*This post is intended as nothing more than a thought provoking post on my opinion, which is based solely on my experiences and research. Kind of a ‘me sharing what’s worked for me’ thing.
The reality is that everyone, in one form or another, is searching for happiness. Maybe they are looking for happiness in a nicer car, a bigger house, a better job, a dream vacation, perfect health, another person, or maybe they are looking for it within themselves. The reality is that the car is going to grow old, the house will need repair, the job will likely have difficult days, the vacation is fleeting, health comes and goes, and the other person…well your happiness simply isn’t hiding inside another person. That’s not to say that those things won’t make you feel momentary pleasure, but it’s doubtful they’ll bring you long-term happiness. So where is it, where is your ultimate happiness hiding out? It would seem, that’s the million-dollar question.
The answer depends, it depends on what type of happiness you’re searching for. According to a variety of different ‘happiness’ TED Talks there are many, many kinds of happiness, which makes sense since every person is different, and every person is in search of something unique to them. One TED talk speaker theorized that ultimate happiness comes from giving instead of receiving. His presented study indicated that the people who were charitable instead of buying themselves material possessions were actually happier long term. Another TED Talk speaker’s presentation discussed how practicing gratitude is a gateway to happiness, this also makes great sense. It would seem though that a common theme amongst all the talks was that long-term happiness comes from within and can be activated, if you will, by practicing regular thankfulness for what is currently in your life.
There are obviously circumstances where terrible things happen or chemical reactions in the brain occur and happiness feels like it’s too far away to grasp, but under typical circumstances, happiness may be nearer than you think. Have you ever wondered why people with less possessions are typically happier than people with more? Maybe, as written above, it’s not about things, maybe it’s about the connection you have with yourself. Maybe when you wake up in the morning you get to decide what type of day you’ll have. Maybe the smile on your face is one you will have to place there until it feels natural and it stays. Maybe life is about making the most of what you have in every moment of every day. Maybe, just maybe, you have everything you need right now to be pretty darn happy. But how? If happiness resides within us, how do we reach it?
Apparently older people are generally happier than younger people. This would make sense. As people age they often perceive the world differently. Details and idealism can be exceptionally important to younger people, whereas they may be significantly less important to the elderly. Maybe as people age they realize that part of happiness wasn’t the car, the house, the job, the other person, but in fact it was a feeling they held the key to all along. And maybe another part of it is spending your day focusing on the goodness, feeling absolutely grateful for the special moments in each day. Obviously, there are days that will challenge you 150% but there are also days that won’t. It’s important to appreciate the days that don’t take the wind out of your sails. Maybe those days are as good as going to get right now. Maybe the giggle you had at the meme or video, maybe hearing someone say I love you, maybe the fact that you don’t feel any worse today than on any other typical day, maybe that’s top notch for today.
The important part is acknowledging the goodness, the happiness, letting it in, sitting with it for a moment instead of racing from one quick happiness fix to the next. Over time perhaps the more moments you acknowledge as positive, the more moments you will see as positive, it’s the snow ball effect, but one that long-term will work in your favor. It’s not a get-happy-now plan, it takes time and practice. Perhaps, set a reminder on your phone a couple times a day to look around and see and feel the goodness in the moment. In time, hopefully, your brain will start to want to feel and search out what makes you feel good. Most all of us are seeking happiness, we want to feel good, we know how to get momentary happiness through things and other people, but wouldn’t it be great if by appreciating the goodness around you more frequently you were able to give yourself long-term happiness? Worth a try. 😊
To get you started here is an awesome list of questions from TinyBuddha.Com:
If you too could benefit from nurturing more positive emotions—and let’s face it, we all could—try asking yourself one of these questions and see where they take you.
- What’s one kind or thoughtful thing someone did for you recently?
- Who is always there for you, and how do you feel about them?
- Who has helped you become the person you are today, and what’s the top thing you’d thank them for?
- Who’s someone who always really listens when you talk, and how does that affect you?
- How have your spiritual beliefs or practices fulfilled you recently?
- What’s the best thing that happened today so far?
- What’s something that inspired or touched you recently?
- Has anyone done anything recently that made your job easier?
- What’s one thing you enjoyed about doing your job recently?
- Can you think of any non-physical gifts you’ve received recently—someone’s time, attention, understanding, or support?
- What about today has been better than yesterday?
- Who have you enjoyed being around recently, and why?
- How have you used your talents and abilities recently, and what have you enjoyed about doing that?
- What have you learned recently that will help you in the future?
- What made you laugh or smile today?
- What’s the last song you heard that you enjoyed? How did it make you feel, and why?
- Have you experienced any blessings in disguise lately—things that didn’t turn out as you’d hoped and yet turned out for the best?
- What’s the weather like today, and what’s one good thing about that?
- How has technology enhanced your life and your connections recently?
- Have you had an opportunity to help someone recently, and how did you feel about that?
- What’s one thing you experienced recently that made you feel a sense of wonder or awe?
- What’s the best thing about your home, and have you taken time to enjoy it recently?
- If you didn’t get what you wanted today, can you identify something in what you got that’s worth having?
- What’s improved about your life from this time last year?
- What choices have you made in the last five years that you’d thank yourself for making?
- What’s something you did well recently, and what qualities or skills enabled you to do this?
- Who made a positive difference in your life recently?
- What’s something you’re looking forward to in the future?
- What did you learn from the most difficult part of your day yesterday, and how will this lesson benefit you going forward?
- What’s something you witnessed recently that reminded you that life is good?
- What’s something you witnessed recently that reminded you that people are good?
- How many of your basic needs do you not need to worry about meeting today?
- What event or interaction made you feel good about yourself recently?
- How have you made personal or professional progress lately?
- What simple pleasures did you enjoy—or can you enjoy—today?
- What modern conveniences (i.e.: electronics and appliances) do you enjoy that make your life easier?
- What’s the most beautiful thing you saw today?
- What’s something enjoyable you get to experience every day that you’ve come to take for granted?
- What are three things your arms or legs allow you to do that you enjoy?
- What’s the kindest thing someone has done for you lately?
- How do your friends and/or family members show they care about you?
- What’s the last thing you enjoyed with your senses—a good meal, a song you love, or aromatherapy—and how amazing is it that you were able to experience that?
- What movie, book, blog, or article affected your life for the better recently?
- What have you seen in nature recently that made you feel happy, peaceful, or free?
- How has modern medicine improved your life, recently or overall?
- How does electricity simplify and improve your life—and can you imagine what life would like to be like without it?
- What’s your favorite thing about your bed, and how often does it enable you to get restful sleep?
- What’s something you have easy access to that always improves your mood, and how has it improved your life?
- Who in your life has survived something difficult, and how do you feel when you think about the fact that they’re still here?
- Have you recently imagined a worst-case scenario that didn’t actually happen?
Thank you for stopping by today! Again, just sharing my thoughts with you, not trying to boss you around! 😊 If you regularly stop in you likely know my furkiddo isn’t well (arthritis and torn ACL, and maybe something else unknown). He had a few good days and then went downhill again. I’m still absolutely hoping for his full recovery. My current happiness is knowing that my pup is right next to me, sleeping peacefully, and that while my symptoms are being exacerbated from the stress of his illness, today, in this moment, I’m still able to sit here propped up with pillows, right next to him, and type this blog post. Sincerely hoping there’s goodness in your day, that you smile, that you giggle or chuckle, and that you enjoy my below watercolors. 😊