how to find happiness

Oftentimes, happiness is treated as a goal or destination to arrive at. It's almost as if happiness is seen as a black and white concept rather than a fluid state. It isn't unusual to think that something good has to happen to us in order to achieve happiness. "I have to get this job in order to be happy." "I would be happy if I were in a relationship." "I won't be happy until XYZ happens." While being happy is a wonderful state to aim for, what reasons do we have for not being happy without all of the extraneous wishings? What is stopping us from allowing ourselves to be happy rather than actually doing it?

There are many misconceptions about happiness, one of them being that must one spend the entirety of their day with a smile on their face that stretches from ear to ear. In order to have a positive outlook on life, you do not need to necessarily be satisfied with every aspect of it. You can have a bad moment, or even a bad day for that matter and still be an overall happy person. I personally find myself in some of the worst mental states when I let one bad thing take control of my entire well being. While we shouldn't change how we feel about something, it is important to accept and honor these feelings.

After a period of apathy and even suppression of feelings, I've learned the importance of finally being exciting and interested in something. Anything. It makes any joyful feelings much more potent. With that being said, it also exposed me to how strong the feeling of desolation can be when you deprive yourself of feeling anything at all for so long. This is where the battle comes into play. Bad feelings trigger the creation of a rut that is seemingly so difficult to find any light in. That's the thing about happiness: You don't need to find it for it's already right in front of you. You just have to decide that you don't want to fall deeper into the ditch that you've fallen into, and you won't.

Within the last few months, I've learned that happiness is in fact, a choice. Sure, we have undesirable situations in life that seemingly have no solution at times, but these circumstances should not have the final say over our mental health.

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