How can I feel happy again?

Short term: a tub of your favourite ice cream, this song, this book, this video, this audio ;)

Long term: can happiness actually be pursued? Or is it a beautiful by-product of a different, more fulfilling quest? Sometimes we fixate on our desired state. We want to feel free, lucky, chosen, blessed… happy. But these states of being aren’t things we can just go out and get. They’re what we feel when something else happens.

So the deeper question is: what should be our focus? What approach should we adopt that’s most likely to make us feel the way we want to? And not for its own sake, because we all know that feelings are temporal. I mean, what approach to life will make us feel satisfied regardless of the changing seasons? Which path will see us smile in the rain as much as the sunshine?

That’s a big question, and one we have to answer ourselves. I would say this: there are situations I’ve experienced which make me think that acts of kindness and generosity, especially when sacrificial, can produce intense feelings of living ‘right’, and bring about a deep sense of happiness. The message to your friend to let them know what they mean to you; the call to your parents to tell them how loved they are; the two minutes spent with somebody homeless to let them know they’re worth more than your spare change. There are a myriad ways.

But perhaps the most important factor is self-care.

Please don’t be too hard on yourself – you’re a beautiful person with a unique blend of things to give to those around you and those who will soon meet you. Try not to judge yourself, compare yourself, or give an amplifier to those voices that upset you.

Take good care of yourself, then those around you, and you’ll start to feel happy again.