Happiness can be defined in many different ways; a big smile, the feeling you get when a loved one hugs you, the bliss you experience when the warm summer sun is beating down on you after a cold harsh winter. While we all can easily point out what happiness feels like, sometimes the difficult part is attaining it. How can you find your happiness when the summer sun hasn’t come out yet or you haven’t found that loved one to hold yet? Sometimes we tend to overlook the simplest answers and spend eternities searching for some complex solution to it all. The simple answer to the question of how to be happy can be found within ourselves.

To be happy, we need to remember to actually put our happiness first. Too many times we refrain from doing things that would make ourselves happy in order to appease someone else’s wishes. Don’t pacify others desires before your own. While you may just be trying to be a kind person in doing so, you are minimizing your chances of being happy. From what I’ve seen and experienced, the majority of people, the only exception being your parents, are going to put their own happiness above yours. So with that being said, why set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm? Compromising on what you want should never be an option. If you want to go away to college, don’t compromise to appease your long term boyfriend. If you want to change your major to something less profitable but one which means the world to you, don’t worry about what your parents will say. Your happiness is your happiness so do not let others weigh in on what should cause it.

Happiness doesn’t just come from what you do, it comes from within. This is something that I’ve struggled with a lot. While everything may be going great in life and you have everything you could ever ask for, sometimes you will wonder why you still don’t feel truly happy. What I’ve found it that you won’t truly be happy if you aren’t happy with yourself first. Joy comes from within. The more comfortable and confident you are with yourself, the more likely you are to enjoy life. Think about it, if you want so badly to go up and sing karaoke at the bar with all your friends but you are self-conscious, it’s going to hold you back from getting out and having fun. Love yourself first and happiness will follow.

The most important thing to remember growing up is to be happy. When it’s been raining all week, you’re swamped with homework, or you’ve just been through a tough breakup, remember to be happy. Life is too short to be anything but happy, so get in that mindset. The more you believe and tell yourself that you are happy, the more you’ll actually start to be. Finding joy and things that bring you it in everyday life can be good for your heart and health by reducing negative feelings and stress on our hearts. So relax and have a day of happiness for your mental and physical health, put your happiness first and you’ll soon find life to be enhanced. Find what makes you happy and hold onto it.