The Project Gutenberg eBook of Keep Happy

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Title: Keep Happy

Author: Eustace Miles

Release date: January 20, 2024 [eBook #72765]

Language: English

Original publication: New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1920

Credits: Carla Foust, Charlene Taylor and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)





Economy of Energy, and How to Secure It.
How to Prepare Essays, Articles, Lectures, Speeches, Etc.
The Power of Concentration: and How to Acquire It.
Prevention and Cure.
Life after Life.
How to Remember; without and with Memory Systems.
The Uric Acid Fetish. With C. H. Collings.
The E.M. System of Physical Culture—with Two Charts of Exercises.
Health and Counsel Bureau.
Curative Exercises.
Let’s Play the Game.
A Week’s Proteid Diet.
Quick and Easy Recipes.
First Recipes.
How to Begin a Change of Diet.







Copyright, 1920, by
Frederick A. Stokes Company

[Pg 5]


On my Fiftieth Birthday (Sunday, September 22, 1918), after a good day’s work, I start, in the afternoon, to spend the few hours before our evening meal in writing down some ideas that may help others (besides myself, who need them as much as anyone, since I am beginning my second half-century), to indulge less in that habit of fear, worry, resentment, and hurry, which must be regarded as a form of suicide, slow indeed, but working in a vicious circle and with self-increasing force, and poisoning and paralysing others besides the respectable offenders themselves.

The chief remedy is—keep happy.

[Pg 6]

We have had our attention so fixed on prohibitions—the “Thou shalt not” Commandments—that we have, as a Nation, ignored the positive commandments of the Old and New Testaments; among which a very frequently repeated one was “Rejoice” or “Keep Happy.” Others, besides the Master, told us not to worry, not to be afraid, not to be angry, not to be bitter; but to be glad and happy. The orthodox should remember that Happiness is a virtue, however unusual, and Non-Happiness a sin, however common and respectable.

I give one quotation alone—though the usual translation does not convey the real force of the Greek words of Philippians iv. 4-7:—

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.... The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in[Pg 7] everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

C. D. Larson’s book, “Just be Glad,” was on my table, and gave me the thought of writing on this subject. Larson offers capital ideas on the mental side, but he does not tell people how to be glad; and, especially, he leaves out all the Physical Helps.

In this little Birthday offering, I shall include a few Physical as well as Mental Helps—a few out of many, since space is limited—so that readers may be able to keep happy easily.

The art is not new, but—like the habit of deep, full, rhythmical breathing—is always needed.

There are millions who have scarcely begun to recognise, at least to the extent of acting upon the facts, that, while their[Pg 8] Happiness itself depends largely upon their digestion, their elimination of waste matter, their circulation, etc., these influences themselves depend largely on (1) the choice of foods and drinks, the way of eating and drinking, the breathing and other exercises, and so forth—and on (2) the maintenance of Happiness itself, or at least the avoidance of worry and resentment, etc., and the expression of Happiness, until Happiness actually is attracted and comes into a prepared nest.

[Pg 9]


[Pg 10]

[Pg 11]


Why Keep Happy? A Contrast

First work out the contrast. Before reading further, think what happens when one keeps the opposite of happy, whatever be the actual stage between the extreme homicidal or suicidal violence or suicidal melancholia on the one hand, and, on the other hand, ordinary fear, worry, resentment, depression, grumpiness, and so on.

Those who wish to study the effects of these states of mind more fully, can consult Elmer Gates’ “The Mind and the Brain,” or William S. Sadler’s “Physiology of Faith and Fear,” both quoted in my book.[A] Professor Elmer Gates, of[Pg 12] the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, says:—

My experiments show that irascible, malevolent, and depressing emotions generate in the system injurious compounds, some of which are extremely poisonous; also that agreeable, happy emotions generate chemical compounds of nutritious value, which stimulate the cells to manufacture energy....

If an evil emotion is dominant, then during that period the respiration contains volatile poisons, which are expelled through the breath and are characteristic of these emotions.

Wearisome, unpleasant memories weaken health, and do not generate thought energy. Cure is accomplished in expelling these by another crop of wholly pleasant memories, which put the necessary[Pg 13] structures of the mind in systematic order and teach the patient how to use the mental faculties.

Therefore, keep happy.

On page 40 of “Economy of Energy” will be found a summary of some results of states of mind:—

They affect:—

The heart, and the circulation—both its rate, and its distribution of blood; (unfavourable states of mind tend to anaemia or dysxmia, or to congestion, etc.).

The actual chemical condition of the blood and the lymph.

The lungs, and the rhythm and the fulness of the breathing, and the amount of oxygen inhaled, and of carbonic acid gas, etc., exhaled.

The digestive and ‘assimilative’ organs and functions.

[Pg 14]

The curative energies of the body; which include:—

The excretory organs—the bowels, kidneys, skin, etc. (Thus fear may act as a diuretic.)

The muscular system in general (as when it is paralysed by fear—for instance, when one feels ‘all of a tremble’).

The appearance—the attitude, the position of the organs, the expression of the face, etc.

The voice—its tone and timbre, and the words used or repressed.

The nervous system—partly influenced indirectly by the altered breathing, and by the blood, and by the effects of the state of mind upon the Solar Plexus.

