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The Potion to Happiness

 “Happiness is not something ready-made.  It comes from your own actions.”  Dalai Lama

Happiness-is..What is happiness and why are some people always happy while others are not?  Do the individuals whom are happy know something the rest of us do not?  I did some research and gathered a few ideas:

Let’s start with the definition of Happiness – “the state of being happy”.  Happiness is an internal feeling one can achieve by having control.  What I mean by this is that usually when one has ‘control’ over a situation i.e. choosing to walk away from a conflicting situation or  intervening  in a dispute as a third party one can say they might feel  empowered.  Empowerment therefore leads us to the feeling of ownership of our lives.  Because of this ownership or self-control of our lives, one is able to achieve happiness internally.   Below is a list of my personal opinions of the secret potion to achieving happiness. 

 ·       Practice gratitude – be grateful for the challenges you have overcome and the things you have.  There is always someone less fortunate than you.  If you find gratitude in the small things it should help one to appreciate the things life has to offer.

·         Do something good for someone else – sometimes assisting someone ‘just because’ can put a smile on your face as well as theirs.

·         Be patient – good things come to those that wait.  Don’t be hasty, but do everything in moderation.   This should help to relieve stress.

·         Supportive network – surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good.

·         Have fun – always take time out for yourself.  Do something adventurous, try a new food, visit an old friend, etc.

·         Be true to yourself – know and be comfortable with who you are.

Now that I have shared my list, what things have you done to achieve happiness?

To learn more about Happiness, check out Psychology Today, an online magazine where psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and authors contribute their thoughts and ideas about different topics relating to oneself.

 By Yvette Watson Jenkins

Graduate Student, University of Baltimore – Negotiation and Conflict Management Program

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