How to Be Happy in This Moment

Something that has eluded me for most of my life has been true happiness. There were moments as a child I remember being happy and content, but in all honesty there has always been a black hole in my life, a void. It has been there for as long as I can remember and I have been trying to fill it, unsuccessfully, for most of my life.

So while there have been a good few moments of happiness throughout my life I cannot remember any long stretch of time where I have felt whole, satisfied with my life and happy. Well not until recently anyway.

How to be happy pin

I’ll be Happy WHEN…

I think the one of the biggest things to blame is my way of thinking. I have always been in the pursuit of happiness and while I cannot remember any extended moments of happiness I can remember lots of things that I believed would bring that longed for feeling of joy.

This belief was that as soon as I have achieved a specific goal in life with it would be a sense of accomplishment, of joy and happiness.

There are so many examples of this and here are a few of these:

  • When I turn 18 I will be happy
  • When I get my own place to live and I am independent I will be happy
  • When I have more money I will be happy
  • When I get my first job I will be happy
  • When I get another job I will be happy
  • When I get a raise I will be happy
  • When I fall in love I will be happy
  • When I can get out of this toxic relationship I will be happy
  • When I turn 21 I will be happy
  • When I stop drinking and using drugs I will be happy
  • When I reach my 1 year clean milestone I will be happy
  • When I have a baby I will be happy
  • When I give up smoking cigarettes I will be happy

The fact is that I achieved all of those goals and not one of those within itself made me happy.

In fact some of these things that I wanted in life made me more unhappy when I achieved them and I couldn’t quite get my head around this fact.

When I reached my 1 year clean milestone I truly believed it would bring with it some incredible spiritual awakening and a profound sense of happiness and satisfaction. I remember being all worked up with excitement, I had reached the one year clean that everyone so looks up to. I went down to the local Narcotics Anonymous meeting with my cakes and candles. I gave my one year share and I got my one year clean NA keyring.

Afterwards a few people gathered at the coffee shop down the road and we had a grand time for about an hour. Then people started to leave and it started to hit me. I am the same person I was yesterday and absolutely nothing has changed except that I have this silly keyring.

The truth is that I felt really cheated and unhappy with a sense of is this it? Is this all there is to life, just carry on with your recovery, carry on with the 12 steps and there is nothing more to life? No more drinking, no more using, no more wild parties?

It is interesting to note that a lot of addicts and alcoholics relapse around the 1 year sober milestone and quite frankly I am not surprised, I personally found it a very disappointing experience that didn’t come close to my huge expectations of it.

When I gave birth to my first child I suffered from postnatal depression for about 6 months without realizing it and I slipped into deep despair. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy and miserable when this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I was three years clean, I had just had a baby and I was married to the man I loved, I should be happy right?

So over time it has become clear to me that nothing will magically bring me true happiness the moment I achieve it.

What is Standing in the Way of Happiness?

The biggest thing standing in the way of happiness is ourselves. The way we think and the psychological attachments that we have.

We so often have negative beliefs about ourselves. Perhaps we self-sabotage ourselves before we even achieve anything, or we speak negatively to ourselves and often we try to fill this void in destructive ways.

In my case I tried to make myself feel better through drinking alcohol and using drugs, and as you can tell from my website this didn’t exactly work out well for me.

How to be happy in this moment - letting go of psychological attachements

How to be Happy in This Moment

I have been finding true happiness in the last few years and the place that I find it is right in this moment. It is not some goal that needs to be attained. Each moment can be a moment of happiness. Happiness happens right now and it is essential to remember that.

Happiness happens right now

If you are sitting and seething with resentment about something that happened yesterday or if you are attaching happiness to an event in the future you are missing this very moment in the here and now.

Always remember that happiness happens right now, so focus on this moment to be happy.

Think of how a young child reacts to their environment, for example when it is snowing outside and how they look around them taking it all in. Take a moment to always appreciate nature and your surroundings.

My kids even get excited when it rains. They shriek with excitement and go watch at the window. I have to agree with them watching the rain is awesome, it is good for the soul.

