"If you want to be happy, be." Leo Tolstoy answered the eternal question that haunts the mind of every mortal being in just one line. Why does happiness have to be so difficult to achieve when it solely depends upon us? Newborn babies are the happiest lot in the world, with no fear, no worries about the future, no grudges, and no preconceived notions about anything or anyone. Unfortunately, as we grow up, worldly worries start working their way into our minds. Eventually, we become so possessed by these worries that we forget what happiness is. Then one fine day, it dawns upon us how unhappy we are, and the pursuit of happiness begins.
Make a Choice
Happiness is a matter of choice. You either choose to be happy or you choose not to be. It's that simple. A person who knows how to be happy, will always be happy, no matter what situation you put him in. On the other hand, a person who always finds faults with everything and everyone around him, cannot be happy regardless of how hard he tries. Thus, if you want to be happy, make a choice now, and you will indeed feel better.
Laugh a Lot
When you smile or laugh, the muscles in your face stimulate the brain to secrete 'happy chemicals'. These chemicals induce a feeling of wellness within you, which in turn makes you happy. Hence, find humor in everything around you. Laugh at yourself, laugh at your problems, laugh at your little worries, and then notice the difference it makes to your life. Sounds silly, but it does work.
Forgive and Forget
If you really want to be happy you need to forgive others' mistakes and forget them. Holding grudges against them will earn you nothing, instead it will make you even more unhappy. There's a popular quote by Buddha, "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.". Letting go of others' faults every once in a while helps you be happy.
Let go of the Past
Often, the dark shadows of our past loom over our present and future. They ruin every second of our life and turn it into a bad memory, which again comes to haunt us. Hence, let go of your past and any bad memories associated with it. Cut off any strings that might be holding you back and preventing you from leading a happy life in the present.
Learn to Give
'Giving' is an immensely satisfying experience and the joy of giving cannot be expressed in words. Giving anything--be it wealth, art, skill, or wisdom--can bring happiness to your life. The person who gives his whole life ends up leading a happier life than the one who concentrates only on making money or deriving large profits.
Develop a Vision
How you view things around you depends upon your own perspective. If you have a very positive outlook towards life, you will develop a vision where you will start taking everything in your favor. As a result, you will find nothing wrong to complain about. This will make you happy in the long run.
One must understand that happiness is a state of mind. Nothing in the world can make you happy or unhappy unless you allow it to. Thus, the key to happiness lies with you.