How to be Happy

It’s all we ever wanted. How do we get it?

William Anderson, LMHC
7 min readSep 14, 2022


When you are asked, “What do you want most in life?”, most of us will say “I just want to be happy.”

Well, how do you make that happen?

First, be thankful

But how is that possible if you are unhappy about things or have little to be thankful for? How can you be thankful when you’re behind and going down or going nowhere? What if you’ve just been slammed by some bad news or hardship, or you’re just tired and burned out from a lack of progress and satisfaction?

I know that when your life is less than you’ve wanted or you have suffered some kind of hardship or loss, it’s discouraging and can be depressing.

Life can be hard. No argument there. I’m suggesting a way to navigate it to find some satisfaction every day and end up encouraged and satisfied everyday, no matter what. It’s a way of thinking about your conditions that produces the way you feel, happy or sad, not the conditions themselves.

No matter what conditions, you can find something to be thankful for. Even people in the middle of wars can find something to be thankful for, something better than the way it could be if things were worse. When you stop and think and appreciate what blessings you have, no matter how small, you feel better, happier than when you focus on the negatives.

If you have something to eat tonight, be thankful for it. Not everyone does. If you have a warm dry place to sleep tonight, be thankful. Not everyone does. Make a list of all the blessings you have that are not available to everyone in the world. Be thankful for those blessings. You’ll feel better, happier than when you complained.

Make Plans

I’m not saying you should just accept the way things are, and quit complaining. Certainly, we need to accept the reality of the way things are. But we don’t need to stop there.

If you’d like things to be better, identify what could be better. Identify what can be changed. With things that are beyond your control, like the weather, or a permanent physical condition, identify what could be changed to make things better, like living where the weather is more to your liking, or finding…



William Anderson, LMHC

Psychotherapist teaching the psychology and science of weight control. Author of "The Anderson Method — The Secret to Permanent Weight Loss".