Many people see the world as a depressing place to be right now. And according to science, people may be getting less happy as time goes on. Many studies point towards millennials being the most depressed and unhappy generation yet. And the newest generation— generation z— seems likely to follow that trend.
And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Climate change poses a real threat to our survival, most of our lives are spent working, poverty seems to be rampant, systemic racism is being brought to the forefront of our attention, and many major governments seem to be in shambles.
All of these things, as well as the general grind of life, can make it very hard to be happy. But it isn’t impossible. At the end of the day, happiness isn’t something that happens to us; it’s a choice. And we all have the power to make that choice.
Choosing to be happy with the current state of the world may sound impossible. But it can be much better for you. Why would you want to stay miserable all the time, when you could choose to live life with more energy?
Sometimes, all we need is a little boost or a good reason to make the choice to be happy. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then here are 10 reasons to be happy right now.
1. There are others who love you and depend on you
Think about those that you are closest to in your life. Your friends, family, partner, maybe even coworkers. Heck, even your pets. All of these people mean something to you, and you mean something to them.
The fact that they love you alone is a good enough reason to be happy. There are other people out there that care about you deeply, and that should make you feel good! Celebrate that feeling, and use it to drive your choice to be happy.
These people also depend on you. This means that, in some way or another, your state of mind and well being matters to them. You wouldn’t want your best friend to be unhappy, would you? Of course not. And they feel the same about you. So choosing to be happy will help those who love you, because they’ll be happy that you’re happy.
2. Life is lived in the now
Life is made up of a series of interconnected moments. While many people spend their time looking into the past or the future, life is truly lived in the current moment. What you are experiencing right now is the only thing that is actively happening, so it’s the predominant focus of life.
This means that how you choose to spend this moment will greatly impact you. If you decide to be miserable or angry right now, it’s more likely you will continue to be that way. And the more moments you spend feeling unhappy, the more your life as a whole will seem unhappy.
So making the choice to be happy right now, in this moment, helps you live better currently. And, if you keep making that choice, it means you will have a lot more happy moments in your life. Then your life as a whole might start to seem happier.
3. Things can change in an instant
When it comes to reasons to be happy, usually you think of good things. However, there are less happy reasons that can still push us to want to be happy. One of those is a simple fact of life: no one can see the future, and life can change in a single moment.
Tomorrow, you could lose your job, or the love of your life. You might be diagnosed with a serious, possibly fatal illness. And who knows, maybe this day is even your last.
But don’t focus on those as bad things— they can all too easily become depressing. Instead, use that to reshape your view of the now. If tomorrow was your last day on Earth, and you spent all of your life being unhappy, would you feel satisfied? Probably not.
So by choosing to be happy now, you continue to live a more fulfilling life. Then, if tomorrow does bring disaster, at least you know that you did everything you could to feel good. Choosing happiness is all about making the present moment better, so we can feel good no matter what the future brings.
4. Every day is a new chance
Just like the fact that things can change for the worse in an instant, the other side is also true: things can change for the better very quickly. And every day, you have the power to move your life in a more positive direction.
Maybe you’re stuck in a job that you hate. Or a relationship that just isn’t working well. Or perhaps you just want to have a more positive outlook on life. Whatever the case is, you can make the choice to change that at any time.
Every day is a new day, meaning new opportunities to change. If you really want your life to be more positive, then you can make the choice to make it that way. So if today, you choose to be happy, and tomorrow you choose the same, eventually you can keep working towards a better life for yourself. The world is what you make of it, so make the choice to move your life in the direction you want to see it going.
5. Constant daydreaming is disappointing
Daydreaming can be fun. Imagining our best possible lives, envisioning our ideal futures, without having to think about how hard it would be to attain them— if they’re even possible. But in the end, this will only serve to let you down.
If you spend all of your time daydreaming, you will be focusing on fantasies that probably won’t come true. You will be living primarily in the future, instead of the present moment. And when that future isn’t attained, it will disappoint you.
