Wishing you a happy day every morning got me to thinking about happiness. Now, unfortunately I can’t define happiness for you because it can be different things to different people. However, the dictionary will tell you that happiness is defined as “the state of being happy”. Well that’s a big help. Generally, it is just a mental or emotional state of well-being that is characterized by pleasant emotions. So much for the text book definitions, but when you get right down to it, what is it really?
Many people go through their lives trying to capture a perpetual state of happiness. You often hear, “all I want is to be happy”, followed by an expectation that happiness is supposed to rain down upon them 24 hours a day. That expectation itself could be the very reason that they never achieve even a brief state of happiness. They have placed so much pressure on themselves in their fight to achieve happiness that the pressure prevents the very thing they are searching for.
The reality is that 24 hour happiness isn’t realistic when we have to deal with what life throws out to us every day. However, the more we find things that put us in those state’s of well-being that cause pleasant emotions, the more we can move the unpleasant emotions to the back seat. Sometimes it is as simple as sitting down and making a list of all the things that truly make you happy and then focusing on doing more of those things. Once you have filled your life with happy pleasant things, there isn’t as much room for unhappiness to come in. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Putting it into play in real life takes work, but we are rewarded with a greater sense of happiness for having done it.
If you ask me what makes me happy in my life I could easily rattle off my list to you. I’m happiest when:
*I’m with my family savoring every moment of life with them
*I’m trying a new restaurant with friends and sitting around the table having good stimulating conversation
*I’m traveling around the world learning about new cultures and new history
*I’m sitting at a table playing Mah Jongg with friends and enjoying all the camaraderie that comes with that.
*I’m taking care of and watering my plants around the pool and watching all the new sprouts coming up in the spring.
*Prepping cards for delivery to senior communities that I know are going to result in many, many smiles.
…and the list goes on.
Focusing on what makes us happy no matter what it is, and less on what doesn’t, automatically makes us happier people. It’s often not about what we want, but taking the time to enjoy what we already have. Today, I hope you make your list and find the things that rise to the top. Do them more and put yourself on that journey to a happier you. There is always room for more happiness and it’s often contagious, an extra side benefit that we could all use.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles…….and find your happy place.