The energy and endurance.

The poise, and ease of self-mastery, self-recovery, and self-direction.

[Pg 15]

The brain—the clearness of thought, etc.

The influence of the person on others—especially in the immediate neighbourhood.

The direction and bias of the mind in the future, states of mind tending to become habitual apart from the active will.

Therefore, keep happy.

“Anxiety (which includes fear) saps more life in a day than work does in a week.” Anxiety is unnecessary, unproductive, destructive work. It is hard work. It is sinful work.

We must remember how prevalent are the states of mind in which fear is one of the factors. For fear is a factor in worry, and usually even in anger, and in depression. These words from M. J. M. Hickson’s “Healer” are worth reading:—

[Pg 16]

We have very seldom reflected upon the fact that fear runs like a baleful thread through the whole web of our life from beginning to end. We are born into the atmosphere of fear and dread, and the mother who bore us had lived in the same atmosphere for weeks and months before we were born. We are surrounded in infancy and childhood by clouds of fear and apprehension on the part of our parents, nurses, and friends. As we advance in life, we become instinctively, or by experience, afraid of almost everything. We are afraid of our parents, afraid of our teachers, afraid of our playmates, afraid of ghosts, afraid of rules and regulations and punishments, afraid of the doctor, the dentist, the surgeon. Our adult life is a state of chronic anxiety, which is fear in a milder form. We are afraid of failure in business, afraid of disappointments[Pg 17] and mistakes, afraid of enemies, open or concealed; afraid of poverty, afraid of public opinion, afraid of accidents, of sickness, of death, and unhappiness after death. Man is like a haunted animal, from the cradle to the grave, the victim of real or imaginary fears, not only his own, but those reflected upon him from the superstitions, self-deceptions, sensory illusions, false beliefs, and concrete errors of the whole human race, past and present.

Fear not only affects the mind and the nervous and muscular tissues, but the molecular chemical transformations of the organic network, even to the skin, the hair, and the teeth. This might be expected of a passion that disturbs the whole mind, which is represented or externalised in the whole body.

How does fear operate upon the body[Pg 18] to produce sickness? By paralysing the nerve centres, especially those of the vasomotor nerves, thus producing not only muscular relaxation, but capillary congestions of all kinds. This condition of the system invites attack, and there is no resilience or power of resistance. The gates of the citadel have been opened from within, and the enemy may enter at any point.

Therefore keep happy.

First because, once again, non-happiness is a mistake. It acts, as I said just now, in a vicious circle, increasing itself. It poisons the blood, and this very poisoning tends to produce more non-happiness. It radiates itself, and is infectious. It inclines to become a fixed and sub-conscious habit. It sinks down into the sub-conscious self, and afterwards expresses[Pg 19] itself in various ways which (as Psychoanalysts show) are not usually associated with their true mental cause. It is toxic, and produces non-health and non-efficiency, by wasting power and force; by bringing fatigue; by encouraging bad sleep; by injuring the whole body; by cramping the energies; by “distracting” the body and mind, and thus hindering concentration; by impeding the circulation, and the elimination of waste-matters; and by upsetting the rhythm and the deepness and thoroughness of the breathing, and all the vibrations of the physical system. Besides, it is ugly. It militates against financial success, and against social success—for who wants a non-happy acquaintance?—and against intellectual success.

Consider this. Non-happiness is liable[Pg 20] to make one’s work poor and inferior, difficult, tiring, and wanting in foresight and in perspective.

It does not help. As Ian Maclaren said:

What does your anxiety do? It does not empty to-morrow, brother, of its sorrow; but ah! it empties to-day of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.

Therefore, keep happy.

On the moral and ethical side, non-happiness, especially in the form of worry, is cowardly, unbalanced, against moral consistency and persistency, against self-control and self-mastery, and very unkind to others.

Therefore, keep happy.

Non-happiness shortens life, and brings[Pg 21] premature, incompetent, burdensome old age.

It is selfish, in the worst sense of the word; for there is a selfishness that is altruistic.

It harms posterity, as—among other proofs—we see from the influence of a mother upon her babe before as well as after birth.

It makes us less independent and less free. Therefore, keep happy.

How Happiness Helps

Happiness, by the “expulsive power” of a positive state of mind, drives out or neutralises or cancels non-happiness, instead of the mind being left open to the seven other devils, as it may be when we merely try not to be non-happy. The happy heart is too full for non-happiness,[Pg 22] as the light room is too light for darkness. As Mr. A. Knight says, Happiness fills the heart with its three companions, Health, Harmony, and Helpfulness.

Therefore, keep happy.

Happiness works in the opposite of the vicious circle. It makes for greater happiness. It is self-increasing. Among other reasons, it purifies and invigorates the blood, and this in itself inclines the mind towards further and greater Happiness. It creates the habit of Happiness, the bias towards Happiness. It stores the memory with Happiness, for future use. Prospectively, Happiness must be valued as a great asset.

Therefore, keep happy.

Happiness does not merely aid in removing mental and physical Non-Health, in such forms as depression and fear, “nerves” and their troubles, fatigue, sleeplessness[Pg 23] or bad sleep, bad circulation, congestion, and so on. It actually produces positive Health, Well-being, and Fitness, as well as increased Self-Healing and “Preventive” Power.

