I think that most of us would agree that we would like to be happier. Being happy is a type of pleasure and as pleasure seeking beings, happiness satisfies our instinctual desires. Any problem that arises from seeking happiness, tends to present itself because of a person’s insistence on being happy all the time. While being happy all the time might sound good, it is the case that every individual needs to experience a wide range of emotion because each emotion has a purpose. If you force happiness, trying to make yourself see good things in everything or make yourself smile when you don’t feel like smiling, you can create a repressive state where a buildup of negative (in this case, emotions that are not happy) emotions is present.
You can though quite naturally extend the amount of happiness that you feel. This is done by extending those happy moments that you feel naturally. You do this by focusing on those good emotions when you do have them; by being more aware of your emotional state and consciously extending the length of time of the positive emotions that you feel.
See if you can go through a large part of your day being totally aware of your emotional states. This will require a certain amount of concentration on your part in that you will need to stay focused on yourself but at the same time be able to let yourself experience the world about you naturally. This type of awareness does take some practice; the best way to go about it is to create a type of third person perspective where you are able to imaginatively look down on yourself and watch yourself experience things naturally. Once you can develop this third person perspective, you can easily keep an eye, as it were, on your emotional state.
This is an incredibly powerful exercise and will teach you a great deal about yourself. You will notice that you have a very wide emotional variance throughout your day and that your emotional states are affected by both internal and external stimulus. Sometimes you will feel certain emotions because of something that you witness or are part of physically, and you will also notice that your emotional states are also greatly controlled by your subjective experience; what you think about throughout the day.
Once you become aware of your emotional states, become particularity aware of when you are feeling happy. Paying close attention to when you are feeling happy, you will be able to discover what it is that is causing this happiness. This happiness will teach you about you, it will allow you to discover what you consider to be good and pleasurable to you personally. This personal discovery is priceless because it will tell you what you need to do more of in order to be happier. For example, you might really enjoy looking at wild birds and as such it makes all the sense in the world for you should pursue any hobby or occupation that allows you to look at wild birds more often. You might also discover that you are quite happy whenever you are thinking about a certain person or place. It is even possible that you find yourself the to be far happier when you are looking at the world through a certain perspective.
Through greater personal awareness, by being able to see your emotional states from a third person perspective, you will discover those things that cause you greater happiness. You then expand your happiness by doing or thinking more of those things that bring you joy and satisfaction. In this way, joy and happiness can quite easily be extended and your life can become far more rewarding.
You do not need to fake happiness. It is actually the case that if you try to fake happiness, you will actually end up getting it’s opposite. Happiness can only be developed through a natural amplification of those things that cause you happiness. Happiness then essentially becomes what it truly is; an emotion that is meant to empower you and guide you towards greater personal fulfillment.
Using this same method, you can see that negative emotions(in this case emotions that you do not consider happy) are also empowering energetic impulses that can teach you about your personal reality. Using the third person perspective, you can discover what is causing the negative emotion. With this discovery you can make sure that you do not engage in activity or thoughts that extend this negativity. Looked at in this way, negative emotions become what they truly are; a catalyst for personal understanding and change. All emotions are there to help you discover your personal beliefs.
To ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ might be a good way to get out of a slump in the short term but it can create many problems in the long term. Forcing yourself to do anything that you are not feeling, is essentially trying to coerce your own nature. Instead of trying to fit yourself into a mold of what others believe you should be, I suggest that next time you choose instead to experience your own nature naturally. Become more aware and discover for yourself what it is that makes you happy, extend that happiness naturally by doing more of those things that bring you joy and less of those things that create negativity with an you. You can be happier by just learning to extend those happy moments, without denying or suppressing your natural emotional reality.