When I left England in 2000, there did not seem to be much happiness around. People in modern western society tend to be self-centered on extremes, rather to criticize rather than support or pat, and with little time or to subordinate to others. Relationships can be battleground rather than asylum mutual support. Think about it now, I did not know anyone I could say was very happy. I met some who may have been happy, but I did not know enough to be sure.
I think I'm a naturally happy person, but modern life and attitude can be a way to pummel it out of you. When you're surrounded by unhappy, unhappy people dedicated to pursuing the shadow of pure materialism, it's going to affect you. People lose contact with what happiness is and can even be denial if they perceive that someone might really be happy.
Happiness is no longer a natural state of being in Western society and to those who have lost contact with what happiness may need retraining. Here are some things that can help you in the process:
1. Take time and focus on things in your life that can make you happy; how can you be happy if you do not know what will make you happy?
2. Give yourself time and attention to making those who are around you happy. If any of them are usually self-reluctant and miserable, without good reason, they might not have a place in your world.
3. Take time and attention to eliminate the elements of life that pull you into the misery's unhappiness. Find them and then methodologically either remove or reduce their impact.
4. Never be jealous. If you see someone else who looks happy and elated, feel positive about that happiness, and do not bother negative answers like "oh, it's ok for her, she does not have my problems." Remind yourself if you feel any envy.
5. If you get involved in your life that brings you happiness, please remind yourself regularly. Feed it, let it grow. Never, always take it for granted. Give happiness yourself attention, and it will catch deeper into your being.
I will now test you at number 4. I'm very happy and have been for a couple of years now. I have all that I need of intangible nature: a wonderful wife; beautiful and happy 17 month old daughter; the ability to work online at home to do as I please; life on a breathtaking tropical island that meets youth dream; and live among people who are generally happy. All these things come together to give me as close to perfect life, I could fear thinking possible.
I do not say to jealousy but to make you think: happiness is still possible and should be held, whoever has that benefit. If you are not already doing it, you could soon be the one who distributes the joy of happiness; but it needs your attention, piece for piece.