Have you ever wondered what real happiness is? What is the actual secret to happiness? It's something most humans ponder on a daily or weekly basis, but sometimes it can elude us. Other times, it is present in a fleeting moment, a week-long celebration (like the holidays) or at a special event, such as your graduation! Why does it wax and wane?

Life and Wellness Coach and Counsellor, Helen Hawkes says there are two types of happiness.

Happiness can come from your own enjoyment of the beauties of life and from achieving goals that you set as long as they are meaningful to you.

I guess you could say that there are two layers of happiness. This first is just the pleasure we take in Nature, or a comfy bed, or good food, or, of course, the company of friends. The second is about the “big picture” – how we see our life going and fulfilling our dreams.

To experience the first happiness, all is takes is a mindfulness of everyday joys. A rain shower, sunshine, the smell of dinner cooking, a phone call to someone you love.

But the second is a little trickier because it can be harder to achieve.

Dream big, I say, and don’t let anyone put you off your dream. You really can be or do anything you want as long as you are willing to do the work and never give up.
The most successful people have failed 100 times but they don’t let that deter them. They are positive – happy – thinkers.

Is it possible to be happy all of the time? Probably not – we are humans and as such we are emotional beings. We react to situations around us and we feel pain, anger, sadness, frustration and so many more emotions that might dull the brightness of happiness. However, we can make a conscious choice for this to be temporary, says Helen.

“When things seem dark, remember that everything changes and soon your bad luck will be good,” she advises. “Life always has ups and downs. Having an open heart and mind and a willingness to give as well as receive will make you more likely to be happy. Helping others can give you a great sense of fulfilment and purpose. It can also help you realise how lucky you are and gratitude always leads to happiness. No matter what, remember that you are the architect of your destiny and you get to choose how you feel.”

Choose to be happy.

Helen Hawkes is a Life and Wellness Coach and Counsellor.