How do I stay happy?

September 14, 2006 11:17 PM

A regular reader, GirlStar7 commented:

I find it hard to believe that you are ALWAYS so happy. or do you just not have anything bad happen to you?

The following are the philosophies I live by that allow me to achieve the above.

  1. With age comes wisdom, the wisdom to know what’s really important in life. I have all my limbs intact, my five senses working, and a clear head on my shoulders. I have a roof over my head, a comfy bed to sleep in every night, enough to eat, no money troubles and my loved ones around me. With the exception of clinical depression, one would need seriously good reasons to be unhappy with life if one already has all the aforementioned things.
  2. I keep things in perspective. 6 billion people on the planet. Many starving, many living with disabilities and illnesses, many living in war zones, many living never looking more than one day ahead – just surviving. Can you seriously tell me your life is that bad? Again, you better have a damn good reason to think that your life is shitty.
  3. In addition to my family, I can count on my two hands people I would call true friends. Near or far, my life is infinitely enriched by just knowing that they are there. Any more friends than that would be a bonus. Conversely, because it *is* a bonus you can afford to lose them. Don’t dwell on the people who’d hurt or dissapoint you. Learn and move on. Don’t be afraid to make surgical cuts to the people who’ve outlived your friendship. You’ve allowed them into your life, and you can just as easily show them the door.
  4. I am not a Christian, but this is such a profound quote:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Reinhold Niebuhr

And just a few more to throw into the mix:

  • Slow down and smell the roses.
  • Enjoy the simple things in life.
  • Smiling doesn’t cost you a thing.
  • yada yada …

I’m looking forward to Friday and every day beyond that. How about you? 🙂

Snoop napping
When all else fails, take a nap.

27 thoughts on “How do I stay happy?

  1. hobart

    my primary school headmaster once told me a story about two guys (a tale that has many variations but revolves around an identical concept…most people would’ve heard it).

    one guy was always happy the other was always day,the latter gathered sufficient courage to ask the former,

    “how do you always stay so happy?”

    “every day you wake up and everything you do involves choices.the same applies to simple things like what to eat for breakfast and other stuff like how you want to see things,how you approach life…be happy or be sad…i just choose…it’s that simple”

    the power of choice…some people just find it harder to realise.

  2. girlstar7

    It’s great to see you’ve got such a positive attitude. You meet so many people who are totally pessimistic and just think that life is crap. I used to be happy most of the time and would describe myself as an optimist. But this year, a whole lot of really bad stuff happened to me and it’s got me pretty down. Here are some things to remember if you’re going through a bad time:
    1. It is normal to be depressed and sad sometimes. It is part of being human; we have a whole range of emotions and if bad things happen to you, it’s normal to feel down.
    2. Whenever I feel down, I think that at the end it will make me stronger. I’ve met some people who have hit absolute rock bottom, been to hell and back, and still come back with a positive attitude.
    Since I’ve been going through such a bad time, these thoughts are in my head every day. That’s what gets me through; thinking that it’s normal to feel like this, and when you hit your lowest point, the only way you can go is up. I look forward to many happy times ahead in my life, and I’m sure next year will bring greater fortune.
    Hope someone going through a bad time is reading this and it helps them 🙂

  3. mooiness Post author

    herman: a smile goes a long way, laughter is good for your health and all that. Yes.

    hobart: ah yes the power of choice. It comes easier for some. I think one can start appreciating the good in their lives, no matter how miniscule it may seem.

    JL: definitely. Makes a whole lot of difference in how you choose to view your problems.

    girlstar7: great story and yes the only way is up when you are at the bottom, looking up. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Simone

    Hear, hear (here, here!).
    I think I’m mostly the same, with the odd moment of getting depressed about all the bad things in the world, but there’s no point getting depressed about it, better to do something about it, and just keep enjoying life in the mean time!

  5. ian

    Very nice. I started off as a depressive pessimist at a young age. But as I grew, I do find myself sharing your principles, at least close enough. Good to be reminded of the importance of being rationally optimistic – for I have been surrounded by more and more chronic negative individuals lately…

  6. mooiness Post author

    Simone: hear hear too! When shit happens you do have a choice on what to do: deal with it, learn from it and move on, or dwell and be depressed about it.

    ian: you just don’t need negative ppl in your life, that’s what I found. Better to be with ppl who, even if aren’t that positive, will at least do something about their complaints and move on, instead of constantly whinging about it.

  7. sourrain

    I think the way to happiness is to stay away from influcences that might upset you – i.e. people who are not good for you.

    Example in point. I have a clicnically depressed close friend.She had been on-off happy-sad-suicidal for more than 10 years. I remember the times she would miss school because she tried killing herself again.And the countless times when she would just literally ‘dissapear’ and not pick up her phone when she is depressed. I wouldn’t push it, I’d ring once,twice, and not hear from her for 6 months at times until she is better and would ring me back.

    As much as I love her when she’s ‘normal’,I stay away from her when she is in one of her moods.I know I should be there for her bla bla,but her depressiveness upsets and depresses me and make me hate the world.

    Yes, there are underlying issues that she is dealing with, but I have tried everything I can to help with no avail.So I just stay away.

  8. mooiness Post author

    sourrain: staying away from negative ppl is one thing but from the sounds of it, your friend seems a classic case of clinical depression. Hope she had sought the help that she clearly needed.

    LM: TGIF indeed. 🙂

  9. Su

    I used to be very pessimistic. Now, I’m more optimistic and happier. I guess since moving to Melbourne, I have a different perspective in life. I have a family that loves me back home & friends that cares for me. What more can I ask for? Don’t sweat the small stuff & everyone will be happier!

  10. mae

    Yay! Snoopy makes another appearance. I love your dog, I tell you. LOL. I love your blog too lah. I find it hard to be unhappy, if you have such a sweet companion (Snoopy) by your side. Jokes aside (though that was more of a semi-joke), I think it’s great you have such thoughts and perspectives to keep yourself in check and not be “unhappy”. I admire it a lot.

    There was a survey one time, I think, about Americans being the most depressed and Nigerians being the happiest. Can’t remember what it was trying to prove, the stats.

    I suppose, most people tend to whine and be pessimistic about life (I’m no less, and that’s rather shameful), is that we lose perspective on life, in the bigger picture and it’s easier to be insular. Shouldn’t be too forgetful of the bigger things; we would be better off =)

  11. mooiness Post author

    Su: once you realise what’s important in life, anything else just fades into insignificance.

    mae: the endless pursuit of material things would tend to make you feel inadequate or that you don’t have enough. When in fact, you already have enough. I think that’s what the stats you mentioned were trying to conclude.

  12. bunnygoeszen

    Yup, life is too short to be so unhappy. Sure, bad things happen to all of us, but like you said, we just need to put things in perspective.

    A turning point for me was when I visited India in 2004. It was only then that I realised what poor really meant. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to sleep on the streets, that I don’t have to beg and that I don’t have to dig in rubbish piles for food.

    No point complaining about work. At least I have a job. And I have the opportunity to change my job if I’m that unhappy. Etc etc.

    Oh, and I have to agree with you on staying away from negative people. If they want to be miserable, it’s really their choice. I choose to be happy. Nah nee nah nee boo boo.

  13. mooiness Post author

    bunnygoeszen: negative energy is meaningless because it leads nowhere. Only being positive will things change for the better. Plus keeping things in perspective really helps change your view about your problems.

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