Therefore, keep happy.

Think of the letter E alone. Happiness tends to Health, in its various aspects:—

Enjoyment of life and of all that life brings us;

Energy—for Health gives a tonic without reaction;

Economy—for, when we are happy, we need neither drugs nor stimulants nor narcotics nor holidays; Happiness saves vast stores of precious power, both physical and mental;

Endurance—what long hours we can work when we are happy;


[Pg 24]


Therefore, keep happy.

Happiness brings the right vibrations throughout the mind and body, partly through the Solar Plexus and the Sympathetic Nervous System. Only lately have we begun to realise the importance of the rate and character of vibrations. Let the same elements vibrate differently, and we have ice or water or steam. We know the full and elastic firmness and resilience of faith, the shrunken and paralysed trembling of fear. It is largely a difference of vibrations. Happiness has the most desirable vibrations.

Happiness means that we inhale more life-giving and cleansing oxygen, and exhale more carbonic acid and other waste matter.

Happiness means that we have better sleep, and can do with less sleep.

[Pg 25]

Happiness means improved circulation. It keeps the body warm in winter and cool in summer. It relieves the physical heart.

Therefore, keep happy.

Happiness gives better looks. It makes the eyes brighter, the complexion clearer, the step more vigorous, the carriage more upright.

And, generally, Happiness makes people more attractive. It has a marked social value.

Therefore, keep happy.

Financially, Happiness pays. The happy salesman or saleswoman is more persuasive. The happy person gets and keeps more friends, who will like to help him, if only because his Happiness helps them. James Coates says:

Smile at your business, and it will smile back. Follow the light of that smile.

[Pg 26]

Therefore, keep happy.

Intellectually, Happiness helps us to see with surer clearness and foresight. Happiness helps us to solve our problems rightly. Happiness gives us more understanding and more intuition. Happiness makes us more receptive to the best ideas. Happiness puts us in better perspective. Happiness, once again, increases our mental energy, endurance, ease, and effectiveness.

These quotations from C. D. Larson are excellent. He says:—

Just be glad, and you always will be glad. You will have better reasons to be glad. You will have more and more things to make you glad.

When you are tempted to feel discouraged or disappointed, be glad instead. Just be glad, and your fate will change. Know that you can be glad, say that you[Pg 27] will, and stand uncompromisingly upon your resolve. When things are not to your liking, be glad nevertheless, for the glad heart can cause all things to be as we wish them to be. When things do not give you pleasure, proceed instead to create pleasure in your own heart and soul.

It is the law that all good things will sooner or later come and be where the greatest happiness is to be found. Therefore, be happiness in yourself, regardless of times, seasons, or circumstances.

It is the man who blends rejoicing with his work who does the best work. It is profitable in every way to learn to be glad.

The happier you are over what has come to you, the more and the more will come to you in the future. The glad heart and the cheerful soul always make things better.

Give gladness to your mind, and you[Pg 28] give clearness to your mind; and a clear mind can see how to evolve better plans.

In the moral and ethical and spiritual, as in the intellectual and financial and social spheres, Happiness is a precious and integral factor in success and progress. We might almost say that Happiness includes the much-praised virtues of Courage, Persistence, and Poise, and goes far towards Self-Control and Self-Mastery.

Therefore, keep happy.

It is kind to others to keep happy. Happiness tends to Forgiveness (not of the usual perfunctory and “I-forgive-but-I-can’t-forget” type), Goodwill, and pleasant Warmth as of the sunshine.

Therefore, keep happy.

Happiness tends to the right sort of Youthfulness—the Youthfulness in which we have all the merits of “little children,” together with the wisdom of elders.

[Pg 29]

Therefore, keep happy.

Happiness makes our life longer—not like the life of an aged person who may be a burden upon the earth, living in name only, and almost as a vampire lives, but a life of increasingly-useful length.

Therefore, keep happy.

For Happiness is non-selfish.

But non-selfishness, after all, is a negative.

Happiness does indeed include negative merits, but it is also positive and radiating and infectious. When we ask what we can do for others, one answer is, we can keep happy. Here, again, Larson’s words are to the point:—

He who is always glad is always adding to the welfare of every member of the race. The great soul is always in search of ways and means for adding to[Pg 30] the welfare of others. But no way is better, greater, or more far reaching than this. To be glad at all times is to be of greater service to mankind than any other thing we can do. Consider how all things change when the glad soul arrives, and how all work becomes lighter when the spirit of joy is abroad. And every man has the power to dispense the spirit of joy wherever he may work or live.

Work in the spirit of joy, and your work will be the product of joy—a rare product—the best of its kind.

Therefore, keep happy.

To help all those with whom you live, and many beyond this narrow circle, keep happy.

To help your children and posterity, whether you already are or are going to be a father or mother, keep happy.

The relation of a parent (or of any one[Pg 31] who has charge of children) to children, illustrates well how our states of mind react upon ourselves. Be happy with children, and you make them happier, healthier, pleasanter to be with, easier to train. When they are in this favourable condition, you yourself, in turn, have more Happiness and health, partly because your work is more delightful and more successful. And so your Happiness is self-increasing as well as self-radiating.

