A happy thought is imagining the life you already have. The seen and the unseen. And liking it.
Most people, when they talk about a happy thought, do talk about something actually in their experience...now. Even if it's a poem that was written 300 years ago, it is speaking to them right now. Or if it's a sunrise or a story or song or memory, it seems to be something that now has become their own. For whatever reason and in whatever way.
And when I start to breathe intentionally, 1,2,3 in, 4,5,6,7 out... and pay attention to what is around me..what I hear, smell, feel, see, touch...or the thought of baby Alice's toes in the river...even though she isn't right here, in this zip code.. she is something that I have, and that I feel, and reminds me how grateful I am, even though there are many many things I don't seem yet to have.
So, while I sat in the dark and took no time at all to realize how much I liked these three little candles on the table, I breathe in and out and hear the laughter on the dark street, because it's Halloween.. and while it seems like things aren't quite right with the world, Sandy brought with her so much sorrow and confusion, somehow if we can trust that even in the worst of times, we can find our way to one something that we have. and love... we can be grateful and begin to heal.
A "visualization" for the happy purpose of bringing something into your experience (form follows thought) that you don't exactly have at this moment, is most likely always a happy thought, but, not all happy thoughts are "visualizations".
For one thing.. while it is so much fun to visualize the people, places and things we are bringing into our experience... When we are finished happily visualizing, and we come back to this moment, we don't exactly HAVE those things right now. We know they are coming. We believe it, trust it, and know it.. But, nonetheless, they are on the way.
At that moment, it might be a good idea to have a happy thought, about what we have in our experience this moment.. the seen and unseen. our heart is beating, the trees are growing, the sky is somehow there and blue, the moon is full.. that reminds us that at this moment, this very moment, as infinite as it is, and yet as present as it is, we have everything we need. Breathe in. Breathe out.
What a happy thought.