What is happiness? What does it take to be happy? Through the ages, people have asked these questions. Everyone desires to be happy, to understand what makes this positive feeling arise and ways of holding it longer. No magic pill can make you happy forever but understanding the nature of happiness can make you more skillful at staying happier, longer.
We are said to be happy when we experience frequent positive emotions such as joy, pride and fulfillment and infrequent negative emotions such as anger and sadness. Happiness is an elusive concept because there is no exact recipe for it, and it means different things to different people and generations.
Some people attribute happiness to wealth. While there is a strong correlation between wealth and happiness, wealth does not guarantee happiness. The mass media has always perpetuated the idea that being wealthy makes you happy. Money makes it easier for you to achieve your goals, acquire the things you love, and make your life more enjoyable.
However, money does not guarantee satisfaction. Money can’t make you happy as increased income or wealth comes with raised expectations. If you crave to accumulate more wealth, you will never be content, and you will be caught up in a rat race. We tend to forget that happiness does not come from buying something we did not have but appreciating what we have.
People who lack the support of a close-knit social circle may find happiness elusive. Having close friends, family, and colleagues can act as a buffer from the mysteries of the cold world we inhabit. Relationships don’t need to be perfect, but with confidence and mutual trust in one another, they can help connect us to the world around us. Most people go wrong by trying to seek happiness from external sources. It is worthwhile to consider where happiness comes from.
Real happiness comes from within. Your emotions are as a result of your thoughts, and you are in charge of your thoughts. Therefore, it is imperative that you select your own thoughts. We tend to make decisions based on how we feel. If you are angry and something happens, there is a chance that you will react negatively. The outcome would be different if you were happy. So, if most of the time you think negatively, you will create a negative state of mind which perpetuates negative emotions.
In helping others rather than pursuing our own gains, we find great fulfillment and freedom. Mark Twain once said that the best way to cheer yourself is to cheer someone else up. We all love to see another person smile and appreciate what we have done for them. Look around you. There are people everywhere who may need your help.
The most important step is to notice such people. Do something to help alleviate their situation. Even if you don’t have the answers and resources, jump in and give it your best shot. Avoid giving excuses when someone approaches you for help. When helping others, do not expect anything in return. Your actions will be repaid in joy and fulfillment in many other ways.
A balanced life is essential for peace of mind, fulfillment and personal effectiveness. It is important to achieve a balance between our physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and financial dimensions of life. When or more of these dimensions are overlooked, your happiness can be compromised.
Whether you attend school, go to work or are retired, each one of us has responsibilities that must be fulfilled. The challenge is to balance our responsibilities with what we enjoy. Failure to live a well balanced life can take a toll on your emotional well-being and make you unhappy. You cannot accomplish your goals if you are unhealthy. Take care of yourself by attending to your physical, emotional and social needs.
Allow yourself to unwind after a long day of work by setting time aside for a fun activity you enjoy. The secret to happiness is maintaining a positive mental state. We should prepare for the worst and expect the best from life.
Prepare for uncertainty, adversity, and unforeseen events. Learning how to savor good moments in life is an effective way to increase your happiness and quality of life. Savoring the moment with loved ones can help create a strong bond, bring a sense of connection and appreciation. As you go through the day, notice the positive details of what is going on around you.
Expressing gratitude is a great way of savoring the moment. Notice when someone goes out of their way to do something good for you and appreciate them whenever possible. Most importantly, do what you enjoy. If you dread certain days of the week, try adding fun activities that you enjoy into your schedule.
Pursuing hobbies and gratifications can help ease the pressure from your regular responsibilities and help you live a well-balanced and fulfilling life. Have fun, and savor life’s good moments!