C. D. Larson, from whose book I have already quoted, says, in another book:—

Make it a point to be happy, just as you make it a point to be clean, to be presentable, to be properly dressed, to work well, to be efficient. Make the attainment of continuous happiness and greater happiness a permanent part of your strongest ambition.

Real Happiness is a power within oneself,[Pg 32] not dependent on circumstances; at least not dependent when it has become a habit. He who has Happiness is like a magic plant that bears beautiful and shade-giving and health-giving leaves, beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers, beautiful and refreshing and cleansing fruit, wherever it is, and without the aid of special soil, air, light, warmth, and rain. For it has, as it were, its own subtle, ethereal, and eternal soil and air and light and warmth and rain within itself.

Therefore, keep happy.

The Gospel of Happiness—the word “Gospel” once meant “good news,” but now has lost much of its gladdening vitality—is, when we examine deeply and widely, “perspectively” and prospectively, sound Philosophy and sound Religion. To the devout Hindu, God is not only “Wisdom, Love, Might,” but also Bliss.[Pg 33] Sat Chit Ananda meant Lasting Reality, True Knowledge, and Blissful Happiness. A Perfect God—and this applies whether we believe in a Personal Being or not, for an Impersonal Being cannot easily be imagined as sad!—cannot surely be sad; and we are told to become perfect as God is Perfect.

We are often recommended to fill the mind with healthy, invigorating, purifying thoughts. This, again, is a New Testament Commandment. The words in the ordinary rendering of Philippians, iv. 8, do not bring out the vitality and force and verve of the Greek words, but they give the general idea:—

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things.

It is a Commandment to attend to—to[Pg 34] fill the mind by repetition with—eternally true ideas, ideas that command respect, ideas that are right, ideas that are clean and pure, ideas that are welcome and sweet; ideas that have words of good omen, ideas of manliness and womanliness, ideas of praise and appreciation.

Therefore, think of Happiness: keep happy.

In keeping happy, we obey the frequently reiterated Commandment to “Rejoice,” and, without any special attention to the negative and prohibitive Commandments not to worry, and not to be angry, and not to be unkind, and not to criticise unkindly, and so forth, we, ipso facto, obey these Commandments as well, just as the person who is encouraged and inspired does not need to be comforted in so-called “misfortune.”

Therefore, keep happy.

[Pg 35]

Happiness helps you. “It is profitable in every way to learn to be glad.”

Happiness helps yourself and others, and hurts none.

No selfish heart can really be glad.

Happiness is the right thing to keep. Happiness is our duty, and is “good form.”

Happiness increases itself.

The more things you are glad for, the more things you will have to be glad for. Gladness is a magnet. Because you were glad, even when there was nothing to make you glad, you proved that you deserved everything that has the power to make you glad. And that which we truly deserve must come to remain as our own. Possess gladness, and you will soon possess those things that produce gladness.

But how?

[Pg 36]

How to Keep Happy

It is so easy to say to others, or to ourselves, Keep happy. But how keep happy?

Here are a few out of many helps.

People will ask, “What about trying circumstances? How can we keep happy under, or in them, whether they be past or present or future?”

I was much struck by a phrase in a little book I read some time ago. It described how someone, who was going to an unpleasant interview, was told:—“Go to the man, taking God with you.” A good piece of general advice is to welcome the circumstances as one would welcome either a strong opponent or a severe handicap at a game—namely, as a privilege and an occasion for bringing out (as a great player said) “one’s best game.” I think a[Pg 37] “handicap” is an excellent description. For what true sportsman resents a handicap?

Turn the Mind to Blessings,

or think of your own blessings, not only in the past, but also in the present. Think of all the conveniences of civilisation. Then, if you like, contrast the hardships of primitive times—with no books, no travelling facilities, no sanitation!

Think of blessings, and keep happy.

Think of the blessings of others. Anything is better than giving attention to supposed injuries and hardships, and to sorrows, and resenting or bemoaning them.

or to Reasoning

When things seem amiss, then is the time to give all your thoughts the upward[Pg 38] direction. Keep happy. Hold on to Happiness, not like grim death but like irrepressible life.

Remember that “everything serves some useful purpose.” If you refuse to keep happy, at least determine to find out the useful purpose. But, as soon as you can, come back to yourself, and keep happy.

Help Others

Help others. This is the old and ever new way. As Maeterlinck says:

Before we can bring happiness to others, we must first be happy ourselves. Nor will happiness abide within us unless we confer it on others. If there be a smile upon our lips, those around us will soon smile too; and our happiness will become the truer and deeper as we see that these others are happy.

[Pg 39]

Therefore, keep happy by helping others. We can help others by our thoughts—by wishing them to be well and happy and successful, or by imagining them to be well and happy and successful. We can help them by all our expressions—our words, our looks, our acts—and by our very abstinence from non-happiness.

Abstain from Thoughts against Others and against Self

Merely to send out no thoughts and to harbour no thoughts against other persons or things, or against ourselves, is a step in the right direction. I once saw hornets destroyed by a man who stood over the nest and, as each hornet came out, knocked it down and killed it by a blow from a little wooden bat. So we can beat down any undesirable thought—of[Pg 40] worry or failure or resentment, etc.—so that it ceases to live and poison us or others.

