What is happiness?
It kind of seems like an odd question, but is it really? Do you know how to define true happiness? Do you think happiness is the same thing to you as it does to your loved ones, co-workers, or neighbor? What’s the point of it all, and does it even make a difference in our day to day lives?
We often think and talk about happiness yet rarely take the time to really define it. And that’s probably because the truth is that it’s extremely difficult to define. In fact, even researchers have yet to pin down the definition or an agreed-upon framework for happiness.
From a philosophical standpoint, the concept of happiness is often related to living a “great life,” flourishing, virtue, and excellence, rather than experiencing an emotion. To psychologists, on the other hand, happiness is a mental and emotional mental state of well-being related to experiencing positive emotions, but also to a sense of meaning and satisfaction from life.
However, if you pop open your handy-dandy dictionary, the definition of “happiness” is a simple one: “The state of being happy.” But what exactly does this really mean, and how can one find happiness? Read further to learn everything you need to know.
Everything You Need To Know About Happiness
If you have to try to be cool, you’ll never be cool. The same principle applies to happiness: If you have to try to be happy, then you’ll never be happy. Maybe the real problem these days is that people are just trying too hard.
The “search for happiness” is a popular pursuit for many people all over the world. But the truth is that happiness, like other emotions, is not something you obtain, but rather something you inhabit. Think about it in ragers to a different emotion, anger, for example. When you’re seeing red and wailing on your horn at the vehicle in front of you for cutting you off, you are not self-conscious about your state of anger. You’re not thinking to yourself. “Am I finally angry? Am I dining this, right?” No, you’re out for blood. You inhabit and live the anger. You are the anger. And then just like that, it’s gone.
Just as a confident individual doesn’t wonder if he is confident, a happy individual doesn’t wonder if he is happy – he just simply is.
What this implies is that the pursuit for happiness is not achieved in itself, but rather the side effect of a particular set of ongoing life experiences. This tends to get mixed up a lot, especially since happiness is marketed so much in society these days as a goal in and of itself. Buy ‘X’ and “be happy.” Learn ‘Y’ and “be happy.” But the truth is that you can’t buy happiness, and you can’t achieve happiness. It just is.
There are, however, some things you can do to increase your ‘joie de vivre’ if you will, in an attempt to bring more happiness into your life:
Be with others who make you happy.
Studies suggest that we’re the happiest when we are around those who are also happy. So stick with those who are joyful and let them rub off on you.
Let go of a grudge.
Psychologists and priests around the world regularly preach forgiveness. However, sometimes that advice is hard to fully grasp and put into action. After all, some individuals don’t deserve our forgiveness, do they?
But on the other side of the coin, it’s not really about them – it’s about you.
You see, you deserve the chance to move on, but the only way to do this is to let go of the resentment festering inside you. You don’t need to condone the other person’s actions or let them back willingly into your life to let go of the pain.
You deserve a bright future, not one weighed down by past tragedies and arguments. Some won’t ever give you closure, so you must give it to yourself.
Hold on to your values.
What you know is fair, you find true, and what you believe in are all values. The more you honor them overtime, the better you will feel about yourself and those you love.
Always be in the “here and now.”
Don’t daydream about how great your life will be in the future. Don’t dwell on what didn’t or did happen in the past. Learn to be present, in the here and now, and experience life as it’s happening, appreciating the universe for the beauty that it is, and how it is, today. Practice makes perfect with this crucial skill.
Do things you love.
What do you love doing the most? Figure out a few things you enjoy doing most in life, the things that make you smile, and make those the foundation of your day – every day. Eliminate as much of the rest as possible and stick with things that make you happy.
Imagine the best.
Don’t be scared to look at what you truly want and see yourself getting it. Many people tend to avoid this process because they don’t want to face disappointment if things don’t work according to plan. The truth is that imagining what you want in life, is a big part of achieving it.
Listen to your heart.
You’re the only one who knows what truly fills you up. Your friends and family may think you’d be great at something that really just doesn’t float your boat. It can be complicated following your bliss. Just be smart, and keep your day job for the time being.
Understand that you don’t need to be rich to be happy.
Growing up, who doesn’t fantasize about becoming a billionaire? Whether you envisioned winning the lotto, becoming a famous rockstar, or publishing the next bestseller, you probably thought one day you’d be rolling in some major dough. However, as you get older, the doubts start to set in, chipping away at you. And eventually, one day, you just might realize how unlikely the get-rich dream really is, especially in our recession of an economy.
The harsh truth is this: most of us are not going to get rich. And that quiet, desperate hope that you’ll someday hit the jackpot can stop you from appreciating what you have now right in front of you.
Be thankful and count yourself very lucky for what you have. Understand that you don’t need to be rich to be happy.
Focus on the good things.
Everyone’s life has negative and positive aspects – whether you’re happy or not depends largely on which aspects you focus on. Did you lose today’s soccer tournament? At least you got to spend some time with your pals doing something fun. Did you sprain your ankle biking? Well, your body probably needed a week or two of rest anyway, as you were biking too much! Did your kiddo get sick? Well, at least it’s only a little cold and nothing serious or life-threatening. Almost everything that has a negative side has a positive side too, and focusing on the positives makes all the difference.
Notice the little things.
Rather than waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, house, nice car, kids, big promotion, winning the lotto – find happiness in the little things that happen every day. Small things like having a quiet cup of tea in the early morning hours, or the delicious and simple taste of home-baked goods, or the pleasure of reading a bedtime story to your tiny tots. Noticing these little pleasures throughout your day makes a huge difference.
Take a course on self-improvement.
What better way to find happiness than to improve yourself? Take a course like Kabbalah ONE and learn the tools you need to overcome the challenging obstacles that have been holding you back from the life you truly desire. Unlock your greatest potential and level up in the game of life. Through Kabbalah ONE, you will learn to tap into the voice of your soul more clearly – to trust and listen to it – so that it just might guide you to your highest purpose to lead to everlasting happiness.
Compassion refers to developing a sense of shared suffering with others and taking steps to alleviate it. Oftentimes, we forget about being compassionate while we’re busy focusing on our own suffering. But the truth is that if we learned to share the suffering of others, our own suffering would seem insignificant as a result.
Learning to be grateful every day for what’s in our lives and for the people who have enriched our lives, goes a long way toward achieving happiness. It helps us to appreciate what we have and what we have received, and the people who have helped us.
Happiness and fulfillment are within your grasp but sometimes just out of reach. Follow these tips, and you are sure to be on your way to finding it!