Do you know what it really means to be happy? When you think of a happy person, what do you see in your mind’s eye?

You might see someone who’s constantly with a smile on their face. Their eyes are always light and clear. They laugh loudly and live louder. They look at the world with an innocence and curiousty you wish you had. They’re constantly excited about something and they look forward to anything. They have fun and generally enjoy life more than others,

Those are all qualities of happy person, yes, but no happy person on Earth can always look like this. Someone can be happy and not be smiling, someone can be happy and be silent while reading quietly in the library.

Being happy can be all of these great things, but by no means are they humans with perfect luck. The sun doesn’t shine down on them constantly, but they do try to view the rain as a blessing.

I want you to be happy, but in order to be happy, you need to know what it really means to be happy.

1. YOU CAN STILL BE SAD

What it really means to be happy - you can still get sad

Picture by: Xavier Sotomayor

Living a happier life doesn’t mean the end of sadnes, guilt, and all of those other feelings we don’t like to feel. They don’t suddenly disappear into a black abyss.

Crappy emotions remain even if you’re the happiest person on Earth. There’s an absence of these emotions sometimes, but you will get sad. That’s okay! You’re a human who experiences everything, so you should feel those feelings unashamedly.

If you try to be happy all of the time without allowing yourself to feel sadness, you’re going to put yourself in a position where you will be disappointed constantly because it’s impossible to be happy 24/7.

That’s what life is. Overall, you’re happy, but you’ll have sad moments. And speaking of moments . . .

2. YOU WILL HAVE BAD MOMENTS

What it really means to be happy - you will have bad moments

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One minute you can feel happy, and the next you can be throwing your remote control at the television when your favorite character gets killed off of a show.

We’re supposed to feel a range of emotions—that’s what makes us human. You’re going to have bad moments in life even as a happy person, and you’re going to have to deal with them.

These are also okay. You’re not always going to be a smiling happy go lucky person. You will get pissed and yell at people and say mean things.

Try not to do these things, but don’t make yourself feel guilty about fucking up or feeling sad.

3. LIFE ISN’T PERFECT

Life isn’t perfect — that’s what it really means to be happy

Picture by: Fischer Twins

Happy people aren’t happy because they’re the luckiest people on Earth with the happiest lives. Their lives aren’t perfect. They’re happy because of their outlook on life.

Even when they’re living through hard situations, they will try to find positives, they’ll try to be light, and they’ll look for a way to be happy.

You’re not unhappy because life has been shit to you, you’re unhappy because you’re looking at life through the eyes of a pessimist. You’re not seeing the best in everything.

Having a positive outlook on life takes practice. It’s a habit that you form overtime by practicing being positive.

Don’t envy happy people, instead, learn from them. Find one happy person in your life and figure out what their mindset is. Ask them, “How do you deal with negativity? What’s the first thing you think of in the morning? What makes you a happy person?”

Whatever you learn, take the information, make it your own, and apply it to your life consistently.

4. HAPPINESS DOES’T MEAN YOU CHANGE WHO YOU ARE

What it really means to be happy - you don’t change who you are

Photo by: Cody Davis

When people work on their happiness, they expect to see a whole different person when they look in the mirror.

Will you enjoy life more? Yes. Will you have more time for play? Yes. Will you feel better about life? Yes.

Will you suddenly be a ray of sunshine if you’ve been sarcastic all your life? No. Will you sit in the sun, reading a book, and drinking coffee at 6 in the morning when you’ve never been a morning person? Probably not.

When you work on your happiness, you’re just that—happier. Maybe you improve your snapping at people and gossiping problems, but you don’t have a change in personality or the things you like.

Accept that some things are just you because you are amazing. You become a better version of yourself, not a completely different version!

This is what it means to be happy. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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