But still this is negative. It is not positive and constructive. To keep happy, we must fill the glass, drop by drop, with the sparkling and fresh water of Happiness; and then the dirty water will automatically trickle away, and—who knows?—somehow become a kind of mental manure and fertiliser.


Self-Suggestion is a great help, if we would keep happy. We can tell ourselves to keep happy, in the same way as Peter Latham, at a hard and critical point in one of his Professional Championship Matches, kept not only happy but also plucky by telling himself to “buck up,”[Pg 41] as this was the chance to bring out his best game!

Self-Suggestion has many forms and varieties. Henry Wood, in his “Ideal Suggestion Through Mental Photography,” advises us to write down inspiring “Self-Suggestions,” and to look at them often. Leland, in his “Have You a Strong Will?” advises us to determine, the last thing at night, that the next day we will, for example, work calmly and easily and successfully. I myself find that now one form of Self-Suggestion is most effective, now another. It may be Imagination or Realisation or Assertion, or it may be a quiet order to the Servant Mind or Manager Mind, or it may be a strongly-felt and repeated Desire, or it may be nearer to Silence and Receptivity, together with “the attitude of expectancy.”

Self-suggestion is feasible at all times[Pg 42] and in all places. It is unobtrusive. It is “without money and without price.” It is effective. It tends to become a sub-conscious habit, and, as it were, to “do itself” without our attention.

To keep happy, we can use happy words. Words have vast and little appreciated power. Think how useless we should be as regards our power of controlling ourselves and helping ourselves and helping others, if we had no words! It would be easy to write a long book on this aspect of the Art of Happiness, alone. But I must be content with just one idea.

We should speak with a cheerful voice and tone, as well as with a cheerful face; and we should prefer, to such words of ill omen as “miserable” and “cruel,” words that end rightly, such as un-happy and un-kind—words that leave us with the right and happy notion. Conversely, however,[Pg 43] when we are—or think that we are—absolutely obliged to mention some unpleasant episode, in order to get others to help to put it right, we must not use such vivid expressions—we must not speak whiningly nor even keenly. This is preeminently the occasion for such a monotonous and expressionless voice, as is unusually put on by a Secretary when reading the minutes of any previous meeting!

Can we not speak of pleasant things with the excitedness of the French, if indeed we wish to be excited at all; but speak of unpleasant things, if we feel we must speak of them, with the apathy of the Hindu?

When you have finished any Self-Suggestion, be sure to keep happy.

To keep happy, we must use Repetitions of Self-Suggestions and of Happy Words, and we must use them long before[Pg 44] we seem to need them. In place of the old adage, “In time of peace prepare for war,” one can substitute, “In time of peace prepare for victory”—and then there will be no real war.

Persistent Repetitions

The persistent Repetitions may be in the form of sheer repetitions; or in the form of Synonyms—such as Happiness, Gladness, Enjoyment, Joy, Welcome; or in the form of cognate words, words that suggest not so much Happiness itself, as the father and mother, the brothers and sisters, the sons and daughters, of Happiness. Thus, to take the letter P alone, it has a decided effect upon our feelings of Happiness to repeat, with as much attention to and realization of the idea and the inner spirit and soul of each word, as possible,[Pg 45] the words Purity, Poise, Peace, Plenty, Power, Pluck, Pleasantness.

As to the influence of Repetition, we must remember that we are mainly what our sub-conscious mind is; and our sub-conscious mind is largely what our conscious mind has chosen or allowed itself to think, and what our conscious mind every moment—every now—is choosing or allowing itself to think.

Or, instead of repeating the ideas themselves or the words that can convey them, we can keep happy by Reason and Argumentation. While an Assertion like Robert Browning’s,

“God’s in His Heaven,
All’s right with the world,”

will help some, a recalling of the advantages of Happiness—or of the disadvantages of Non-Happiness—and a working[Pg 46] out of the ways in which the past “failures” of ourselves and others turned into blessings, will help others. I remember how disappointed I was when I did not get a Fellowship at Cambridge. I am now very glad that I did not. What seemed a calamity led to my present work, which enables me to keep happy. As a fossilised Don I should not have kept happy!

Appreciation and Welcome

We should go far towards keeping happy, also, if we practised Appreciation. We breathe fresh air, drink pure water, see glorious scenery, or architecture, and so forth, without a tithe of the proper enjoyment which would come from the proper valuation—for instance, of the water as refreshing us, satisfying us, helping[Pg 47] our assimilation of nourishing food, helping our elimination of toxic waste matter, and symbolising much besides.

It is far better to approach any persons or things or circumstances that are ours—they would not come to us, or we to them, unless they were ours!—in the spirit of Welcome, and in the true and sporting Play Spirit, than in the spirit of discontent.

So keep happy by Appreciation.


Some people have a genius for seeing the funny side of so-called “misfortunes,” like the Chinaman who could not control his laughter, just before his execution, because they were going to hang the wrong man. In a little booklet called “Fifty Years not Old,” I wrote:—

[Pg 48]

Laughing is a capital relief for unpleasant mental states, as well as fine exercise for the stomach and liver! Democritus, the laughing and smiling philosopher, may have carried his excellent principle to excess; but he was a safer guide than the weeping and moaning philosopher.

