Google “how to be happy,” and you’ll be hit with thousands of results, all touting ways that we can be happier in our everyday lives. You know what’s interesting though? The majority of these articles don’t talk about buying anything or taking expensive vacations. They don’t recommend getting a better job or making more money. And they don’t ask any of us to trade in our family, baggage, or personal history. Happiness isn’t actually that complicated. Philosophers and wise thinkers have said this for decades, and in the last several years, research has finally caught up. You’ve got everything you need to be happy.
Turns out, that whole “happiness is a state of mind” thing, has a lot of truth to it. So much of happiness is rooted in how we see and experience the world. How we choose to look at things can completely change what we see. Gratitude, mindfulness, and optimism are just a few of the things associated with happiness. And these are all learnable skills! You don’t need fancy equipment or training. You don’t need the perfect life circumstances. You’ve got everything you need right now.
You’ve probably heard the mantra, “Choose to be happy.” I don’t really like that phrase; it’s a bit oversimplified for me. So I’ll offer you this instead. “Choose to practice the skills that are associated with happiness.” Day in and day out. Develop a daily gratitude practice, practice mindfulness, engage in meaningful connection. Name what goes well, pay attention to the small things. Breathe. Do these things with consistency, and see how your happiness unfolds. You’ve got everything you need to be happy. The question is whether or not you’re using it.
Below are nine quotes to remind you that happiness is absolutely within your reach. You’ve got everything you need. But don’t just take it from me. Read on.
“Happiness is a habit. Cultivate it.”
“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all of the details of life.”
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, gratitude.”
“Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.”
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything.”
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
“Happiness is there for the taking—and the making.”
“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.”
“There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.”
Remember, you’ve got everything you need to be happy. It just takes some practice.
PS: Want some help practicing happy? Try a few of these 45 ideas.