What makes you smile? What makes you laugh so hysterically and uncontrollably that your stomach starts to ache? We all have our own personal sources of happiness. Let’s discuss what it is that brings that beautiful smile to your face and why you have reason to be happy!
We can experience happiness in an abundance of different ways. For a second I want you to imagine I have just given you a freshly baked homemade cookie (vegan/coeliac/lactose friendly, basically just something edible for those of you with allergies), also for the sake of the example screw your New Year’s Diet and work with me on this, now I want you to picture yourself taking that very first bite. Memorise the scent, the sound and the taste as you consume the imaginary biscuit. How does it make you feel? [Disclaimer: not responsible for feelings of hunger and intense cookie cravings]
Be it the first bite of that rich and chewy cookie that you’ve been craving all day or the sound of that one song that you completely forgot you loved which randomly comes on the radio. Those moments are simply golden. In scenarios as such you cannot help but smile in the momentary indulgence.
A deeper happiness is caused by people. People we love and people we care about. A parent who always seems to know what the right thing to say is, a sibling who could annoy you till the end of the earth but who you secretly have always had a soft spot for. There is no closer bond than the one with your family. As individuals you learn from one another and lead separate lives, but together, together you are an invincible force. A team so strong there is nothing you couldn’t tackle for one another. Hearing their voices is comforting, reuniting after time spent apart makes you ecstatic and moments together are some of the memories you still cherish today.
I always consider friendship to be one of those utterly confusing concepts. The process of allowing total strangers into your life who over time, become the unofficial members of your wider family. A friend can be met in the most unlikely of places but their presence and loyalty can last a lifetime. The bond between two friends cannot be described simply, and to attempt to do so would be to do an injustice. The most amazing part of friendship is that you can laugh, cry and scream at each other without explanation. A friend is someone who is there for you through the good times and the bad, a person who you trust to always, always have your back. That feeling alone is enough to make any person smile.
Now to the bigger, more important question; why should we be happy? In this big, bad world that we live in today what is there to truly feel happy about? No one needs reminding of the frightening events and tragedies that have flooded our news reports in recent times. Be it the recently elected racist and xenophobic president of the United States, the migrant crisis across Europe or Britain leaving the European Union we have reason to feel concerned. It is easy to say ‘Think positive’ or ‘View the glass half full’ but in our constantly evolving and modernising world that we share, recent events have given rise to feelings of fear, disappointment and anger. Day after day a war wages on somewhere on the earth, fighting for religion, land, beliefs but sometimes we know not why. We destroy the world we are responsible for protecting.
Although I cannot deny that various news items and topical issues have made me question my faith in humanity, rather than allowing myself to feel totally defeated by the evils of the world, I allow them remind me of why it is now that I need to remember to smile more than ever. I will not be fuelled by hate or anger rather by love and compassion. Love for all that is good in the world and for all that I have to be thankful for. Look outside your window, we live in a beautiful world. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of the beauty that surrounds us.
We all have reason to be happy, however big or small that might be. Moments of sadness are inevitable, we cannot escape them nor should we try to. Acknowledging pessimism but choosing to focus on the positive is a lot easier than attempting to wade through the despair. Sometimes all it takes is that amazing chocolatey cookie or jamming tune to lift your spirits. So don’t forget to smile, enjoy the moment and be happy- trust me it’s a lot of fun!!
By Kate Kinsella (IE)