It is worth while to collect cartoons and cuttings from the ‘Daily Mirror,’ ‘Punch,’ and other papers, and to look through them when the dumps try to dominate.

Laughing and smiling can come under muscular control, no less than walking and sitting—no less than frowning and grumbling. We can tense or relax muscles. We can equally easily laugh or smile. And the mere muscular action will help the mind and the feelings to be free from non-happiness.

[Pg 49]

There are, of course, wrong kinds of laughter and smiling. I read a book devoted almost entirely to the abuse of laughter and smiling. But the right kinds are as valuable as they are rare.

Several people that I know have the supreme art of making troubles almost blessings by catching at once the ludicrous aspect—going round to the other side and seeing things from a different approach. And sometimes, entering into the trouble by the Gate of Humour, they find that the trouble is not a torture-chamber but a factory of Success and Happiness.

The right laugh and smile is an expression of real Faith; and, as we have seen, the expression, if persevered in, tends to bring the reality.

[Pg 50]

The Power of Imagination

And keep happy by Imagination. How exhilarating it is to imagine oneself succeeding in one’s favourite game, or in one’s business or art or hobby. Such imagination is far better than the memory of defeats, except in so far as the latter helps us to correct our faults.

The Power of Expression

Then there is the Art of Expression, advocated by Delsarte and William James. The latter, in his “Talks on Psychology,” may not be strictly accurate and scientific, but at any rate he is practically useful, when he says:

If we only check a cowardly impulse in time—for example, or if we only don’t strike the blow or rip out with the complaining[Pg 51] or insulting word that we shall regret as long as we live—our feelings themselves will presently be the calmer and better, with no particular guidance from us on their own account. Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look round cheerfully, and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that occasion can. So, to feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all our will to that end, and a courage-fit will very likely replace the fit of fear. Again, in order to feel kindly toward a[Pg 52] person to whom we have been inimical, the only way is more or less deliberately to smile, to make sympathetic inquiries, and to force ourselves to say genial things. One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling. To wrestle with a bad feeling only pins our attention on it, and keeps it still fastened in the mind: whereas, if we act as if from some better feeling, the old bad feeling soon folds its tent like an Arab, and silently steals away.

An equally good quotation (from Luther Gulick’s “Mind and Work”) will be found on pages 26-27 of “Economy of Energy.”

He says:

Assume the bodily positions and movements and manners and tones of voice that[Pg 53] belong to the emotional state you desire.

Now the Expression—as the smile that is the expression of Happiness—may not be the cause of Happiness, but at least it is the usual accompaniment, if not the essential accompaniment, of ordinary Happiness.

The eyes are among the most obvious means of Expression, as is illustrated in the well-known lines:—

Smile, once in a while,
’Twill make your heart seem lighter;
Smile, once in a while,
’Twill make your pathway brighter.
Life’s a mirror: if we smile,
Smiles come back to greet us;
If we’re frowning all the while,
Frowns forever meet us.

The whole face is a part of our Expression—not[Pg 54] only the eyes, but also the mouth, and the lines, which are largely under the ultimate control of the will, through the control of the muscles.

And there is the whole attitude of the body, the up-holding of the chest and the head, the correct curve of the spine (so as to bring the position of “mechanical advantage” and physical and nervous economy), the deepness and fulness and rhythm of the breathing, the laugh, the song (sung aloud or “sung silently”), and the tone and the “tune” and the timbre of the voice.

Uses of Odd Moments

What we seldom realise is that, no less than we can move our biceps, we can move our muscles that regulate our Expression. If people can spend 15 minutes daily over[Pg 55] a dull—and often almost useless, if not actually stiffening and harmful—grinding series of spring-grip dumb-bell exercises, why will they not spend a few moments at some one time daily, or many (otherwise wasted or misused) moments at frequent intervals throughout the day, in exercising the muscles that regulate their Expression—in lifting up their heart (and chest and head) and in laughing or smiling, so as to keep happy?

Besides the Expression, as an easy avenue to Happiness, there is another—rather less easy—avenue in the improvement of the state of the Health in general, and the state of the Blood in particular, through more sensible Foods and Feeding, Drinks, Water-treatments, and Exercise and Exercises—especially Breathing.

[Pg 56]

Various Avenues to Better Health

Some principles and details will be found in various books.[B] There is no space here for more than a few suggestions.

Better Foods and Drinks

Years ago, the late Dr. Forbes Ross told me that, when he was medical superintendent of a certain Asylum, he found that the patients were very violent on Thursday afternoons. On Thursdays, at the mid-day meal, they had Beef-Extract. He forbade this, and at once the Thursday afternoon violence ceased. In my own case, the depression of years ceased when I gave up flesh-foods and meat-extracts more than 23 years ago.

[Pg 57]

This does not mean that such foods are a cause of non-happiness in all cases. Still less does it mean that they are the sole cause, or even the main cause, in all cases. Many haphazard “vegetarians” have been miserable.

It rather means that some better Diet may be an important factor in Happiness.

The general idea of Diet, for producing or increasing mental and physical Well-Being, which includes Happiness, would surely be to get first such a régime as shall clear out the clogging and depressing or irritating toxins and waste-matters, and shall not add to them, but shall re-build a clean and healthy body and mind by a better Balance of the various Food Elements.

