What is Happiness?

Every person has 27 distinct emotions. Psychologists have found that happiness is the most sought after. Humans chase it every day of their lives.

Happiness is the feeling of satisfaction, joy, and showing commitment. We often tie this emotion to several events in our life. For some, our happiest day may be a wedding day, graduating after five years of studying, buying a house, or reaching a certain level in the corporate ladder. There’s nothing wrong with these goals. The problem arises when we tie this positive emotion to a destination.

We forget to enjoy the journey and each day turns into a giant rain cloud. Then we lose the thing we were chasing, our happiness.

Being goal-driven is necessary to measure our progress. It gives us a sense of being and a purpose in life. We mustn’t forget to enjoy the process. I believe that the best way to do this is to break down an intimidating goal into smaller monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Break down the smaller goals into tasks and as you complete each one congratulate yourself. This way you can start to see “results” even though you have not reached the end-goal. You will see a shift in your mood and drive each day. You will wake up motivated to overcome the small hurdles that make up your mountain of a mission.

Studies have shown that participating in service or small acts of kindness towards others improves one’s happiness while achieving ambitious goals. Not only will you make someone else’s day better but it also will affirm your self-worth. One doesn’t need to give a lot, a simple smile costs nothing but its impact is priceless.

We live in a society where the lives of influencers and celebrities bombard our “for-you” pages, television screens, and daily news. It’s easy for us to start to focus on what we lack instead of what we have. Remember that there are many people who wish they had the blessings we take for granted. Being grateful is the first step to being happy. An exercise I do is to find five things to be thankful for when I wake up in the morning. I find that the simplest reasons make me the happiest. I quickly realize how many things I usually take for granted.

It is important to understand that the presence of happiness does not mean there won’t be any negative emotions. Negative emotions and times of sadness help us enjoy the good times more. Like a heavy thunderstorm, they too will pass and will be followed by uplifting rays of sunlight. We need negative emotions to help us appreciate the moments of happiness.

Being optimistic is a healthy habit. When it looks like everything is going against you or your goal is unachievable, a little hope will go a long way. Optimism helps us see the glimmer of light at the end of the dark tunnel helping us push through the hardships. Even when no light can be seen, optimism will help you believe and work toward something better.

If you’re interested in learning more about topics like this one. A good read is the book Redefining Normal by Justin and Alexis Black. I recommend it, it’s full of priceless lessons on optimism, purpose, and happiness.

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