When you look at all aspects of your life and ask yourself if you are truly happy, what is your answer? Sadly, for most people the answer is “no.” Some people might even say “yes” in regard to some areas of their life but “no” in regard to other areas. But there is a way to change this and feel happiness far more often–possibly all the time.

How to Raise Your Happiness Level

The first thing to do, to raise your happiness level, is to know what NOT to do. The first lesson in our knowing what not to do is to refuse to believe that our happiness level can be raised by what others do for us, what they give us, OR what they think about us.

Next, since we would like to raise our level of happiness, it is essential that we know what happiness is and what happiness isn’t. Happiness could be defined as the result of two things:

  1. Happiness is a result of, or accent on, a deeper feeling of spiritual connectedness. In other words, happiness is an outer effect of the inner feeling of joy that comes from being connected to the Spirit. 
  2. Happiness is the result of living in a manner that is in alignment with our beliefs and our soul’s purpose (i.e. following our bliss) and the result of “right living” or, manifesting the love of God as often as possible.

Depression Is the Opposite of Happiness

The opposite of happiness is easily recognized as depression. Technically, if we don’t feel happy, we ARE, by default depressed–even though we might not always feel it or act like it. In fact, if we think about it, the very idea of not being happy IS depressing. But don’t assume that this means that if you are not happy, it must mean that you are literally, clinically depressed.

Nurturing Inner Joy

Again, when we feel internally connected to spirit AND live in alignment with love and service to the greater good, we will feel an internal sense of joy, which will then manifest as external happiness. But this internal sense of joy and connection is something that doesn’t just pop up on its own. It has to be nurtured through living in alignment with the spirit of love.

After all, if our car tires need air, we need to fill them up with air. And if our body is thirsty for water, we need to fill up with water. So if we want more happiness in our lives, then we need to fill up with happiness. And every thought, word, and/or deed of ours is either adding to our joy and happiness or taking away from it. There is NO middle ground on this. The only “apparent” middle ground is our level of denial or refusal to see and admit that we are adding to, or taking from, our joy/happiness level.

Every time our thoughts, words, and/or deeds are in alignment with love and self-worth, the odds are, that we are adding to our inner joy and outer happiness. And every time our thoughts, words, and/or deeds are out of alignment with love and connection, the odds are we are subtracting from our inner joy and outer happiness. Whichever of these two options we are acting upon, is the one in which we will eventually see the results–sooner or later.

Choosing Joy and Happiness

Furthermore, whichever of these two options we are acting upon, is the one we are choosing. And since we are choosing it by the very act of acting upon it, this ultimately means that if we are not feeling inner joy and outer happiness, we have chosen to not feel such. This might be a bit hard to admit and accept but denial of this law/fact will only further deny us the joy and happiness we long for. And, once again, if we choose to continue in this mode of denial, then it confirms–even more–that we are choosing to be unhappy and depressed.

To choose differently takes courage–especially because it means breaking old patterns of unhappiness and depression that we are used to and even addicted to. Changing this could mean shaking up a lot of old, predictable areas of our lives. Which includes saying “no” to the old ways, and learning to take responsibility for how we feel. But most people prefer blaming others for how they feel.

Rate Your Happiness Level

So take a moment to rate your happiness level on a scale of 0-10 in several areas of your life (e.g. health, work, finances, relationship, family, etc.). For example, how much happiness do you feel in your partnership or in your relationships with your friends? How much happiness do you feel in regard to work?

Don’t confuse your level of “stimulation” or “excitement” for anyone or anything as being the same as happiness.

These sensations are not the same as happiness because they are not rooted in joy Furthermore, these sensations do not reflect true happiness because they are about people and things outside of us. These sensations are the opposite of joy and happiness…they are the longing for joy, which is why their result is not happiness. Instead, their result is an emotional hangover–literally and emotionally.

Once you’ve had a moment to review the categories noted above, be sure to give thanks to any of them that earned a high rating, (7 or higher). Then be sure to also review the items that earned a low rating (6 or lower) and ask yourself what you can do (if anything) to raise the rating. For example, if your relationship rates are low, maybe you might see a couples counselor. If your health rates are low, maybe you need to commit to working out more OR working with a health consultant. The bottom line is that if we fail to choose to do something to become happier, we are, by default, choosing to remain unhappy. 

Let’s bid farewell to the old patterns of choosing depression and instead make it a habit to choose happiness. And, by choosing happiness, we are choosing the will of God as our Guide in life. Then, as we nurture more happiness, we can teach and encourage others to do the same–thus creating a world with a greater abundance of happiness and all that comes from making such healthy choices.