The Drinks, in order to increase the Well-Being and the subsequent Happiness,[Pg 58] should be cleansing, and should include the minimum of undesirable elements (whether overstimulating, or narcotic).

There is no need here to explain how Food and Drink affect the mind. We all know some of the depressing effects of “Liver,” Indigestion, Constipation, etc., and the partial dependence of these troubles on the Food and Drinks. But few who have not studied the subject as I have been enabled to do, thanks partly to my work with the leading Clinical Analytical Expert, Mr. C. H. Collings,[C] could guess how some of the most common and respectable errors of Food and Drink—such as excess of starchy and sugary stuff, of fruit, of tea or coffee or cocoa, and so on—can produce non-Health and consequent[Pg 59] Non-Happiness, partly by affecting the Brain and the Solar Plexus through tissue-storage of toxins and Toxœmia or an acid and poisoned bloodstream.

There are thousands who imagine that, because most of their “civilised” acquaintances regularly take certain meals as a matter of course, therefore these meals must of necessity be “all right”; not knowing that Nature does not withhold from us her results according to Law—often called her “punishments”—merely because large numbers of other individuals are making similar mistakes! To be orthodox in life is not the same thing as to be immune from the effects of orthodox mistakes.

I could show letter after letter that tells how, beside better Foods and Drinks, simple Water-treatments, and various[Pg 60] Exercises have tended to Health and Happiness. There are Exercises (like those in “Economy of Energy,” pp. 79, 83, 86, 87, 90, 94, 97) which help improve the Position of the body, the fulness and the rhythm of the Breathing, the economy of the muscles, by Relaxing and so forth. There are Stretching Exercises, Foot-Exercises, Trunk-Exercises, Athletic Exercises, and so on.

But one or two items must suffice here, as mere examples of how attention to physical acts may influence the state of the mind.

Better Position; Better Breathing; Less Muscular Tension

1. When the heart and lungs and stomach are sunk and sagged down, there is a tendency to mental as well as to physical[Pg 61] “depression.” The right Exercises[D]—quite simple and easy—will draw the organs up into their normal place again, and thus will help to remove “the dumps” and bring Happiness.

2. Happiness has its own type of Breathing (as shown by the Pneumograph and the registering cylinder-drum) quite different from the type when there is fear or anger. If we establish as a habit the deepness and fulness and rhythm of the Breathing that goes with Happiness, we are half way towards removing Non-Happiness and getting Happiness itself.

3. When there is anger or restless worry, there is, regularly, some muscular tension. Do away with this, and relax the muscles—the Art[E] can be taught and learnt—and the tendency is for the unsatisfactory[Pg 62] feelings themselves to disappear.

A Warning about Stimulants with Re-action

But, in physical “cures,” we often have to distinguish carefully between the temporary effects and the ultimate effects. Too often there is recommended some way which produces almost immediate exhilaration—or at least freedom from the sensation of worry or depression—by driving toxins etc., which had been in the blood and had thus tended towards depression, etc., not out of the body altogether, but only out of the blood and into the tissues, where, as Mr. Collings has been able to prove, they remain stored,[F] to work mischief[Pg 63] in the body and blood and mind in the future.

The passing sensations of ease, if not of positive satisfaction, may be brought by such means as a cup of tea or coffee, some aspirin, a smoke, a cold bath, and so on. But this is not an avenue to Happiness. It is, rather, a patch that crosses the avenue to Happiness at one point, and then leaves it again.

We Want the Habit of Happiness

What we want is not the flash of Happiness at heavy expense of future Well-Being and Happiness, but the habit of Happiness. We want to keep happy. We want to sacrifice, if need be, the immediate present for the lasting future. As the author of “The Way of the Servant” says:

[Pg 64]

I do ask Renunciation of My children—Renunciation of the less.

It is not every avenue to Happiness that is unpleasant at the start. But it is quite likely that certain treatments—especially abstinence from or moderation in various stimulants and narcotics—may be, for a time, far from producing any Happiness.

When You are Happy, be Really Happy

It is well known (see “Alison’s History of Europe”) that those who have lived for many years in hot climates are so saturated with warmth that they keep warm for some time after they have come into a cooler climate like ours. Somewhat similarly, whenever we are happy, if we let our whole self—every cell and atom within our body from tip to toe—become saturated with Happiness whenever we[Pg 65] feel happy, we should be able to carry on the habit when the conditions seem less satisfactory; we should still feel the glow. But we simply must be and feel happy “with all our mind and with all our soul and with all our strength,” at the happy times. Without feverish excitement, we should thrill throughout with Happiness, and be happy “all over,” as someone was said to smile all over! It is a good phrase.

For why not let all the cells and fibres enjoy themselves with us? Why keep the Happiness—as if we were autocratic and despotic Monarchs, instead of Representatives of a Democratic Community—to ourselves? Why not let the cells all “rejoice with us that rejoice”?

They will repay us a hundredfold in times of trouble and trial. They will then thrust back Happiness to us, as the roots of a plant thrust up stems and leaves[Pg 66] and flowers in return for the warmth and light and air and moisture and chemicals that they have absorbed.

