Diaries Magazine

How Do You Know When You're Happy?

By Ellenarnison

The view from Chillout Scotland

Brighter ahead: The view from Chillout Scotland

We all want to be happy. Right? 
Of course we do... but what exactly is happy and how do we know when we've got there?
Is it about having a nice house, a nice spouse and nice children? It might, but, then again, I know a few people with all of that who are utterly miserable. 
Maybe it's something to do with money. After all they say 'money can't buy happiness, but it's fun to try'. Certainly shiny things are great and money can doubtless buy freedom. But then we've all heard about the Lottery winners who attempt suicide and generally wish they'd never pocketed all that loot...
Lots and lots of unbounded fun, is that happiness? Nah, I don't think so. Tears of a clown and all that. And think of the hangovers. 
Being thin, having lots of sex, winning everything you compete in or being famous might work....or perhaps you need to do all of them at once and doesn't that sound exhausting?
Sometimes you meet people and they are happy - they just exhale it. These people might be in the most awful circumstances that make them sad, frightened or angry... yet it doesn't stop them returning to happiness as soon as they can. 
Then there are others who relish their misery - you could say it makes them happy - they are brittle and bitchy always looking for the next worst thing. Nothing they have is right for them. 
The difference I suspect is one of will. You just decide you are going to be one of the happy ones and do your level best to make it so. The choice is yours. 
Disclaimer: I have been on a yoga retreat all weekend, pondering this and similar matters. I was reflecting on enlightment and bliss and thinking about whether or not contentment is the same as happiness. Oh and I also had eight hours' unbroken sleep on two concecutive nights and I feel very, very calm. Don't worry, there is every lightlyhood normal service will be returned tomorrow. 

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