So you want to know how to be happy eh? Consider these five principles:
1. Happiness is not something you "pursue". Happiness is something you become.
2. Pain, suffering, and sadness are important road markers on the way to joy. Too often we try to block out our negative feelings wtih distractions like food, medication, television, shopping or sex. This is too bad because when we do this we lose an important opportunity for true happiness. Instead of trying to escape, learn to pay attention to what your pain is teaching you. Listen carefully. Negative emotions are merely a sign that something in your life needs to change.
3. Nobody is responsible for your joy except for you. If you want to know how to be happy then you must understand this principle. Quit blaming your spouse, children, job, finances, or life circumstances. Only when you claim full authorship for your life experience are you truly free to move towards your joy.
4. Look within. Yeah I know you have heard this one before but have you really tried it? The things in your environment that are giving you grief are a reflection of the things within you that need to be healed and resolved. Our outer experience is merely a mirror to our internal quality of being. Give thanks for the outer reflection and then get to work on your internal world. Take a spiritual inventory. Do some emotional housekeeping. This is key to knowing how to be happy.
5. Happiness is a fluctuating state, not a permanent one. It is normal to have ups and downs in life. The highs will always be contrasted with lows. This is what gives life its flavor and richness. Learn to ride the waves of life, both the highs and lows. Extract all there is to experience from both ends of the spectrum. Then you will know how to be happy!