Being happy is not dependent on how much money you earn, how many gadgets you have, or how many fancy cars you have.
Happiness comes from a much deeper place; it comes from within you. All our lives we are constantly looking at external factors to make us happy – approvals from others, branded clothes, expensive shoes, iphones, ipods, new laptops and what not. But we fail to realize these things only offer transient happiness. If you want to be permanently happy, look inside, not outside. Initially, you might have to force yourself to be happy, but then it will become a habit.
Go easy on yourself
Forgive yourself for all the wrongs you have done in your life – being mean to a sibling, disrespecting your parents, stealing from your best friend, lying to your teachers. Whatever it is, however big a transgression it is, forgive yourself. Tell yourself it is fine. You’re human. Things happen. The important thing is to realize your wrongdoing and repenting for it. Once you’ve done that, breathe and let it go.
Forgive and forget
If others have wronged you in some way, find it in your heart to forgive them. There is nothing else that will give you as much peace. Don’t hold any grudges. It’s like carrying a heavy baggage on your head and being asked to walk up a hill. Discard the baggage and you will reach the top that much quicker. Look forward. Don’t harp too much on the past.
Enough with the judging/criticizing
Stop judging and criticizing people at once and you will immediately notice people around you increase in numbers. You will possibly make new friends thereby increasing your happiness quotient. Judging and criticizing shuts us down. We then don’t see the goodness in people, but just their flaws. Once you stop doing this, you will note how much space it clears in your head to think about other things. Try it.
Give your time to others, do something for them. You could volunteer at a blind school or an orphanage. It could even be as simple as helping your mother with the household work – grocery shopping, cutting vegetables, or husking a coconut. Doing something for others makes you feel happy and content.
Stop fixating on your problems
Stop getting depressed over your problems, because the more you do the more depressed you will feel. Also, constantly thinking about your problems will only make them seem bigger and daunting than they really are. If you have an education loan you need to pay back, focus on how to pay it back, rather than focusing on how broke you are at the end of every month. One way around this is to not let your mind idle and busying yourself with things. The minute you feel you have been shortchanged, think of all the things that you have -- your family, the love around you, your current possessions, your present achievements in life, and be thankful for all of them.
Do what makes you smile
Do things that you enjoy doing. Take out time every day, if possible, or once a week to do the activities that you are passionate about – horse riding, swimming, stamp collection, reading, whatever it is.
Stop giving much attention to what others say
Stop paying too much value to others’ opinions about you. It’s okay to listen to them to see if there is something of value for you, but if it’s only criticism and their biased views about how you should live and behave and what is acceptable and what is not, then cover your ears and walk out.
Live your life. You’re only given one. Make full use of it. Do whatever it is you dream of doing, so that at the end of it all, you have no regrets.