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What is Happiness?
The dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” which is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. Contentment refers back to happiness. Does this mean that no one knows how to define happiness? I think it may, in general anyway.
Happiness is defined by each person’s own standards or expectations. What makes you feel happy, may not cause happiness in someone else. For example, working in my garden makes me happy. My husband sees it as work.
It is okay that we have different hobbies or activities that make us happy. Don’t let anyone tell you that what makes you happy is wrong.
In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with the next best thing. “New and improved”, “Latest”, “Bigger and Better”, the list goes on. I’m not saying that improvement is bad, we just need to evaluate and appreciate what we have, especially if it is good.
Now, if you are in a bad situation, by all means, look to get out of it and improve your life. (You can seek online counseling here.)
Generally, I see (and I am guilty of) people wishing their life away. We start this habit as children when we say we can’t wait for summer vacation, spring break, winter break. As adults we have let this carry over and we often miss moments of happiness because we are so focused on what is coming that we miss what is here.
The reality is, when we wish for something that will make us happy, once we obtain that thing, we start wishing for something else.
Wishes are great! Goals are great! Just keep in mind that you need to stop and be content in the moment. Happiness may already be knocking at the door. It is a mindset that we need to adopt and cultivate.
Happiness is a Mindset
Instead of saying “I wish it was Friday”, try “I am looking forward to the weekend because…” I have started doing things like this and it has allowed me to slow down and appreciate what is going on each day.
It is work to change our mindset but is it work that has a great payoff in our mental, emotional, and, by extension, physical health. I read a great book on this topic, Mindset:the Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, PhD. I highly recommend it!
Once you adjust your mindset to the reality that you are in control of your own happiness, it’s time to find out what makes you happy.We are in control of our own happiness. Click To Tweet
What makes you happy?
Take the time to sit and ponder that question. Make notes. Do you need quiet/alone time each day? What about time to read? Take a walk? Exercise? Meditate? Baking? Hobby? The first step is to identify what you know makes you happy.
The list may change over time so be conscientious if things no longer bring you joy that once did, it is time to re-evaluate what makes you happy.
I know that what makes me happy now, would not have made me happy 10+ years ago. Just as we evolve as adults, what makes us happy will evolve. Download my worksheet What Makes Me Happy to get started.
Find Happiness in Self Care
Self care is vital to being happy! Identify what self care looks like for you and DO IT!
Just like happiness will look different for each of us, self care also looks different for each of us. Once you start practicing self care it will be easier to adjust your mindset and find what makes you happy.
For many, taking care of children and family brings happiness. If you don’t take care of yourself though, you can’t take care others effectively. Self care is not selfish, it is essential!
Happiness brings contentment and a feeling of fulfillment. The reality is each of us are in control of our happiness. We just have to reclaim it.
We are only here for a short time, enjoy it and make the most of everyday. It’s alright to look forward, just don’t let it overshadow today. Be present and content in the moment and happiness will find you.
Be sure to download my worksheet What Makes Me Happy to get started now. Subscribe to get access to my Resource Library with all of my downloadable documents to aid you on your journey for Happiness and Self Care.