What is happiness? The online dictionary defines it as the state of being happy (meaning feeling contentment, satisfaction or being in high spirits). Happiness (as an abstract noun) is an intangible thing; you cannot see, hear, feel or taste joy but boy can you feel it. So where does happiness come from and how much control do we have over how we feel? Well, for starters, happiness comes from a peaceful place, a place of gratitude and positivity. If you could feel happiness, it would be warm with a slight, soft breeze. If you could see it, it would be white (the colour associated with heaven, dreams and wedding dresses). If you could hear it, it would probably sound like waves rolling back and forth on a beach at sunset. And if you could taste it, I imagine it would taste sweet like Krispy Kreme doughnuts. But that’s my take on happiness. Happiness means different things to different people. In order to find happiness, you must first discover what makes you happy.
Happiness is a choice. This expression really cannot be overstated. Once you make a commitment to be happy, you will find a way to do it, no matter what it takes. If this is truly what you want, then you will fight for it. “But how much control do we really have over our emotions?” you ask. Life can be unpredictable and tragedy can strike at any moment. Take losing someone close to you for instance. You never saw it coming and you weren’t prepared for the heartache that would follow. Even the most positive person would feel their life shatter at such a crucial moment in time. You may wonder if you’ll ever be happy again. When you find yourself at Ground Zero (let’s make Ground Zero its own character here), I suggest taking a deep breath, accepting the challenge to start over and slowly working your way back to bliss again.
So for the all-important question, we need to turn inwards. In order to be happy, you must first be content with yourself and your life at present and you can’t do that if you despise yourself. Remember, happiness (just like love) comes from a place that is non-judgemental; it does not criticise others, it does not belittle others nor is it vengeful. It comes from a place of warmth and compassion, a place of gratitude and tranquillity. A happy person knows who they are but is neither boastful nor arrogant. This is why confidence is heavily tied to happiness. A person who is constantly at war with their alter-ego is unlikely to feel contentment, at least not for very long. But again, even at Ground Zero, it is possible to work your way back to the top. Start by making a list of everything that makes you happy. It can be anything. Hobbies. Interests. Friends. Family. Even pets. Anything from gardening to writing. The list is endless! The important thing is to be honest with yourself. If you don’t really know what makes you happy then now is the time to try out new things so you can learn what they are. Once you have figured this out, it’s time to implement them into your schedule.
Now that you’ve made the first step, let’s start changing that mindset of yours. The first thing our minds do on a daily basis is bark viciously at us like angry dogs, constantly sending negative messages to our brains which we commit to memory. This may come in the form of doubts and bitterness or in the form of emptiness and hopelessness. Tell your mind to stop, you won’t have it. Start being kinder to yourself and others, and seeing the world from a more positive lens. Over time this lens will adjust itself, your thoughts will become clearer and more rational, and you will start to see the beauty in even the smallest of things.
Thanks guys. I hope this post helps you discover what happiness means to you. As someone who’s experienced first-hand what it’s like to be far from happiness, I know that you can find your way back, even if it means starting from Ground Zero. Good luck, I’m rooting for you!
P.S. This is just one of many happiness posts to come. We will dive further into this topic at a later time. Thanks for reading!