So instead, choose to be happy now, and to take steps towards the goals you have in your head. Instead of focusing on what might not happen, focus on what is happening. This way you can feel more happy right now, and avoid being let down in the future.
6. The world needs more happiness
Do you need less self-centric reasons to be happy? Well, here’s one: it would help the world.
We’ve already talked about how unhappy and even angry the world seems right now. So many people are spending their days feeling sad, miserable, disappointed, and angry. So as a society, we’re pretty depressed right now.
But you can have an effect on that, even if you don’t think so. If you choose to be happy right now, it will put more happiness into the world. And this can have a ripple effect that helps many other people. Think of it like this:
You make the choice to be happy, and feel more fulfilled. Your friends notice this, and it starts to make them happy too. Then their co-workers get affected, and then those peoples’ friends, and so on and so on. Your choice to be happy could influence the happiness of many, many other people in a positive way. So if you want to see the world be a happier place, then make the choice to add some more happiness to it.
7. Happy people are likely to be more productive
Perhaps you’re a more pragmatic person, and want a different reason to be happy. Well, science has actually shown that happier people are more productive, both in their professional and personal lives.
Think about it. Who do you think is more likely to get a task done: someone who is miserable all the time and focuses on how much they don’t enjoy life, or someone who looks forward to every day and feels excited about life? Most likely the second one.
So choosing to be happy can actually help you do better at work, and to meet any personal goals you may have. And then, doing these things might make you feel happy, leading to a constant cycle of happiness and productivity that helps you live a happier life.
8. Happy people tend to have much better relationships
Having good relationships with other people makes you happier. That’s obvious, right? The first of our reasons to be happy was that there are other people who love you. Well, the inverse is also true: being happy makes it easier to have good relationships.
This is because you are excited for life, and more invested in having a good outcome from a relationship. You are more able to enjoy the little things, and appreciate all of the good things that come from your relationships. And your happiness might help to make other people happy.
So choosing to be happy will help you to have happier, healthier, more fulfilling relationships. And these, in turn, will make you feel happier. Again, it’s a beneficial cycle that only leads to happier living.
9. Happy people are healthier
Happy people are more productive, and they have better relationships. What other benefits could there be? Well, research has shown that happy people can actually have better overall health. This can be due to a couple reasons.
First, if you’re happy, your mental health is likely to be better. This makes it easier for you to tackle life’s challenges, and can help avoid some of the issues that come from negative mental health. So that’s one part of you that is healthier.
Secondly, happy people are more likely to take care of themselves, because they feel good, and because self care makes them feel better. So you may be better at personal hygiene, exercising, eating healthier foods, etc. And by making these choices, you are improving your health— which can, in turn, improve your happiness. Once again, it creates a beneficial cycle of happiness and healthiness.
10. You’re alive
Last, but certainly not least, is one of the most important reasons to be happy: you’re alive! That is an incredibly rare event, and the chances of it happening are very low, so it’s something worth celebrating.
There are hundreds of planets that we know of, but so far, only this one supports life. And out of all the life forms available, you were lucky enough to be one who has sentience, who can think in complex thought patterns and who can reach for the stars.
So being alive is definitely something worth celebrating, and an excellent reason to be happy. As Sleeping At Last put it in their song “Saturn”: “How rare and beautiful it is to even exist”.
Those are just a few of the reasons to be happy. There are certainly many, many more out there. And each person might have their own reasons that work best for them. For some people, focusing on how much others care about them is best. For others, they’ll think about the benefits to their work and personal lives. Others might focus on the benefits to their relationship. And still others will simply celebrate the fact that they are here, and how beautiful and rare that is.
Whatever your reasons are, remember: happiness is a choice. Always. No matter how rough the world may seem, or how impossible it may sound, happiness won’t just be given to you. You have to choose to be happy, and to spend your time doing things that will make you happy. Always be working towards the goal of living a better life, and of feeling the best that you can.