Recipe for happiness

People have been looking for some magic recipe for happiness, a formula, a pill, an equation that captures the essence of what it is that makes us happy. As it usually goes, while being focused on the bigger picture we lost track of what really matters. Lost in the material world we tried to buy happiness, we thought it might be hiding in another city but it wasn’t there and we tried looking everywhere around us. It turns out, we were looking in all the wrong places, as happiness was already hiding inside us. So, the point was in understanding that happiness is not in the outside world, it is in your head and you are the one that has the key to access it. The recipe for happiness is much simpler than most of us would like to admit – just choose to be happy! Before you frown your eyebrows at me, let me explain…

Don’t worry, be happy – goes the famous song. Let’s start with the first part of this glorious line. It sounds silly to tell someone not to worry, there are big situations in life that make us feel worried and no one is immune to that. However, the part it took me a while to learn is that I can actually be (in the lack of better words) ‘in control’ of my own brain and emotions. When I was younger, it seemed that when worries and stress would show up I would just give in, like a puppet hanging on a string that was in somebody else’s hands. But, your own thoughts are in your head so you’re the one that’s thinking them. Slowly start to be more aware of those thoughts (that can change your life in so many levels but we’ll talk about that some other time) and if they start to get cloudy or stormy try to chase them away. It might be hard at the beginning, but like everything else it gets better with exercise. So, if you start to feel worried, shift your thoughts from thinking about the problem – to focusing on finding the solution. In cases where the solution is out of your hands, just remember – worrying doesn’t make anything better and by stressing about it you’re not actively participating in resolving your problems. To resume – focus on the solution, not the problem and remember worrying doesn’t make anything better, it just consumes your time and energy.

Telling someone to be happy can also sound weird, as we all think that happiness requires a reason, and it comes to us only in special occasions. Well that is true, but only partially. We do get happy when something good happens, when we achieve our goals, when we are with someone we love. But on a day to day basis we also need to be happy. It’s the most positive emotion, and we shouldn’t save it for special moments. Make regular moments special by just being happy. Choose to be happy! Make happiness a habit! Yes, I said it, and I know it’s hard, but from my own experience I also know that it can be done. When you’re feeling blue – just smile. Not to anyone in particular, but to yourself. To a beautiful day around you that you maybe haven’t even noticed. Smile to so many good things around you that worrying seems to make you blind to. And like I said, choose happiness because happiness may not always be able to choose you.

Ivona Josipovic

Ivona Josipovic is a co-founder of The Smoke Detector, writer, fashion stylist, social media manager, curious creature, chocolate lover.

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