"You are the only one who can make you happy." We have all heard that so many times in our lives.

There are times it is a pretty tough pill to swallow. In reality, the people that surround you have a huge impact on your current mood. When your children are grumpy in the morning, you find a nice pile the dog left you over night, you hit the road and the traffic won't allow you your normal speed, then when you get to work and your co-worker called in sick... these are all things that might contribute to your overall Happiness of the day.

However, moods and temporary emotions are not the same as happiness. Happiness exists when you look at the overall picture of your life and you smile, that is happiness. You know those times when you can't wait for your children to go to bed, then later you check on the kids and you almost cry because they look exactly like angels... YOUR ANGELS, sleeping so sweetly and soundly. You can hardly remember a time of irritation with them. That is Happiness.

As life progresses and changes, we realize that who we are, (what makes us, us)... that is what we are responsible for. We know that immediate gratification or irritation only pacifies or deteriorates our emotional stimuli short term. Our global view of how we see ourselves determines our state of mind. Our state of mind determines our Happiness.

So, how do we take control of our emotions and find the path of Happiness? This seems to be the million dollar question. There are tons of books on or related to the subject. You could read and practice until you are completely confused. Or, we could spend the rest of our life introspectively evaluating what makes us happy. Which might take more time and energy and actually frustrate us more.

How about this? What if we looked at ourselves and decided what we liked and didn't like and set about making changes. It doesn't have to be major alterations. Maybe you are tired of your house but can't afford to move. Try painting the living room or buying flowers to set on the kitchen table. If you haven't had a vacation for awhile and just can't afford to take that cruise, go camping instead.

Maybe the issues are more personal or internal. Do you get mad too easily? Learn yoga or meditation. Are you having marital problems? Visit a counselor. Are the kids having discipline issues? Determine the major issues, establish guidelines on how you are going to correct the problem and stick to it.

You may be saying, 'Sure, that sounds so easy but...' Of course it sounds easy. Problems are always easier to talk about than to take the obvious actions to fix them. But, for the most part, things are as difficult or as easy as we determine them to be. Sometimes we just make things harder than necessary.

If your unHappiness stems from a situation beyond your control then find other ways to compensate. If, for example, money is so tight and no apparent windfall is coming your way any time soon, find inexpensive entertainment. Backyard ballgames, picnics in the park, movie night with popcorn and snacks in your bedroom are a few alternatives to an expensive night out. If the issues are more serious and you feel powerless, that is the time to seek professional help.

Otherwise, look in the mirror and be glad. If you don't like what you see, change it. Make the solution that simple!

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