Would you rather be happy or sad? Our guess is that you are here because you would choose to be happy. So, that’s what this post is all about, finding your happiness and helping you understand that it can be found but in places you’d least expect it.
Happiness is a profound psychological state that describes a spectrum of emotions. Pride, joy, contempt, and gratitude — the feeling of happiness is subjective to whoever is experiencing it. It generates positive changes throughout our lifetime by improving levels of confidence, concentration, and motivation, among other things.
Deeper than this, happiness also has its physiological advantages. It reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure while also influencing our immune health through inflammatory control mechanisms.
“The Harder We Search For Happiness, The More Difficult It Is To Find.”
There’s something unique about finding your happiness. It seems as though the harder we search for it, the more difficult it is to find. Our expectations for happiness to be abundant whenever and wherever has been challenged over time. When we were young, our emotions were so simple. The things that gave us joy did so because we were simply accepting of it. As we grow older, joy and happiness get a little more complicated — or so we think.
Our motivation in life pushes us further away from happiness and enjoyment of money, career, and relationships. But why can’t we have it all? The answer is simple, we continue to search for happiness in places it isn’t found.
Happiness Isn’t Found When You Find a Relationship
So many of us fall into a pattern of wishful thinking. Once we find that person — our person — our lives will change considerably for the better. The problem is that despite our assumptions, we have it all backwards. Finding your happiness doesn’t come from another person, or at least, not until it comes from ourselves first.
Having a partner should compliment you rather than define you. If you aren’t happy on your own, you won’t be happy in a relationship. Seeking the validation and security in another person causes you to rely on them to manifest happiness in yourself. The fact of the matter is, no one is that powerful. As much as you want to believe it could happen with the right person, you’re going to eventually lead yourself down a path of disappointment.
The time and energy given to others needs to be redirected back into yourself. Filling yourself up with love and happiness enables you to give back even more to a relationship in the future. When you take on the responsibility of making yourself happier, you’ll realize the potential to accept and appreciate more love and passion in your life altogether.
Happiness Isn’t Found After You Get That New Job
When you’re hard at work trying to make something of yourself, it’s easy to get lost in the process. Building your resume to get ahead of other potential candidates can be exhausting. You might start to question your worth in the process. This doesn’t necessarily have to be specific about the new job. It could be your application into school or earning a promotion at your current job — whatever it may be, you’re expecting that happiness will be a byproduct of the success to come.
The problem lies in the formula. When your mindset is fixated on the potential of happiness after the milestone, you’ll become that much more disappointed in the event of rejection. Let’s get one thing straight, happiness isn’t going to appear after that next big milestone. Once you change your outlook on success and happiness, you begin to realize that it can be found as a part of the process rather than bound to the reward.
In Shawn Anchor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, he goes into great detail about reframing our mindset on what happiness means. It’s about finding enjoyment in the journey rather than in the outcome. Volunteer your time for you, not because it will make you a more competitive applicant for the job. Engage in more positive thinking whether or not you reach success. When you do this, you begin to see failure as a willingness to grow instead of a disappointing attempt.
Happiness Isn’t Found When You Get Into Shape
Setting physical goals for yourself can either be something incredibly empowering or disastrous, depending on how you go about it. From personal experience, the latter is usually a result of a moving goal post. Creating a general plan for ourselves can seem daunting, especially when it has to do with our physical health. The arbitrary ‘getting in shape’ can mean a lot of things — from losing weight to gaining muscle mass, what is your endgame?
Regardless of what you decide is your goal, happiness isn’t going to be standing at the goal awaiting your arrival, do you know why? Even when you get there and you lose those pesky 10 pounds, you will crave more. It’s essential to be willing to celebrate the small victories. If you aspire for one thing, if that means running a kilometre in under six minutes you should get excited when you trim your time down from eight to seven and a half minutes. Doing this will improve your motivation to continue to push forward.
Manifesting Your Happiness
If it isn’t obvious yet, the answer to the question of ‘where does happiness exist?’ Is simple. It’s wherever you’re willing to see it. You have a choice to make every conscious moment of the day to take advantage of the opportunity to be happy. Here are a few tips on how to do this.
1. Happiness Is In The Process, Not The Outcome
As mentioned earlier, many of us cultivate this idea that happiness is a product of our successes in life. Instead, we should be re-organizing the formula to find happiness in the process rather than the outcome. Finding joy in the journey is one, if not the most effective way to manifest your happiness throughout your lifetime.
2. Focus On What You Have Control Of and Let Go Of The Rest
It’s important to understand what factors in our lives have a real or perceived influence on our mood and behaviour. Until we do this, we risk falling victim to feeling a loss of control. Let’s set the record straight right now. We have control over ourselves, and ourselves only.
The more you accept this concept, the better off you are in letting go of the petty things that could be bringing you down — allowing you to make more space for peace and happiness.
3. When In Doubt, Fake a Smile
As far-fetched as this theory sounds, it’s based on real scientific evidence. One study looking at facial feedback suggests that an individual’s emotional experience is influenced by the feedback from their facial expressions. In other words, faking a smile regardless of your true emotions will tell your brain that you’re happy. This simple, yet effective trick can be advantageous even through physical pain, such as hiking up a mountain when you might be feeling anything but happiness.
4. Change Your Internal Dialogue
The way you speak to yourself is more important than how others speak to you. Either you can choose to believe other negative comments from others, reiterating the same things to yourself, or you can dismiss them.
Speak kindly to yourself — something so simple can have an immense impact on how you perceive the world around you.
If you have trouble breaking your cycle of negative self-talk, give some affirmations a try. They’ll help you quiet your mind at the very least, and reprogram it for being receptive to happier thoughts at best.
Make Finding Your Happiness Real
Happiness isn’t about getting into a new relationship, it isn’t about reaching a milestone of success, and it isn’t about looking a certain way. In fact, finding your happiness becomes more possible when you stop searching.
“Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.” – Henry David Thoreau
So, quit your pursuit of looking for happiness and start manifesting your happiness. By taking small steps each day, you can generate some positive momentum to influence other major changes in your life. Remember, you get the opportunity to choose happiness every single day. Finding happiness in yourself is a choice, why waste the chance?
Till next time,
PS – If you enjoyed this post about finding and choosing your happiness, then you’ll these quotes about the importance of choosing a positive attitude.