Next time you're making popcorn, try and control when and where a kernel of popcorn pops. It's impossible, isn't it?
Do you find yourself doing the same thing in respect to happiness? Do you want to control when it will happen and what conditions need to be in place before you can be happy? Are you "Only If"-ing yourself? Think: "I'll be happy if ..." or "When I have ______, I'll be happy."
Somewhere along the way, accumulated stress moves you from simply being happy to questioning, "Am I happy, yet?" One of the many side-effects of stress is an inability to experience the positives in life. Your focus narrows, you become more rigid in your thinking and you have difficulty enjoying yourself.
As I continue to practice and transform my stressors, I often catch myself being happy, seemingly for no reason.
There is a reason, though. It has to do with the chemical changes that are a result of better emotional management and smoother heart rhythms. Plainly speaking, the side-effects of stress affect how you feel - dampening your spirit and lessening your quotient for joy.
Happiness is like an elusive shadow that you can't seem to get your grips on when you chase it. You do have the ability to change how you think and feel, allowing happiness to expand and pop like so many kernels of popcorn.
Do you place conditions on your happiness? How would your life be different if you were happy? Is your bubble of happiness quickly deflated by those you encounter during the course of your day?