How Can You Be Happy Again?
The implies that you were in the past, happy. What has changed in your life to make you feel unhappy? A good starting point is to look first at the question:
Does happiness Exist?
Yes happiness does exist but possibly not in the way we have come to understand it. I will explain!
The pursuit of happiness is talked about, a lot! Many of us think that we are not happy and therefore there is something wrong with us, our lives or relationships. We compare our lives to others and find ours to be wanting, this can lead to anxiety & depression in some cases Anxiety Stops Us Enjoying Life...
How are you measuring the happiness of others?
Theodore Roosevelt said that, ‘ Comparison is the thief of joy’ ( or happiness in this blog). It is all too human a condition to compare ourselves, lives, loves with ‘others’. The questions being, who are these ‘others’? How do we know what actually goes on behind closed doors? In 2021 you can compare yourself with family & friends but social media has opened a whole new galaxy in which we can vicariously experience the lives of people we do not even know. Working on anxiety can help Online Anxiety Course but you may need to understand more about happiness first!
These ‘others’ have social media feeds that are all showing happiness oozing from their very pores. Their smiles are literally splitting their faces. These unknown people have perfect homes, partners , children and even the obligatory poodle crossed with another breed. The dogs look delightful ( if very generic nowadays) and are perfect for completing this idle on Instagram. Everyone else’s meals seem better, their holidays superior to yours. This all means that they are happy and you are not.
The illusion of Happiness is all around you
As humans living in 2021 we are surrounded by the illusions created by people about themselves. They provide the rose tinted glasses through which you now gaze at the world. They tailor what they show the world and edit it to suit their public persona. Friends also edit what we see to a large extent but in benign way. We can never really judge how another person lives or how their relationships are fairing because only those in that relationship really know the truth. It is hard to walk in another’s shoes.
All of these external comparisons make people feel ‘less than’. It triggers the quest to find that elusive elixir of happiness. The drive becomes, ‘How can I be happier?’. ‘Everyone else is happy, why am I not feeling it?’. This pursuit of happiness creates its’ own unhappiness.
Is happiness the true goal?
The International Day of Happiness has been recognised by the United Nations since 2013. It flags up that happiness is an important part of life. So yes, it could be argued that happiness is a worthy goal to aspire to.
Action for Happiness (1) says that happiness is good for our health and effects how many years we spent on this Earth. With happiness comes a sense of being part of something. It gives us a sense of connection. It would seem that happiness is in fact the goal. Perhaps the more important thing to understand is what happiness actually is? Understanding what happiness is means that we can recognise the emotion when we feel it.
Looking at these definitions they are actually quite bland. Perhaps the modern meaning of happiness has been exaggerated? Happiness in 2021 seems to mean that people should be brimming with joy every second of the day. Perhaps we are misinterpreting what happiness is and mistaking it for euphoria? Euphoria is an extremely intense feeling of happiness that is hard/impossible to sustain. Or we are looking for ‘joy’ which is defined as (2) ‘Great happiness’?
Perhaps we do feel happiness on a daily basis if we measure our emotions against the actual definition. Finding ways to feel pleasure or satisfaction feels like an easier set of emotions to aspire to because they are easier to achieve. Satisfaction can be felt in many ways during the day but feelings of joy or euphoria are rare. If we are looking for the surge of heightened emotions all the time, this is not achievable. But satisfaction? That is a realistic goal.
Reality & Happiness
Understanding what happiness actually is can help reset expectations. The yardstick that we are comparing ourselves with is changed and becomes more realistic. Satisfaction is attainable but unadulterated joy/euphoria is harder to find in daily living. Perhaps this is right because if we felt joy all day every day, it would be exhausting and completely unsustainable. Joy is best kept for hose highlights in life. The first feelings of first love; having a family; a once in a lifetime holiday ( & even then joy would not be the emotion felt every second of every day); buying that cockapoo puppy..You may have everything but still feel unhappy or anxious (High Functioning Anxiety…Is This You?)
How to Find Your happiness
Changing the meaning of Happiness or fully understanding it, means that seeking it is still a worthwhile gaol. This pursuit is now set in a calmer, less strident landscape. Happiness is all about finding what makes you feel satisfied and calm. Identifying what makes you feel good is achievable. Seeking happiness by examining the lives of others is the root to discontentment & unhappiness. Whereas, looking internally into your world with the correct measuring tool is the way to find your happiness. You could well have been happy without knowing it. This allows you then to seek joy to sprinkle into the mix if life as a collage. Joy & euphoria are the highlights not the daily routine of life.
Tips to find your happiness ( & then seek you joy):
- Mediation really calms the brain
- Exercise in a way that gives you pleasure
- Journal & include 3 things you are grateful for
- Make the time to meet up with friends
- Eat well, sleep well
- Social Media- use wisely. If it makes you feel good, then great, if not…
- Keep a list of what others love about you
- Create a positive memory list & keep it handy.
- Train your mind to seek the good memories over the sad
- Find the thing that makes you laugh.
Please contact me to see how I can help!
I make every effort to ensure that advice on this website is accurate and up to date. As the advice is general in nature rather than specific to individuals I cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use nor can I be held responsible for the content of any pages referenced by an external link.
- Action For happiness: https://www.actionforhappiness.org (9;22am @ 9/3/21)
- Cambridge Dictionay https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/happiness
- Image by Pexels from Pixabay