Although everyone is looking for it, many people have trouble recognizing when they’ve found it! Happiness, that is. Why is finding happiness so hard? Is it how you define happiness?
Should we expect bells and whistles to announce that we have attained this impalpable emotion called happiness? If you think so, this might be what prevents you from seeing how simple happiness really is.
There are undoubtedly as many different definitions of what constitutes happiness as there are people in the world. Merriam Webster defines it as “a state of well-being and contentment”, which is pretty vague.
So, begin by defining what happiness means to you. You know instinctively that everyone deserves happiness and our right to pursue it is written in the Constitution. In some instances, happiness can be temporary, and it can also be long lasting.
What is indisputable is that happiness is the ultimate feeling of positivity. What makes happiness so elusive then are our own inner thoughts about happiness.
Many people think of happiness as a destination. They expect that after they arrive at that happy place down the road, they’ll always have that feeling of well-being. They go through life thinking about that far off day when they are finally going to be happy.
For example, an acquaintance of mine was miserable all her life. She had few friends, because most people thought of her as a cheapskate. She preferred to call herself frugal.
She defended her stinginess by saying that she was keeping her money, so she could retire when she turned 60. Unfortunately, she died of a stroke one month before her planned retirement. Her money went to relatives who didn’t even like her.
To others who wonder why finding happiness is so hard, their only link to it seems to have taken place in their past. “Remember when we were living in San Francisco in our 20s? That was the best time of my life!” (Never mind that they were out of work for a year and lived on peanut butter and jelly.)
How often do you hear these types of comments?
These people limit their views of happiness to certain times and places, which is why they believe that finding happiness is so hard.
We all tend to forget bad memories more quickly and hang on to the pleasant ones. Our memories of the past then become our fairy tales.
When you let go of a limited view of happiness, you recognize that happiness can happen over again, anywhere, at any time! By focusing on the present, you can assuredly find happiness in the here and now.
The phrase “happily married couple” is often thrown around. But what does it mean? Everyone knows that even in soaps, marriage has its ups and downs.
So to be happily married do you always have to be in “a state of well-being and contentment”? Being happily married is the result of hard work and compromise by two people who have committed to each other!
So, why is happiness so hard to come by? And how can you go about finding it?
When you really stop to think about it, there are lots of ways to find happiness.
The first way is to stop trying so hard! Happiness, being intangible, might be waiting in the most unexpected places. Sometimes just examining your life and appreciating what you have makes you realize that you are basically, happy. (Wow! You just found it and you weren’t even looking!)
Another way of finding happiness that seems so hard is to have plans and projects to look forward to. This leads to pleasurable thoughts and a positive outlook. Plans keep you motivated and once these plans or projects are completed, provide you with an added sense of pride.
Having something to look forward to can even become a twofold happiness. Anticipating whatever it is that makes you happy (once), then getting it; makes you happy for a second time. Boom!
Instead of seeing your worries as curses, try thinking of them as challenges for which there are solutions. Taking good care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially are also all part of leading a healthy, happy life.
As to why finding happiness is so hard, after contemplating your life, you’ll possibly find that the answer may be simpler than you thought!
If you’d like personalized support as you learn how to find more ways to make your life happier, reach out to me. I’m here to serve you.