Have you ever looked at someone, and wondered why they are so dreadfully, obnoxiously cheery? Even on the most miserable of days, when the sky itself is weeping - the expression on the face is one that possesses some sort of radiance of positivity.

First and foremost - what does happiness actually mean? As a society, we throw the word around fleetingly. “Oh, I won my football tournament today - I couldn’t be happier”, or “I’m so happy we’re going on holiday.” But contrary to belief, happiness is not about short-lived moments of elation, but rather someone’s overall wellbeing, and satisfaction within themselves.

It’s a sad, but true fact that poor mental health is on the rise. Globally, it’s estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. We can often be envious when we see that one sunnily cheerful person, but there are numerous factors which influence someone’s general happiness - such as stress, social media, problematic relationships, and so on.

The Adaptation Level Theory is one that psychologists have discovered after researching how our perceptions of happiness eventually shift over time. The theory suggests that we tend to compare our current experiences with our past experiences, which affects how we perceive our actual day to day lives.

Whilst this is positive in the fact that it means there is no universal objective we submit to, it means that we often miss positive changes, as we are too preoccupied with the past.

Becoming “happy” is a very difficult process, and it’s one that will have numerous ups and downs.

You’ll still have your bad days, but you’ll be able to overcome them. There are simple ways to increase your sense of fulfilment - such as practising mindfulness, and enjoying the little things. Instead of pitting yourself against others, or even your past self - it’s important to appreciate who you are, and how you can better your wellbeing.