If—as Virchow and many others hold—cells have some individuality and some intelligence, will they not respond to our Happiness, at least as much as you and I respond to the Happiness of our Nation and Empire when there is good news and success of the whole of which we form a particle?

To enjoy an Environment, or the memory of it, is a pleasant Avenue. If, instead of rushing through our sweet holidays and hours of peace and pleasantness, we “pause on every charm,” and concentrate our attention on the Pleasantness, we can make the Environment, on which so many people depend for their Health and Happiness, our own possession, within our minds, by means of picture-memories,[Pg 67] or sound-memories, or even word-memories. Here is one, from J. Beattie:—

But who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain-side;
The lowing herd, the sheepfold’s simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the low valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide;
The hum of bees, the linnet’s lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.

After all, what is our real Environment? Most people would say, at once—the air, the building, the scenery, in which, and the people and paraphernalia among[Pg 68] which, we happen to be at any time. And these are indeed part of our Environment.

But our true Environment is, first of all, the contents of our mind, and especially that part of the contents—whether memories or imaginations—to which we give most attention and interest; secondly, the Divine influence in which, whether we recognise it or not, we “live and move and have our being.”

And, chiefly, we live in whatever we think of or allow ourselves not to refuse as residents in our mind.

I have said little, in these few pages, about what are ordinarily regarded as Environmental helps. I rather wished to emphasise the importance of keeping happy, and of using such means as we had always or often with us. I could have written much about colours, music, books, friendship, and so on. But I had to leave[Pg 69] unwritten far more than I have written here.

If these ideas help the reader to keep happy more consistently, less spasmodically, and more independently of outside conditions, they will have served their purpose.

Perhaps even the mere titles of some books may be of use towards this end—“All’s Right with the World,” “Just Be Glad,” and “Keep Happy.”

To keep happy means enjoyment and ease, peace and poise, health and fitness, during work-times and non-work times; it means more work and better work; it means better opportunities and openings for our activities in the future; it means better rest and sleep after work; it means constant, all-round improvement for oneself and others. It is, like Health, part of our duty towards God, our neighbour, and[Pg 70] our self, and the myriads of cell-lives working within us.

A Concluding Suggestion

It is not a bad plan to make a point of writing down every day (in a note-book, or on slips of paper) some special reason why we should keep happy. Mr. Arthur Knight and I have done this regularly for many months, and have exchanged our records from time to time. The following are a few out of many of our reasons. They are not arranged in any particular order, but are put down just as we wrote them, from day to day. We recommend every reader to try the practice.

Keep Happy. When happiness is present, the petty things of life fail to disturb and poison us.

[Pg 71]

Keep Happy. This means living in the higher part of the mind, where the air and light and warmth are greater, and where all good things originate. Keep your thoughts in this happy region of yourself, and you will not only get the right ideas—the ideas that you really need—but you will draw other minds up to the same level.

Keep Happy. The more you insist on—and persist in—keeping happy, the more you will realise and be convinced how absolutely and progressively beneficial Happiness is.

Keep Happy, and the things that would, in the ordinary way, loom large and important, and upset our peace and poise, either fade into nothingness or else become obviously useful as training us to play the game of life.

If we would be at our best, in body,[Pg 72] mind, and spirit, we must keep happy. Gloom and sorrow lessen our power to be our best and to do our best.

Keep Happy. There is nothing to be said against it. There is everything to be said in favour of it.

Keep Happy. Happiness is as much a duty towards God, our “Neighbours,” and ourselves, as is Purity or Kindness or any other Virtue, and Happiness makes every other Virtue easier and pleasanter.

However good a physical or mental “system” you may follow, and however many excellent rules you may obey as to diet or exercise, and so on, the rule “Keep Happy” is found to be a good addition to your daily régime.

Keep Happy. The happy spirit is a magnet, and draws all that is most pleasant and profitable from all sources to seek you and to become yours.

[Pg 73]

Keep Happy when you are inclined to be ill-tempered or depressed or anxious. Then your sight and your perspective will change, and you will see the good in every one and every thing.

Keep Happy, and give out Happiness. When we give out Happiness, we always receive more blessings than we give to others.

Keep Happy. Difficulties and troubles enlarge through unhappiness, which is their fertilising manure.

Keep Happy. To keep happy is good and God-like.

Keep Happy. Whoever is happy, longs and tends to make all others happier and happier.

Keep Happy. To keep happy is true heroism—no less so than any spasmodic act of courage.

Keep Happy. Then every good[Pg 74] quality within you will grow and flourish and multiply and radiate.



[A] “Economy of Energy.”

[B] For instance—“Economy of Energy,” “How to Begin a Change of Diet,” “First Recipes,” “Health without Meat,” “The E.M. System of Physical Culture.”

[C] See “The Uric Acid Fetish,” “How Food Poisons Us.”

[D] See “Curative Exercises.”

[E] See “Curative Exercises,” p. 46.

[F] See “The Uric Acid Fetish” and “How Food Poisons Us.”

Transcriber’s note

Spelling has been retained as published. Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.

The following printer errors have been changed.

Page 33: “Whatsover things are” “Whatsoever things are”
Page 45: “or if the disadvantages” “or of the disadvantages”