Happiness : state of being happy (Happy – feeling pleasure or contentment) This is what google says happiness is, just four words. How hard is it to find this simple thing in life? The “happiness transmitter” or serotonin is the science behind why we feel happy. This neurotransmitter is released and circulated in our bodies once it is produced. As social animals, when we are around people serotonin flows more freely and higher flow creates confidence and increased feelings of well being and belonging.
Happiness is a subjective experience – what brings elation to one person will not necessarily satisfy another – but from a psychological viewpoint, we must be able to quantify this state of mind in order to understand it. Happiness for a kid may be running around, for a working person may be to get his first salary, for a parent may be watching their kids get their first salaries therefore happiness differs from person to person.
Psychologists often refer to happiness as a positive effect – a mood or emotional state which is brought about by generally positive thoughts and feelings. Positive effect contrasts with low moods and negativity, a state of mind described as a negative effect in which people take a pessimistic view of their achievements, life situation and future prospects.
The Buddhist perspective for happiness is that true happiness will be gained only when a person lives in the reality away from all fantasies and when a person accepts all the joys and sorrows of life. They believe the road to happiness starts from understanding the root causes of suffering.
The happiness paradox is another perspective about finding happiness. It revolves around the idea that if you chase something it will be harder to gain that. This perspective says that if you pursue it you’re less likely to achieve it. Hence instead of being fixated on being happier you should just go along with your life and happiness will come along.
Table of Contents
- 1. What is True Happiness?
- 2. What is the source of happiness?
- 3. Simple ways to be happy in life
What is True Happiness?
When you start looking at things the way they are, when you start appreciating the small moments and things in life, when you start being more spontaneous and start taking risks, when you come out of your fantasy and step into the real world that is true happiness.
Early environment or the way people are brought up says a lot about what is true happiness for them. Children with both parents may have different expectations from life, and things that make these children happy will be different from children who were brought up by a single parent or with no parent. People with a single parent often become hyper independent and become responsible from an early age.
These people may find happiness in other adults who they look up to as parent figures (Guardians or acquaintances). But something that is common in everyone is that people tend to be the happiest when they are on good terms with themselves and when they find the good in things. All in all, people are happier when they look at the positive side of things.
An essential key to finding true happiness is accepting that happiness and sadness are two sides of the same coin. None will exist without the other. A person who is always happy will never actually enjoy that happiness to its true extent because he doesn’t know what sadness is. As soon as you accept that with happiness comes along its downsides you will be closer to finding your true happiness
Happiness comes along when people learn that acceptance is the eternal truth to a good life. The thing is happiness is not a place where you can just stay all the time, it’s a state of mind ,and something which you can’t have all the time. In order to feel happy ,you need to know the other side -not being happy- as well, only then can you feel true happiness.
Hedonism : This is a perspective of happiness where happiness is simply just a raw subjective feeling . ‘’A happy person smiles more and their pains are less” this is the main idea it revolves around. Hedonism believes that if people do things in an optimistic way they will be happier.
Desire theory: Desire theories hold that happiness is a matter of getting what you want with the content of the want left up to the person who does the wanting. Desire theory subsumes hedonism when ‘’What we want is lots of pleasure and little pain’’
What is the source of happiness?
As I said before, happiness is a subjective experience. What may make someone happy may not matter to others. Hence to find your source of happiness you need to find things, places or even people who make you feel content. But there are some things which make everyone happy and one of the most relatable ones is feeling wanted or having a purpose to your contributions.
People are also happier when they have good relationships with people . These relationships may be romantic, platonic or familial ( relationships like family ). Hence one important source of happiness is relationships.
There are other external and internal factors that affect our sources of happiness
External are the factors which are not in our hands such as- the season , how the weather is on that specific day, the involuntary movements of our bodies, whether our body is able to produce serotonin efficiently or how someone else is feeling.
Internal factors are things which are mostly in our heads- how someone perceives us, whether we want to like a person and socialise or not, whether we feel like getting out of the bed and going out and exercising or not.
Simple ways to be happy in life
1. Stick to your values
Stick to your values in all circumstances. If you do this then you are true to your real self. Our values are very important,they shape who we are and how we act , they help us grow and help create the future we want. A small change in a value because of peer pressure may completely change your outlook on life. Values determine your priorities and deep down if you change them for something temporary it will make you sad in the long term.
2. Truly Connect with people
Humans are social beings and the majority of the population feels a boost in their dopamine levels when they are with new people. Between the excitement of being with someone who doesn’t know them and getting to know them, people feel spontaneous and it staves off their feelings of loneliness. It boosts feelings of well being and is said to reduce depression as well. People feel more socially connected and feel like “they belong” when in a new setting.However, this may not be the case for all people ,some people are introverted and avoid social interaction in real life. These people ,however, find other things to socialise through, one of them is social media.
Socialising is more positive than being alone, that’s why meetings are so popular. People don’t like being alone.
3. Surround yourself with healthy (non toxic) people
Happiness is contagious. If you wonder why you don’t like your boss who keeps shouting at you or if you don’t like your partner who keeps cribbing and crying that’s normal. Just as optimistic people make you happy, people who always show negative emotions make you feel negatively as well. People who have a purpose and are motivated make you feel the same way. They motivate you to do better and find your purpose. People should feel like “happy pills” , that is, if you meet someone and it makes your mood better, they are like a medicine. Make friends, you’ll live longer, make social interaction a priority, and make meaningful connections
4. Generally healthy lifestyle
Get moving, It’s seen that light to moderate exercise often boosts people’s dopamine levels, and betters their mental health. Many people suffering from insomnia, depression, anxiety, ED go to the gym,practice yoga or atleast stay active to get better. A generally healthy lifestyle leads to better choices in life. You feel good and you are able to move more efficiently. Be spontaneous and eat healthier. Balance is very important.
5. Have an optimistic outlook at life
Optimistic outlook makes your immune system better and keeps you healthy. In order to lead a happy life you need to be healthy.Focus on the good things and express gratitude. Find out your areas of negativity so that you can remove them and lead a happier life.
6. Acknowledge the unhappy moments
You can’t enjoy the ups in life unless you do not acknowledge the downs. When a person knows how it feels at the lowest they feel a gratitude for the highest parts of their lives. Life is like a wave. It’s gonna be good some days and bad the others, there is no light without darkness. Stop chasing happiness,it will come along the way as you remove the barriers in your life.
7. Remember to love more
When you come across a very nice person who often puts others’ needs in front of their own needs you may judge them and ask yourself “Why do they do that?’ , the answer may be something very simple. It makes them happy to see others in a good place. Believe it or not, even the most selfish people feel good when they do something which puts a smile on other people’s face. This happens because the fact that you are the reason why someone is smiling not only makes you feel good about yourself but it also makes you feel wanted. So put more love out there and it will come back to you.
8. Explore more and Get to know yourself
Exploring alone is healing. People often take trips to reflect on their actions, journaling while outside helps one put their thoughts in one place and find actual answers to things they have been thinking and spiralling about. Travelling alone forces you to talk to new people and enjoy new experiences which is an essential start for self love. Explore yourself, find out what are the things you like and don’t, sometimes people believe that they know themselves because they are ‘them’ but they don’t take this into account that people often change their likes and dislikes . