How to Go From any Negative Emotion to Happiness in 5 Easy Steps

How to Have Happiness Instantly

Unhappy Child
Happiness doesn’t have to be difficult. Photo courtesy kakisky via

Create happiness! Decide to be happy! Yes, it can be reduced to one step, with practice. But don’t worry. I’ll get to the 5-step method in a moment.

We create every emotion we feel. And that’s a good thing. That means that we’re in control, if we decide to be. The decision is entirely ours.

If you ever feel blue, depressed or otherwise not so nice, realize that you are creating that feeling. Frequently, our attention is fixed on some negative event or on the fear of some future possibility that may or may not happen. Snap out of it! Check out what you’re really doing and change it.

Being Happy Despite Circumstances: Living a Lie or a Creative Act?

Happiness: Happiness expert, comedian Ricky Gervais.
Happiness expert, comedian Ricky Gervais, performing 2007. Photo courtesy Matt Hobbs, CC BY-SA 2.0, via

I recently watched a movie called, “The Invention of Lying,” written, directed and produced in 2009 by Ricky Gervais. It was a touching, funny and thought-provoking picture about the effects of lying, but also of telling the painful truth.

Unwittingly, perhaps, the film reveals the underbelly of ego—raw selfishness. But the film oversimplifies a few things. It seems to present the idea that lying can sometimes be good and that truth is overrated. It obliquely suggests that God is also a pleasant little lie we tell ourselves to make everything seem better—a quaint notion, but perhaps a bit naive. I suspect that if the owner of the universe were to have a sense of humor, He may be chuckling over this notion.

Lying looks a lot like creating, but naturally there are some very big differences.

Lying: Telling a falsehood about the present or past. In some instances, it can also be about the future, but only when it includes something of the present or past. For instance, “The president plans [past, suggesting that this was already planned] to start another war [future].”

Creating: Telling what is desired right now as if it is real, accepting it as real, and then allowing the universe to catch up with you.

And you allow the universe to catch up, because you are basically a really nice person.

By all means, tell the truth, but also create! The past is done. Leave it. But the future is being written. Participate in the writing of it.

Making Yourself Happy in 5 Easy Steps

Happiness: smiling child
Happiness is easy, if you know how. Photo courtesy ali110 via

This is really an expansion of the one-step method, mentioned above. For those of us starting out, we frequently need a more complex method for solving our problems so that we feel the problem is receiving the properly serious attention it seems to deserve. (Does anyone smell any foolish, deceitful, or boastful language in this sentiment?)

Anyway, these 5 steps will help you understand what actually goes on under the hood in the 1-step method:

  1. Look at what you’re feeling, now. Study every detail of it. Look at any mental images or memories attached to it.
  2. Look at any apparent reason for the feeling and realize that it’s not the real reason, otherwise the negative feeling would vanish. Things persist only by a lack of awareness. The Nazarene teacher told us that knowing the truth would set us free.
  3. Realize that every feeling you feel is created by you and not by your circumstances. Yes, you’re allowing circumstances or situations to influence what feelings you create, but realize that it’s perfectly okay to create any feeling you want.
  4. Give yourself permission to feel happy. Even if you’re feeling guilt for something you’ve done, realize that guilt isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. (Hint: Less than zero.) Guilt is self-blame and blame is entirely negative. And blame is not responsibility. Take full responsibility, instead. And the most responsible thing you can do is to be valuable to others. That requires that you be happy. Who wants to see your grumpy face? No one! But everyone would prefer that smile you’re about to have.
  5. Laugh out loud! That’s right. Even if you feel like something warm, moist and pungent you just stepped in, force yourself to laugh deeply and roundly. In moments, your body will recognize the motions you’re forcing upon it. It will remember laughter and that it always comes with happiness. Your body will respond with all of the happiness chemicals and nerve impulses.

Yes, even this short list seems remarkably simple. And it should be. Life is wonderful and simple, especially when you live in control of it. So, be happy. Create happiness.

One wonderful benefit from creating happiness like this is that you achieve the very thing you want out of life. Yes, just by deciding. Now, you can add to your happiness by being on the alert for more things to add to your happy state.

And you will discover that by being happy, you will attract into your life more opportunities for happiness. Happy people will contact you. Grumpy people will start leaving you alone.

But don’t be surprised if your priorities in life suddenly change, too. For instance, if you’re working hard, making lots of money so you can be happy, perhaps you will now stop “working hard just to make money,” and instead, work hard on something you love doing. Because you already have happiness, you can now work on some other goal.


If You Ever Wanted a Manual for Happiness, Here It is!

Instant Happiness
Instant Happiness cover

Happiness can be as easy as deciding, but we have so many bad habits which get in the way. The book, Instant Happiness, tells you how to overcome all those barriers.







This article was originally published 2013:0131 on


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