Happiness is something we all want. There is possibly nothing more worth pursuing than a life filled with joy, well-being, and contentment. It seems to be the ultimate prize of a life well-lived.

However, many people still confuse their happiness. Do they only feel happy sometimes, or do they make an effort to be happy in their life?

Our Emotions and Feelings of Happiness

Having a deep feeling of elation or being happy is an emotion, and emotions are only temporary. Our emotions change all the time. Emotions like feeling sad, angry, excited, and happy are fleeting and are greatly influenced by external circumstances.

Our emotions are our reactions. While we can learn to manage them, they can be something that we have very little control over. We feel scared when our security and peace are threatened and angry when hurt or betrayed. We can’t stay happy in these types of situations.

Our feelings of happiness tend to change according to how particular situations in life affect us. Our feelings normally dictate our reality, so it can seem that we have very little control over how we feel, think, or see things.

This leads many people to believe that they have no control over their capacity to be happy and that they are at the mercy of what life throws at them. They just hope and wish that they end up happy in life. In doing so, they are giving their power away and creating a belief that they themselves have no influence or control over their own happiness.

Happiness as a State of Mind

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Happiness as a state of mind is a result of our thinking. If we develop a happiness mindset it is more permanent or long-lasting compared to a temporary feeling or emotion.

A happy mindset shapes our outlook and disposition in life irrespective of external influences and events, or other people and their actions and behavior. Improving our state of mind doesn’t just happen. We have to make it happen.

Happiness is something we can shape, control, and influence within ourselves. If we do, happiness becomes a conscious effort to develop within and helps us not solely allow external circumstances to dictate how we feel.

A state of mind goes beyond external circumstances that may or may not always be favorable to our desire to be happy. It is independent of the circumstance and even though it’s natural to feel emotions according to how our experiences dictate, a mindset is a more permanent state that doesn’t go away when the issue is resolved. We get to keep it!

Whenever we encounter negative experiences in life, it’s normal to feel negative emotions. However, if you establish a mindset of positivity and happiness, it enables you to retain this aspect of yourself no matter what any current reality may have you feeling at the moment.

On Lasting Happiness

For us to achieve true and lasting happiness, we need to develop a happiness mindset. If you can do that, it won’t matter what negative external circumstances fall your way because your happiness mindset will act as a filter, providing a conscious and deliberate choice to stay positive.

A happiness mindset requires you to be allowing and accepting and look on the bright side. It means you can accept the good with the bad as a part of life. We all know that life is never full of just positive experiences, but the biggest factor affecting our happiness, or otherwise, is our perception.

It does not mean denying reality, but it means consciously choosing to be as happy as we can, as much as we can.

When we encounter negative experiences in life, we must be aware of them and acknowledge the situation. We need to react positively to every situation, without becoming despondent or disheartened at the gravity of any circumstance.

It’s still normal and appropriate for us to react emotionally. We don’t want to hide our emotions or become robots! We can experience sadness, grief and all manner of painful emotions, but we choose to allow these to be only temporary. As soon as possible, we return to our chosen state, that is, positive and happy.

We need to make a conscious choice to change how we feel which enables us to resolve problems that make us unhappy. This is what a positive mindset allows us to do. A mindset of happiness doesn’t mean denying ourselves reality, it’s deliberately choosing to rise over situations and heightened emotions to allow our peace of mind to prevail regardless.