Credit: Kurt Strenck

You may have read my last article about where society thinks they get their happiness from. Basically, I wrote about how material things are not what make us happy.  Additionally, I explained that we can't hold others responsible for our happiness.  Now that you know how happiness does not come, I'd like to educate you on how it happens.

Happiness comes from not being happy.  Does that sound crazy?  Good.  What I mean to say is the contrast between joy and discontent is a balance in life in which we need.  Without it, we'd be lost in a tedious path of un-tempered peace.  Not to say that peace is a negative thing. However, how would we even know what peace and bliss is if we couldn't compare it to the rough stuff?  We wouldn't.  So don't sweat the bad stuff, you wouldn't be able to enjoy anything without it. 

Where does happiness come from? Helping others definitely brings delight to many people's lives.  To know that you're improving someones life,  trust me when I say it is the most rewarding thing you can ever do.  Better than money or a shopping spree.  Because it lasts.  The pleasure you feel can only be gained through helping of others.

Another way to reach bliss is finding yourself.  Having a sense of who you are as a person in this Earth.  Being recognized for who you are is the best feelings.  You have such a sense of self.  When I say knowing who you are, I mean not just your hobbies and outer personality traits.  I mean if you were to really dig and find yourself.  Figure out why you do certain things.  It changes you.  You realize who your friends are and who the people you're hanging on to are.  What do I mean by the people you are hanging on to?  I mean a certain set of friends or just one person that compliment the person you think you are.  For example, when I was in my sophomore year of high school, I had a set of friends in one "clique".  We were a specific stereotype and I would only hang out with these friends, because I identified them with what I thought I was.  Shortly after, I came to realize I have so many traits.  Why am I limiting myself to one group?  When one really searches for them self, they aren't only pealing back the onion.  They're letting the truth bleed into every aspect of life.  

A great source of joy is appreciating everything in life.  Even if horrible things are going on right now, there is always time to show appreciation for every last thing.  An example of someone who lives in a relatively, stressful situation is this guy, who had his picture taken from Brandon Stanton.  Appreciation humbles you and forces you to focus on the fabulous things going on in your life!  

Another great path towards happiness is control.  When one has control over the aspects of their life, it relieves the anxious we all feel when we don't have things under control.  To know that everything is taken care of and you don't have to feel anxious about this or that.  You might not notice it usually, but this goes hand in hand with appreciation.  You can appreciate that you've taken care of everything, that you were responsible and completed every last one of your tasks.  

Something you may hear a lot about is enjoying the small moments in life.  I believe this concept is a gem.  Even and especially for those having a rough time.  To be able to take a moment and breathe in the fresh air.  Or smile at the laughter of children.  This is a gem.  You can use it at any time.  I'll give you an example of something I did as a child in elementary school one time.  I was sent to the principles office, (ooooooooooooo!) I was very nervous because I had no idea what I did.  I sat there waiting in the stiff seats and in the cold, harsh air conditioning. I was waiting for the principle for what seemed like an eternity and I got bored.  But then I noticed, this room smells so interesting.  I didn't know what the smell was, but it was so peculiar to me.  Looking back, it was definitely a strong cologne.  As a child, I just loved this smell in his office.  But the point of this small story is to give you an example of a time where as a child, I was so nervous to find out what I did wrong, but I let this small moment engulf me and I enjoyed the smell of his office. It distracted me from my worrisome feelings. Small moments can amass to an extremely happy life. 

There are many simple sources of happiness, we just have to let them through.