Happiness was as easy as getting candy or your favorite pencil when you were a kid.
As we grow along and become adults, nothing seems to make us happy. There is always a clause or condition or hindsight to everything we do or achieve. Happiness and joy are a lost cause for most grown-ups.
The sad part being, we are clueless about how to find it anymore. If you are looking for an answer to ” how can I be happy?” then you are asking the wrong question.
It has been elusive to most because we treat it as a goal. It is merely to be in the present state while we pursue it.
It is not a self-sustained state of mind for most, but a state defined by the fulfillment of certain conditions. There is a subconscious clause of if. It primarily works in a give and receives manner depending on what is given or received in return.
We all understand why happiness is important?
We are still oblivious to the fact of being in this state without attaching it to certain conditions.
To a certain extent, we can blame the misery on the advent of industrial revolutions and marketing gimmicks. After all, who told us to attach happiness with acquisitions or some specific action? So, it is a relatively new concept.
When we think that we are missing out on something that we have no clue of is the birth of our misery. No wand or magic produces happiness. If you find someone happy and think of some hormone or emotion that makes them as they are, you are wrong.
Bhagavad Gita mentions that. He who is unattached to the outside world and its objects, but is attached to the inner self, attain supreme happiness, which is unending.
Vedanta philosophy implies that in one‘s consciousness, there exists a state of peace and happiness, but desire and fear may stir one‘s mind and obscure the happiness that always exists within.
Democritus, an ancient Greek philosopher, said- happiness does not spring from good luck or other external circumstances, but a state of mind.
The point being, across centuries and cultures, happiness and peace is defined as a state of mind while the description may vary. A happy person isn’t the one out there finding it, but experiencing it daily. Moreover, the control is purely self-dependent that makes this easily attainable. Whether it is happiness at work or personally, your state of mind is the differentiating factor.
Self-acceptance: Embracing who you are
What else? Can you find happiness without accepting yourself? It is a simple logic of embracing who you are and living with no self-doubt. Loving yourself at first is the key to happiness.
The world might tell you numerous things about yourself, but you are the best judge. See yourself as a force of nature and the one with a specific purpose to develop self-acceptance. Accept your imperfections and be kind to yourself. One of the startling issues we face is self-judgment rather than the others doing it for us.
We lower our self-esteem on the pretext of our perceptions.
Forgive yourself often and face your fears, for that is the key to acceptance.
Simplifying your life
Everything in your life takes up some space- Your obligations, fancy stuff, people, and your work, to name a few. The more you bring into your life, the crampier it gets with more complexity. While it seems that things and relations make your life simpler, on the contrary, they do not.
You’ve got to be picky about things you ought to do, buy or spend time with, as this liberates and provides the freedom to live on your terms, dramatically making life happier and simple. Our life is frittered away with details, hence, simplify. Reap the benefits of a simple life by clearing up space.
Happy people do not dwell on their past and live forward. Once the past takes control over your life, it gets miserable.
You should forgive yourself for not foreseeing the obvious and move on. The past should act as a motivator to take you places in the future. Living forward is the best way to deal with the past.
The past is a mixed bag of memories designed to shape the future. Rather than living in why certain things happened, one should be looking forward to- what’s next?
The sooner this sinks in, the better you are placed in terms of happiness.
Some people cling to the past, whether it is happy or sad. They struggle with focusing on the future and get into a loop of depression and anxiety.
Money is important, but not everything
While money might help, it isn’t enough on its own. Happy people do not base their happiness on their paychecks as they find fulfillment through experiences and meaningful goals. They are driven by life purpose rather than money.
People who are after money tend to realize later that money isn’t everything, and they lived a life of mediocrity. People spend their lives earning a little more than yesterday and end up realizing that life was happening at that very moment that they failed to relish.
The irony being, money is a number, and numbers never end. Hence, the quest for happiness through money is a myth. The idea of just enough money is skewed and flawed.
Gratitude: Being grateful
Gratitude invites joy into our life. When we practice gratitude, we focus on what is present in our lives rather than what is missing. We are grateful for things that we have and do not take our lives for granted. By creating this abundance mentality, we invite happiness.
Once you start being thankful for things you have, there is satisfaction and contentment breeding eternal happiness.
Happy people are grateful for the blessing in their life, not complaining about things they miss.
Imagine yourself content with your life and situation, and isn’t this empowering? There is nothing to worry about or feel jealous of in life.
Being grateful or content doesn’t imply not striving for better, but thriving in your situations and making most of the life.
A healthy body provides you with an opportunity to make the most of life. Imagine yourself out of shape or being unhealthy and missing on a multitude of possibilities and adventures life has to offer.
Making our health a priority gives us the chance to live a long and contented life.
Any pleasure or experience is worth enjoyable if you are healthy. Eating right and balanced food provides the best chance for your body and overall well being.
It’s true, we eventually die, but you might as well die peacefully and live well till you are here.
Happiness is always a choice, and the most content, joyful people understand that. When something goes wrong or haywire, you can either let it ruin your rest of the day or consciously make a decision to turn things around and choose happiness.
Make it part of your life rather than an end goal to be pursued.
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Craig, H. (October, 2020). The Philosophy of Happiness in Life (+ Aristotle’s View). Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/philosophy-of-happiness/
Prajapati, S. (December, 2018). The Concept Of Happiness In India. Retrieved from http://www.ijrar.org/papers/IJRAR1944437.pdf
Kitayama, S., & Markus, H. R. (2000). The pursuit of happiness and the realization of sympathy: Cultural patterns of self, social relations, and well-being. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 113-161). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.