In this blog, I’ve talked a lot about happiness. It’s a topic that has both been enjoyable and evolving in nature.
The questions about what is true happiness, where happiness comes from, and how we feel it, never seem to end. And it makes sense because happiness is something that we all want and is also possible for each of us.
Wherever we are, whatever we do, our collective aim of wanting to be happy is unshakeable. Behind almost all of our conscious decisions is the hope that there will be happiness ahead.
Happiness is something that makes it all worthwhile, no matter how our situation may be in comparison to societal standards. If we’re happy, what else could we want?
So, happiness is an important topic to discuss. Let’s start with defining it.
What is happiness?
I don’t think any other word’s meaning has been thought over more than happiness. What is the correct definition of happiness? How can we all succinctly define something that has varying meanings for all of us?
Is happiness a feeling or emotion or choice or perspective? Is it solely about pleasant feelings or is there room for a variety of emotions that together still constitute happiness?
It’s a tough to question to give a clear answer to when we overanalyze something that is so simple and obvious when it’s lived. So, I’ll share what I think happiness is for all of us.
In the simplest sense that I could gather, happiness is the experience of completely enjoying the moment that you are in. It could be for a short period of time for example when we’re dancing to a song we love or for years when collectively we say that it has been a happy time.
And again, it’s not possible that in each moment of those years, we would have only felt happiness, but because the times of struggle were meaningful or insignificant to us in the long run, they are a part of our happiness and don’t overpower it.
This leads me to the second question.
Where does happiness come from?
When we think about where happiness comes from, there are main two buckets that we question: is happiness somewhere out there, in some places or thing, or is it inherent? Can we choose happiness? If I am in a horrible mood, can I find happiness within myself and feel better through will?
I am sure that happiness is within us, but it does require help from our mind and external situation to be experienced. It boils down to meaning. We all want to understand the why of something to value it.
In our quest for happiness, we may try out various things but not feel happy because there was no meaning behind it except wanting happiness.
Happiness is one of those things that we shouldn’t run after or fixate on. Happiness happens when we stop thinking about being happy. Happiness occurs when we contribute our actions and lives to what we find meaningful.
Human beings want to find purpose and meaning in their lives. These ideas have inspired me a lot but also confused me. How do I find a grand purpose or meaning that will encompass all of my life?
What is more realistic is that our purpose and what we find meaningful may not remain static all our lives. They’ll grow and evolve as we do.
For example, for a single mom, her purpose could be to provide for her child, so as long as she is fulfilling that, the pain she would have to face for it from time to time is meaningful to her because all of it is in end fulfilling her purpose.
Later, her purpose may change, it may become to give time to herself and create something, or maybe open up an animal shelter, learn psychology as she wanted to before, live a life of peace in a village, or simply heal. And then something else.
All of this is not to say that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves, that is above everything else. Having good health is paramount, how else would we do anything? For all our endeavors and goals, we need our mental and physical health.
But it is unrealistic to think that we can be mostly happy all the time. To live life, we need strength. And, this strength comes with a good mind, and finding meaning. Which then helps us stay happy longer and come back to it after other emotions do their job.
So, this is a broad perspective on where true, long-lasting happiness comes from. Let’s now move on to some practices that you can do for happiness.
They are segregated into two parts: Mindset for happiness (how you can train your mind so that it is easy for you to feel happy for long periods of time) and Environment for happiness (how you can make changes in external factors to feel happier).
Mindset for happiness
Here are the things that you can do here:
- Keep a gratitude journal to help you build a habit of looking at the blessings in your life.
- Practice positive affirmations to reduce the negative voice in your head and replace it with an encouraging one.
- Take our free 21-day self-love course and build a kinder relationship with yourself
- Cultivate mindfulness and live more in the present moment
- Do breathing exercises and meditation
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Choose goals according to your values in life and not others’ expectations
- Exercise regularly in a way that you find fun
- Eat healthily and sleep at least 8 hours a day
- Listen to music that makes you feel better
- Embrace all emotions because they have something to tell you that will help you live a good life
- Let go of all-or-nothing thinking
- Take the support of therapy to have reliable and safe guidance
I recently wrote a post on the 10 keys to happiness. I’m sure you’ll find it quite helpful.
Environment for happiness
To create an environment for happiness, do these things:
- Maintain good relationships
- Express gratitude to other people
- Let go of the relationships that drain you or at least get distant
- Respect yourself and set boundaries with people when they cross them
- Don’t burn your energy trying to help those who don’t want it.
- Clean up your space and allow as much natural light to be there. Sprinkle a fragrance that you like around you.
- Don’t take in information that you don’t need from the Internet. Be conscious about what you consume.
- Spend time in nature and with animals.
- Spend money to help others or have memorable experiences instead of more material items.
And, that’s it from me! I hope you found this article helpful. Be sure to share it with your friends and family to understand true happiness and spread it in their lives. Take care!
Continue Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Happiness Alone