Maintaining happiness in an unhappy world

Maintaining happiness in an unhappy world

Last week I read about three school shootings in the USA, several child related sex offences and, among other things, an horrific case of domestic violence. In light of these and other, frequent, terrible events people often ask me how it’s possible to be happy in the far from perfect world in which we live.

And it’s a perfectly reasonable question.

My response, however, is that it is definitely possible to be happy despite what sometimes goes on around us. I’m not suggesting we ignore events such as those I’ve described above, or that we somehow try to see them in a positive light. Rather, I suggest we give these issues proper consideration and allow ourselves to feel sad, but then “use” such sadness and grief to highlight those other things in life for which we could and should be more appreciative.

Personally, one way in which I cope with such sadness is to focus on those aspects of my life for which I’m truly grateful. Often it’s my wife and children; at other times it might be my health, the wonderful city and country in which I live, my friends or even just basics such as my ability to see and hear!

So don’t allow negative events to cause too much unhappiness. Allow yourself to experience appropriate, human emotions but then take control of yourself and your feelings as soon as possible and practice positive strategies such as helpful thinking and appreciation.