Psychological attachments

It is also about teaching yourself that you are worth it, that you deserve happiness and this is where you need to be able to identify these negative psychological attachments and start to replace them with positive affirmations so that you have a choice.

In this way you can choose to be happy.

Gratitude helps achieve happiness

Something that has worked incredibly well for me if I start to feel resentful or unhappy about my life is to write a gratitude list. I take out a piece of paper and I write down everything that I am grateful for right now.

When I do this and see how much I really have in life, and how far I have come in the last 8 years since I got clean I get a much clearer perspective of how fortunate I am.

Joy is found in the simplest things

The things that make me the happiest are the simplest things that happen all day every day. The way my children laugh, the funny things they say and the laughs I have with my husband.

It is not the house I want to build one day that will make me happy, but the little moments in getting to that achievement and one day when I do get to build my own house it will be the memories I create inside that house that will make me happy, not the bricks that make up the house.

It is up to me one day to make it a home, a happy home.

Being Happy is a Choice

For me being happy is a choice. I choose to be grateful and I choose to keep myself focused on the present moment and enjoy it to the fullest.

Of course I have also seen some people giving advice to others to “just be happy” and to “stop moping around”. It is not quite as simple as this and if you are depressed and feel like there is no joy in life you can still choose to change things by getting some help.

There is absolutely no shame in getting help to get your life back on track and to finding true happiness, in fact I highly recommend it!

What have your struggles been while trying to find happiness? Do you have any tips or experiences to share?



  1. Travis Smithers says:

    I found your article fascinating as each of us have a different perception to how we perceive life. I’ve always been a believer that we must consider and do some planning for tomorrow. The past is the past and try not to live with regrets as we only control the here and now. In other words, we must mainly live for today and tomorrow is just another day.

    I’m not sure if that means or holds any value to you, but now that I’m pushing 60 years of age, for me, I have no regrets, look forward to tomorrow, for I’m wrapped up with what I can do today.

    I believe it resembles how you’re now looking at living in the present, the now and your real happiness is within you to be released as you live each day.

    Really enjoyed your article you have a great day.

    • Lynne says:

      Hi Travis

      I am glad you enjoyed the article 🙂

      I also believe in living without regrets, yes of course it is important to look at the past to see where you can work on some self improvement and learn from mistakes but certainly not to dwell on them or wallow on them.

      Yes I look forward to the future, but I am not staking my happiness on future goals like I used to and it really has made such a positive change in my life.

      I am so glad to hear that you have no regrets Travis! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    • Joshua Thomas says:

      Lynne, I found your article to be just what I needed. I am an extremely future-oriented person…oftentimes worrying about what comes next to the point where I’ll forget about the great things that are happening in the now. I think there is much to be said for the fact that happiness is contextual…it doesn’t just appear magically…you derive it from your current social environment and living circumstances. Paying attention and learning to enjoy the little things in the now pays off. Thanks again for this–it was certainly refreshing.

      • Lynne says:

        Joshua I am so glad you found this post useful and that it came at the right time. You know I think that loads of people are so focused on the future and on their goals that they lose the beauty in the present.

        Happiness is something that needs to be worked on and for. It isn’t just something that falls in your lap. I believe it is very much a mindset as opposed to having good things happening to you.

      • Kerri says:

        I am always spending time reminding others to live with happiness and joy, but they don’t always know how to get there. Sometimes just taking the days one moment at a time and “seeing” the little things is so much more simple than believed.

        I do not look to the past for regrets, but spend much time in the moment doing and seeing and feeling. It keeps me moving on. I love your post!

        • Lynne says:

          Hi Kerri 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience.

          I know what you mean, there are so many people that struggle with finding happiness and that are suffering with depression.

          The little things are so important, it is these things that hold the little magical moments.

        • louloublogger1980 says:

          Love this article. I’m a big believer in living in the now and seizing the day.
          To be honest it is really difficult! But you have given some great tips to go away with. Gratitude is a major step to happiness and finding joy in the smallest of things in truly effective.
          Thanks again

          • Lynne says:

            Thank you! For me gratitude is always the key to being happy.

