I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that we are all trying to be happy. I firmly believe in the perseverance of the human spirit but, at times, even I find myself wondering why the universe is just trying to make me miserable. I've come to realize that it isn't the universe or some external force making me unhappy, it's myself. I am the sole master of my own happiness.
When was the last time you considered yourself to be thoroughly happy? From time to time, I hear people talking about "the good old days" or reminiscing about how simple things were as a child. As a kid, oblivious to the hardships of reality, life truly was happier and easier. But the difference is not just naivete. The difference is that back then we had fewer expectations for what the world should be like and were then able to be pleasantly surprised by more things. We didn't get hung up on minute details and simply existed to move on towards whatever dreams we had.
Somewhere along the line in our process of growing up, we developed an unhealthy habit of raising our expectations to a point where the most we can get is that they're met. You may be asking what could possibly be wrong with having our expectations met. The problem with having them met and seldom exceeded is that eventually we'll get tired of this and raise our expectations even more. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have expectations. In fact, it's human nature to do so. But we must understand that continually raising our expectations leaves more room for disappointment. Then, all we're left is the dissatisfaction of being stuck in the gap between what we wanted and what we actually got.
Take labeling a day as a "good day," for example. Many people may think that something grand or out of the ordinary has to happen in order for it to be considered a good day. With this standard in mind, it's quite probable that your good days will be very limited. Why can't most days, or every day, be good? In lowering your expectations for what makes you happy, you are more prone to those small pleasant surprises that make each day great. Appreciating the small things, or even just the absence of problems, is the key to being able to genuinely consider each day a good one.
It's can be really difficult to remain optimistic when inconvenience after inconvenience comes bounding our way. Just take a moment and really think about what bothers you on a daily basis. Most of these things are probably things that you'll forget about by the next day. If this is the case, is it really worth wasting your energy and bringing your mood down? Of course, this is easier to talk about than to actually do as I, myself, find myself stressing over minor inconveniences. Keep in mind: it's really not that deep.
As a college student, I see people stressing out over work and exams so much that their health and sanity is jeopardized. Is it really worth all of that? In the end, you're going to graduate, you're going to find a job you love and you're going to be perfectly fine. You're going to be more than fine, you're going to be great. I'm not insinuating that it's OK not to care about getting your work done to the best of your ability, but letting your stress get to you only makes you feel worse and holds you back from working to your full potential. Trying to visualize the grand scheme of things allows you to actively work towards your goals and overlook the smaller issues that really don't matter in the end. Practicing this on smaller inconveniences can evolve into being able to stay calm even when significant things go wrong.
We are constantly being given reasons to be upset. Allowing minor inconveniences to affect your general mood and happiness is like walking with your eyes set on the ground. Take a moment to look up and enjoy all the small joys in life. It's truly worth it, I promise.