention. 
 
We forget to appreciate what we have, instead focussing on the things we don’t have. Or the things we have, that we don’t want. 
Comparing ourselves to others and the things they have, that we think we should have too. 
 
If we’re so busy seeing all the negative things around us, how are we ever going to see all the good things? 
 
Funnily enough, seeing the things in your life you don’t want, can help you get back on the happiness track. But only if you use them to help work out what you do want instead. 
 
It may be as simple as going for the complete opposite or may require a little more digging to discover. Either way, as soon as you’re clear on exactly what you do want, your focus changes and that’s what you’ll start to see showing up in your life. 
 
If this all seems a bit too abstract for you, here’s how it works in practice. Say you hate doing the food shop and think all the staff are unhelpful. So, as you go off to your favourite supermarket, all these thoughts are running through your mind. As is your bad mood. It doesn’t matter whether you’re conscious of this or not, it’s still going on. 
 
So, what are you going to tune in to as you do your supermarket shop? The helpful staff or the unhelpful ones? And whichever type you come into contact with, how are you going to react to them – positively or negatively? Most likely the latter. It’s no surprise that the end result is a reinforced negative mindset and so it goes on. 
 
By way of contrast let’s say that going to the supermarket still isn’t your favourite job, but you’ve now moved to a more positive mindset. Perhaps it’s that the staff are doing the best they can. Regardless of the staff you come into contact with, isn’t this going to result in a more positive experience? 
 
It may seem like a small change, but it makes all the difference as you go about your day. Just try it and see. 
 
Even better, why not take time during your day to top up your happiness reserves by noticing the small things that make you happy?  
You’ll be amazed how many of them there are, if only you take the time to see them. And if you feel that you just don’t have time to do this, then ask yourself why not? 
 
To get you going, here are a few of ours: 
 
Pottering in the garden, daffodils, a child’s smile, a wicked sounding laugh, the antics of our Bichon puppies, walks in the countryside, singing along to the radio, tea with friends… 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
 
 
Picture by unknown author 
 
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