            I heard a saying once which really made me think about things: The things you take for granted someone else is praying for.

            I think it is really imperative to not take things for granted and making a gratitude list helps to prevent us slipping into bad patterns.

          • Matthew says:

            Hi Lynne,
            let me first say thank you for sharing your story. This post was well written and I sympathize with your situation. My brother is a recovering addict as well. I know first-hand the heartache it brings for the addict and their families as well. To live in the moment is something that many people never seem to be able to do, so thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know whenever I look internally to try and find happiness, I end up more depressed. Our source of true joy comes from our Heavenly Father. We were created to enjoy Him and in this, true peace is complete.

            Blessings to you on your journey here.

            • Lynne says:

              Hi Matthew, thanks for sharing your thoughts on happiness and religion. I know a lot of people find happiness through religion, but this has never worked for me personally.

            • Josephine Crawford says:

              “Each moment can be a moment of happiness.” Lynne, this for me is a profound statement. First, I am glad you found peace in a number of your situations and I truly thank you for taking the time and also to be brave to share with us in Cyberworld.

              So often we fail to be happy because of these preconceive ideas of what we need to make us happy. I do make plans, but, I am learning to live in the now. This can be difficult for someone like me who plans every minute detail, but that way of living was disappointing and hurting me all the time.

              There is a lot of sense and true happiness in focussing on what is happening in the now and what I have and counting my blessings and enjoying every last moment. It is truly stress-free.

              All the best Lynne and continue to write and be a blessing to others.

              • Lynne says:

                Hi Josephine

                It is a pleasure, I love sharing about my experiences. I just hope that my readers get something from my blog, no matter how small, that can make a positive impact on their lives.

                The thing is that my addiction has been truly horrifying at times, but I can make it a positive by sharing about everything and perhaps help others. It gives everything a bit of a silver lining.

              • Adrian says:

                That is really an inspirational story you have shared as I think you have come a long way and have learned so much and you are achieving so much as well.

                One of the things that stood out for me in your post was that gratitude helps achieve happiness and I couldn’t agree with this more.

                It took a crisis that I went through many years ago to realise that I should be thankful for everything that I had, it was a humbling experience but I think it was one of the best things to happen to me.

                It really changed my perspective on things and I had a new appreciation for the simple things in life as you have experienced.

                This has what has helped me be a happier person as I don’t think that I really appreciated everything that I had.

                • Lynne says:

                  Adrian that is so awesome to hear, everyone goes through something shitty at some stage. It is what you learn from that experience and how it makes you grow that counts. Like you say it could just make you be more grateful for all you have in the future.

                  One thing that I was told when I was in rehab is that there is a gift in everything, even the most horrific things that happen. I hold onto that and try to see the gift when things get rocky. It really helps.

                  I am so glad you enjoyed my post and thank you for sharing your experience too.

                • Margaret Fairbrother says:

                  Lynne, thank you so much for this article. What you have said is so true. I read somewhere that thinking too much about the past leads to depression and too much in the future leads to anxiety. This has been my experience. I’ve also been prone to low moods all my life and I find that I need constant reminding that happiness is a choice. Developing a daily ” attitude of gratitude”‘ helps and gets easier the more I practice. Thanks once again for the article.

                  • Lynne says:

                    It is a pleasure 🙂 I am glad you have found it helpful. I think that is one of the lessons I have learned, happiness really is a choice.

                  • Roy says:

                    Lynne, if the truth be known, we are ALL searching for true happiness. You mention having that void inside that you can’t fill. Nothing in the natural can truly fill that void because God put that void there when He made us and only when we truly accept Him as our Father and Master will that void be filled.
                    I loved the way you explain how you find happiness in the moment. That seems to indicate that you live in the present. The past is history, the future is a mystery and the present is a present (gift).
                    Be healthy, be happy and be safe. Roy

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