Everyone wants to be happy, as if the state of being is a destination you can arrive at if you follow the directions precisely. The truth is that every person experiences many emotions on a daily basis. When we define ourselves as “happy”, what we’re really saying is that our life and the people in it make us feel positive emotions more often than negative ones.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The time we spend concentrating on negative emotions robs us of the chance to find positive feelings, such as happiness, amusement, and laughter. It would be impossible not to let sad events affect you in any way. Optimally, we need to find ways to work through our more difficult emotions while still leaving room for joy.

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be. – Abraham Lincoln

As Abraham Lincoln points out, happiness is often a choice. We can choose to dwell on the negative aspects of our lives or we can choose to deal with those things, but concentrate more thoroughly on the positive. When things we don’t have any control over are not going well, it can seem like our happiness is arbitrary. The truth is by taking time every day to do things that make us happy, like talking to a friend, reading a favorite book, or just enjoying a few minutes in a park, can impact the way that we view our entire day. Taking yourself out of the situation that’s making you anxious or sad to be in a place that you enjoy is one way to introduce more positive feelings to your day.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi

While happiness is not a destination, feeling happy and content on a regular basis can make your life one that is happy in general. The best way to live the most fulfilled life is by being honest, with yourself and others, about your beliefs and concerns and making a positive contribution to your own life and the lives of others. When we are our most authentic self, we find people who appreciate us just as we are, and we can feel a sense of accomplishment in living a more meaningful life.