The only keeper of your happiness is you. Stop giving people the power to control your smile, your worth, and your attitude.

— Mandy Hale

To me, wellbeing means being happy.

Many of us struggle with depression and/or anxiety. Often we only learn that people are struggling when they seek treatment. But I feel that anxiety, in particular, has reached epidemic levels. That makes me question why. The key is that we are all individuals and facing different experiences, so something that causes me anxiety might be a very easy situation for someone else.

Even though we are different and our experiences are different, some of the choices that we make can help all of us.

One thing that we can choose is our definition of happiness. Happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect all the time, and that everything in our lives is easy. Instead, happy can be contentment in the moment. It can be a quiet moment in the evening when you can hear the cicadas in their bug chorus. It can be a bite of a delicious watermelon. It can be a hug from the favorite person in front of you.

None of those things last very long, but they create a sense of contentment and happiness when we pay enough attention to notice them. And adding moments of contentment together is what makes us happy.

When I think about happiness, I boil down two different attitudes: striving or content. If we are always striving, we are always looking for the next big thing, the next thing on our to-do list or the next thing that we can do or buy or eat. That creates anxiety. It doesn’t give us any time to slow down and be in the moment. If we are content, we are paying attention to what is going on around us. We are paying attention to ourselves. And we have the chance to notice what makes us feel calm and content.

As we think about creating these moments of contentment and living a happy life, Mandy Hale’s advice is important. Not only do we need to take the opportunity to notice the content moments, but we also need to take control of our happiness and be the person who is in charge of it. Our happiness is up to us.

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