It’s hard to believe that Pharrell’s global smash hit “Happy” was released almost four years ago. The infectious melody made initially for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack was inescapable.
The Oscar-nominated single climbed to the top of the charts in more than 30 countries, selling over 1,230,000 copies in the UK and even has the bragging rights as the world’s first 24-hour music video.
There was something about clapping along to the mass choir and Pharrell’s smooth tone that was free and liberating, even if you had no clue how being a room without a roof felt. A big reason could be because happiness is good for your health.
Between heart protection, a stronger immune system, low-stress levels, and lowering the risk of diseases, being happy makes you more attractive. More attractive to women, friends, your bosses, even potential clients.
Happiness is a human right we inherited at birth, yet it still happens to be an essential component that alludes many.
Happiness is always under attack by the most unpredictable circumstances. A death in the family, heartbreak, financial issues, or even a newly elected ruler of the free world all are plausible threats to the well-being of our contentment, and understandably so.
After the circus of an election campaign we all cringed-watched last fall, CNN took a poll and found that more than 8-in-10 Americans felt the country is more deeply divided on major issues than it has been in the past several years. And more than half say they are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working here in America.
This contention seems to have spilled over into every aspect of life, too.
You cannot watch the news and expect anything uplifting. Our award shows, entertainment programs, and commercials all have subliminal political agendas, and even sports have seen its share of picking sides.
As depressing as all of this sounds, I have good news. We dictate our own happiness. Yes, there are external factors which may be very well unpleasing, but choosing to let those factors affect us is up to us. We have to view happiness as a north star — a destination we always strive towards.
We have to view happiness as a north star — a destination we always strive towards. Luckily there are simple things you can do every day to get there.
Make Happiness A Top Priority
It sounds simple because it is simple. Yet rarely do you see people take intentional and conscious efforts to put happiness above everything else.
As we go through life we acquire tons of friends. Some close, some not as close. But, and quite naturally, we feel obligated to cater to their needs, their will, and their happiness, instead of placing ours as a priority.
For one, it would be pretty selfish for us to place our needs over the needs of others, nevertheless our friends. And secondly, we love them, so it becomes hard to say no or to deny them and let them down.
This can look a lot of different ways.
Taking pride in your sexuality, despite who it makes uncomfortable. Staying true to your wardrobe choice, despite how unconventional it is. Or maybe it’s ridding yourself of toxic relationships because they are an infringement to your well-being.
Invest in your happiness to find greater happiness.
Happiness Starts With You
Happiness starts with you. While outside factors may enhance and contribute to your happiness, happiness begins with the sole individual you see in your medicine cabinet mirror every morning.
The problem is that we assume we must go out and seek happiness as if happiness is a Pokemon we have to catch and nurture.
Happiness is not something you have to go looking for, it’s something you have to become present to. The beginning of happiness is understanding that you already have it inside.
When we search for happiness in outside things, like a love interest, empty calories, or drugs, we find that we’ll never truly be satisfied. But when you are happy with yourself, you’ll find that even in absence of the aforementioned escapes, there is no void, there is no despair.
Money, women, drugs, and power all enhance happiness. They do not provide you happiness. Find the pearls within.
You will not be happy until you fully love and accept who you naturally are.
There are thousands of voices and influences that, if you let it, will convince you what you need in order to be happy.
Every week there is a new trend or sports car or fishing pole that is the “must-have” item of that present moment.
New golf clubs will come out, a newer version of the iPhone will inevitably be better and, yeah, everyone is doing the whole man-bun thing, but chasing fads will not bring lasting joy.
The standard of what is and isn’t acceptable is fleeting. That is why we must first find ourselves — as in what makes us tick, what we excel at, our folly — and love every aspect of what we find.
When we do so, we are saying that no matter what, we are content with what we bring to the table. And no one can take that away.
Greater Happiness is Achieved Through Greater Health
Another very simple way to make your life happier is watching what you eat.
Healthline.com warns that consumption of simple sugars like candy and soda, as well as in everyday foods, such as fruit juice, syrup, and jams, can cause your blood sugar to go up and down like a rollercoaster, causing mood swings and unrest. Refined white starches such as white rice, white bread, and crackers can have the same effect.
For those of us with a slow metabolism, cutting out junk food may have already been a priority, if only from a body image standpoint. But even those of us with fast metabolisms, who, no matter what we eat maintain a picture perfect figure, have to pay attention to what we eat, for the sake of our attitudes throughout the day.
I’m not advocating a plant-based diet, nor am I saying you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth from time to time. But you cannot expect to maintain a positive disposition when you consume processed food every day.
Of all the things you can do to achieve happiness, the easiest thing to do is finding gratitude in what you have in front of you.
Perspective is everything. It’s easy to look at what you do not have. In fact, if we were to measure happiness based on what we cannot obtain, we’ll actually never be happy.
Even after finally getting our hands on what we’ve always wanted, we’ll squander that joy just because we’ll look to what we do not have. Thus the cycle repeats.
Gratefulness is key because it allows you to appreciate what you’ve worked for, what was given to you and the hard work and patience it takes to achieve those privileges.
Take one trip to a third world country, or any country that is not the United States for that matter, and you’ll quickly come to grips with the tremendous opportunity afforded to you every day by simply being able to express yourself freely.