Happiness, in today’s world has become elusive and associative. It is seen as a phase, a feeling that can be created and brought. And so, we think, happiness has a time limit in everybody’s life. It comes and goes for reasons that cannot be defined.
But is that what happiness is about? Is it really a temporary phase and which does not last long?
One of the most important and prominent question is- why is the world suddenly interested more in mental well-being?
Is it because of the awareness and understanding the importance of it?
Or, Is it because people today are more depressed and hence are in search of happiness?
As a matter of fact, psychology which always dealt with mental disorders, healing mental scars, repairing the worst and such, has now from past one decade, started a new branch called positive psychology.
This branch of science is now aiming at making lives of ordinary people better. More worth living. Dealing with strengths and touching the lives of common people to make it more fulfilling.
Obviously, mental well being is of utmost importance to human kind today than ever before. Although, people have always seeked happiness devoid of the era they lived in, today the hunt for happiness I guess is at its peek.
The reasons for this can be summed up into one simple phrase- man has become more greedy for material comforts than ever before without realizing the fact that the more he gains the more he wants.
The want is not letting him be happy.
What is happiness?
Here is how wikipedia defines happiness-
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may also reflect judgements by a person about their overall well-being. A variety of biological, psychological, economic, religious and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including positive psychology and happiness economics are employing the scientific method to research questions about what “happiness” is, and how it might be attained.
Happiness has been associated with good health and general well being. People who are happy from within need no external clauses of if’s and but’s to make them happy.
Happy people are more contained and at the same time more generous. They are capable of coping with stress and trauma in life better than the ones who are unhappy. They’re good in relationships, social skills and productive at work as well.
Happiness quotient also determines your problem solving skills in life and your ability to make wise decisions.
How to cultivate happiness?
- Don’t let external forces affect you. Let the negativity bounce back from your mind rather than absorbing it and overthinking on things that are not in your control.
- Stop seeking validation from external forces and trust your intelligence, emotions and behavior.
- Happiness means different for different people. So don’t ask, just figure out your definition for it.
- Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made and make peace with yourself. Forgive others for what they have done to you. Holding grudges takes away your mental peace leading to unhappiness. It’s also important to ask for forgiveness from others for what you might have done to hurt them. This will help you lighten your guilt load releasing your energy for more constructive activities.
- Every being on this planet has problems but if you want true happiness then don’t fail to find solutions. Big or small, convenient or inconvenient, solutions do exist and you only have to think and pick the right one which suits you the best.
- The more you give the more you’ll gain. Give it in the form of time for social causes or support orphanages financially who are in need, volunteer or participate for a purpose that you have always wanted to.
- Basics are important. A healthy body means a healthy mind. You need good food, good sleep and a good amount of exercise on daily basis. Physical activity releases dopamine which is a feel good hormone and not to mention other health benefits.
- Stop dwelling in the negative emotions- anger, hatred, frustration, pain, conflicts, envy, etc. They are all products of overthinking and not letting go past. If you have lost a loved one, then morn and eventually keep your mind occupied so that you do not nurturer the loss. If something is causing you stress then divert your mind and revisit the cause when you feel you are good to handle it with a rational mind.
- Stop seeking happiness. It is there everywhere in everyday life for you to live and assimilate happiness in yourself. It is not something to find and once found your hunt is done. No. It is a everyday process. Hence, it has to come from within irrespective of what is going on in the world outside you.
- Remember, both happy and unhappy people have negativity in life and hurdles that try to rip them apart. But it’s in the way the people make choices to cross these and embrace life with more winning spirit.
The limitations of happiness
Do you think happiness comes for free and there are no pitfalls whats-so-ever?
Paradoxically, happiness can mean including negative traits for growth and prosperity. Practically speaking, wanting to be happy all the time means rejecting challenging life incidents and swaying away difficult people.
According to the studies carried out in recent times by positive psychologists, high emodiversity is essential for one’s well being and to cater the needs of being prepared to deal with tough situations.
It is also suggested that, it’s imperative to feel emotions like anger or sadness at times, so that you be in the moment and show appropriate emotions as long as you refrain from overthinking.
The negative emotions like fear, apprehensiveness, ambiguity about a situation, etc. can actually keep us away from harming ourselves and taking high risks that can even be fatal.
Obsession over wanting to be happy all the time is unrealistic and less beneficial.
As Michael W. Kraus says, there could be dark side of happiness.
The will to be happy is good. It is easier than you think- do not give power to make you unhappy to anybody and anything- you will be left only with happiness.
Accept the temporary phases of unhappiness, let them pass and gradually rise above such incidents mindfully, you will be in the mode of happiness even before you realize.
Listen to what Sadguru aka The Mystic has to say about happiness and you will be enlightened.
Happiness is something that must come from within you and shouldn’t be affected by external factors such as others behavior towards you, incidents happening around you, things that you can or can’t buy, etc.
Of course, you will be affected by misery that happens to your loved ones and yes you will have difficult times in life.
So every time life throws foot ball in your face- wakeup from your dream, experience the pain, kick it back (as a response. If you hit it back with your face as a reaction then you will be hurt even more) and then let go.
True happiness is a continuous process and not a destination.
Therefore, everything that happens to you during the course of your life is nothing but learning and responding gracefully at the times of despair.
What does happiness mean to you? Are truly in a happy mode in your life? Let us know about your views.