1. Emotional states come and go
Our emotions and responses can change rapidly. Just look at an audience in any sporting event. The same happens at home or work, just in slow motion by comparison. Your state of happiness will fluctuate depending on your response to circumstances, events and stimuli. Some say that's what happiness is, a response, and that joy is a state or an attitude we should be aiming for.
2. We can change our states
If happiness is an emotional state that changes according to what is going on around us, then it becomes an issue around how we are perceiving reality. We each attach meaning to events and things, and that meaning ultimately determines how we feel about it. By choosing to attach a 'meaning' that is well thought through and constructed, weighing up different options and possibilities, we enable ourselves to feel differently... Perhaps happier.
3. We can learn to recognize our states and responses
You can do this by catching yourself attaching meaning to things that happen. When you understand the meaning you've just attached, you can ask yourself if you've weighed up other possibilities. You can ask yourself why you jumped to this conclusion so quickly, and where did it come from.
4. We can take full control of our emotions
By stopping yourself and becoming aware of the meaning you attach to things you are able to change how you feel thereby being in full control of your emotions. Stephen Covey was the first that I came across to state that there is a space between stimulus and response and it's in this tiny space that our personal power lies. This takes practice like any other habit because it takes weeks for neural pathways to form so that your thinking moves from conscious to unconscious, meaning it will all happen in automatic in the background.
By practicing the habit of evaluating the meaning we attach to things, we can alter our emotional state to make us feel more positive, more aware and understanding, even kinder and more grateful. The same strategy used when we do not feel happy enables us to attach new, more positive and resourceful meaning to events, things and people. Controlling the meaning we attach to things enables us to see the brighter side of everything and brings us happiness.