Why Happy People Are Happy

Do you ever wonder how two people can be in similar positions, however one of those people is cheerful while the other seems miserable? How can that be?

Just the other day, when I was on my college campus, I overheard some students talking. They were clearly very stressed out, which is typical for this time of year, but their entire conversation consisted of negativity. They were mainly complaining about the amount of work they had to do and the many nearing due dates that faced them. The conversation went on for at least ten minutes, that I was aware of.

Don’t get me wrong, every student in the world has complained about their workload at one time or another. For some reason though, this conversation stuck out to me because of how pessimistic it was. I was getting depressed just listening to them! There were no solutions being offered, no positive words thrown in to combat all of the negative ones. For these students, it just all seemed bad. Maybe I simply caught their conversation at the wrong time, but is it not true that we see this all of the time?

So, I started to think about the way we use our minds and direct our energy and how that manipulates our reality. I started to think about all of the people in the world who would die to go to school, but don’t have the means to do it. I thought about all of the people who don’t even have a safe, clean place to rest their heads at night.

And then I started to get frustrated.

How ungrateful can we be?

The answer is so simple and we’ve all heard it before.

People live despondent, unhappy lives because they are consistently ungrateful.

Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. This is no secret, but it’s something we seem to forget all of the time. Why are some of the poorest (financially speaking) people in the world also some of the happiest? If you travel to a third world country, you’ll notice how gracious and joyful so many of the people are when they have far less than we do.

Gratitude is the answer. Stop focusing on all of the things that are wrong and appreciate the many blessings because everyone has them no matter how small. We are alive and have the ability to spread positivity and make others feel loved. No matter how many bad hands we are dealt in life, that fact can never be taken from us. If nothing else, be grateful for that.

It’s not rocket science. This is something many people write about and preach, but few of us actually do it because when the going gets tough it can be hard to feel very gracious.

We all know that consistently negative people will never be happy no matter how much money they have or how many blessings come their way. We can’t continue to focus on what’s wrong and expect things to get better. By expressing gratitude, even in the worst of situations, we can find happiness and peace within ourselves.

Make a change:

Write a list of everything you have to be grateful about. Think about these things every single day. Or you can make a daily list every morning of five new things you are grateful for. This will get you in the habit of recognizing the good things in your life, which we sometimes forget to do.

When something goes wrong take a step back and thank the universe for whatever is coming. Try not to react. Instead, respond. Have faith that what’s coming will be better than anything you could have hoped for.

When you start to take your life for granted, research what is going on in other parts of the world and you will quickly gain perspective.

Volunteer and help others who are less fortunate. Find a way to give back and try to do it at least once a week. Spending time with people who are struggling or don’t have much can make all the difference in the world when it comes to appreciating our lives.

We have nothing to complain about. We shouldn’t wake up every day feeling miserable. Life is incredible. Things won’t always go according to plan, but that can be a wonderful thing when you change your attitude and practice gratitude. Hey, that rhymes! Change your attitude and practice gratitude. Nothing is under control. Think about that for a moment. It can either be a scary thought or a comforting one; it all depends on how you choose to look at it. I’ve always said things shouldn’t be any particular way, they just are. Rid yourself of expectations and the pressure of how things “should” be and practice living with gratitude in every moment.

It’s not always easy, but making a conscious effort to recognize the good in our lives every day is vital for a happy, fulfilling life. If we can begin to incorporate this into our lives we can gain a new perspective and every curveball thrown our way will begin to seem like an exciting, challenging test that, in the end, will become a blessing.

Profile photo of Montoya Miller

"Being both soft and strong is a combination very few have mastered." ~Yasmin Mogahed