Happiness Is More Than Thinking Positive Thoughts
Everyone wants to be happy, don’t they? Reaching goals, making money, travel, finding love – they all bring happiness. Or do they?
While the dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy,” this gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. We all have heard of ‘living the dream’ – but does this mean being in a happy state?
Happiness is an internal state and will look different for each individual. Some look to fame and fortune to be happy, while others feel that way by just feeling the breeze. Defining what happiness means to you will lead you to seeking out what makes you happy and not just keep chasing it.
Let’s look at some different aspects that happiness can be, but realize that, in truth, happiness is in the mind of the beholder:
- Your Needs are Met – When a person is happy, they usually don’t even have any needs that aren’t being met to the level they want them to be met. It doesn’t mean that someone is not having a hard time it’s all about how you make what you have fill your needs.
- You Feel Satisfied – When you are happy you tend to feel simply satisfied with your life. You think about your life and feel good about it. You feel very satisfied when you look around your life and see all the fortune you have whether it’s where you live, who you live with, or just about yourself doesn’t even matter.
- You Feel Content – A happy person tends to feel really content about the things in their life. They feel content about their job, their home, their things, their health – nothing is nagging at their mind about anything causing stress. But remember happy people do have stress, they’re just better at feeling content even when things aren’t perfect.
- You Are at Peace – A happy person often feels a lot of peace surrounding their life and family. They tend to know that everything will turn out okay and are good at turning negativity around to positivity.
- Your Definition – The truth is, happiness is how you define it personally for you. It’s not about getting tons of stuff unless you want that. It’s not about finding a spouse unless you want that. It’s not about having kids unless you want that. It’s all up to you and how you define happiness.
- It’s a Journey – Happiness is not a destination that you get to one day and stay at. It’s a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs and struggles. However, overall the ups and downs of life, you manage to feel good about it. In the 1989 movie, “Parenthood” one of the main characters, a mother, who is struggling states that she loves “the rollercoaster” of life while her husband is struggling and not as happy because he focuses on the downs instead of the ups.
- It’s How You Act – When you are happy you tend to act in more positive ways over all. When happy, you eat better, you move more, you think differently. Don’t worry. You have it in your power to be happy where you are in your life right now.
Here are some quick tips to find your level of happiness:
- Reflect – Take time to spend in self-reflection for your life – the good, the bad, the disappointments – each of these moments can show that you do have happy times throughout your life and, can then, focus on recreating that state to your present life.
- Change Thoughts– reframing negative thoughts to positive ones will alter your neurons so you not only think happy, but feel that happy state of emotions. According to Mark Wahlberg, a neuroscience researcher, you need three positive thoughts to override one negative. Challenging your thoughts (“is this true?”) will create a new habit of positive thinking.
- Practice Gratitude – make it a habit to practice gratitude daily. Write down at least three things (more is better) you are grateful for, and then do the same at the end of the day. This will bring more calm and peace into your life; you will see the good, which creates a sense of happiness.
Happiness is more than thinking positive thoughts. Happiness is having your needs met, but it’s not about having everything, or even the best, it’s about being satisfied with what you have while also being able to work for the things you want. While you do have to do more than think positively to really and truly feel happy, it does start with your thoughts. However, it will manifest with your actions. Follow the steps to get started.