Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez: Happiness

Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez: Happiness

by Hilary Valdez
Stripes Okinawa

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” 
– Omar Khayyam

All humans have a desire for happiness and to overcome suffering. Even insects want to avoid unhappy situations, like being eaten for lunch. Your inner attitude affects your happiness.

Positive psychology suggests that when people stop chasing the world’s definition of happiness, we begin to see that happiness has been right in front of us all along. According to Buddhist thinking, happiness and sorrow are our own responsibility – and completely within our control. If you have suffered in the past, then you appreciate happiness.

True happiness is enjoying your own company and living in peace and harmony with your body, mind and soul.  Life is precious. Enjoy every minute of your life. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy. Studies have shown that we are happiest when we are around people who are also happy.

Do things you enjoy. Find a purpose in your life. Listen to your heart. Accept what is good in your life and imagine the best for yourself.

Allen J. Lefferdink said, “I have only two kinds of days: happy and hysterically happy.” As we know, happiness has a lot to do with how we think and our attitude toward challenging situations. Inner happiness can occur when you spend time with nature, being careful what you eat, being true to yourself, exercising a little, and being nice to yourself.

Be positive. If you say one negative thing, say two positive statements. Dispute your thinking. Look at ways you have learned to needlessly upset yourself. Then learn how to “un-upset” yourself. According to Joshua Becker, everyone wants to be treated kindly. But more than that, deep down, we also want to treat others with the same respect that we would like given to us. Treat everyone you meet with kindness, patience, and grace. It benefits the receiver. Kindness also brings growing satisfaction in yourself as you treat others as you would like to be treated. Happiness begins within you. What you are thinking all day. Identify your deep beliefs and core values that fuel out-of-proportion emotions. Then evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of those beliefs.

The challenge is to dispute and question your destructive and self-defeating thinking, and emotions. Dispute your irrational and self-defeating thinking and beliefs. Come up with more rational and self-constructive thinking. Beliefs become activated at unexpected times, which leads to out-of proportion emotions and reactions. Their activation might lead to emotions and behaviors that, although not extreme, are mismatched to the situation. Rigid beliefs can cause you to fall into repeated emotional patterns.

What to do? Ask for feedback and pinpoint irrational and self-defeating thinking and work at becoming positive and happy. Don’t let self-defeating thoughts overtake your happiness. Practice thinking positive to promote a flexible, self-helping and efficient belief system.

What do you dream for? What do you want? Write it down on a piece of paper. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you really want. Ask the universe to help achieve your dreams. Many people avoid this process because they don’t want to be disappointed if things don’t work out. The truth is that imagining getting what you want is a big part of achieving it. Manifest your dreams. Even if it feels a little uncomfortable, try it, change is the one thing you can count on. Change will happen. Make a plan and emotionally prepare yourself for change. Think positive. In our consciousness there is negative and there is also positive. Feed the positive.

We are capable of being compassionate, understanding, and joyful. If we pay attention only to the negative things in us, especially the suffering of past hurts, we are wallowing in our sorrows and not getting any positive nourishment. We can practice encouraging the wholesome qualities in us by focusing on the positive things that are always available inside and around us. This is positive programming for our mind. Affirmations are positive thoughts accompanied with affirmative beliefs and personal statements of truth. Affirmations used daily can release stress, build confidence, and improve outlook. 

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” 
– Abraham Lincoln

Hilary Valdez is a retiree living in Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. Learn more about Valdez and contact him at or at

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content

Around the Web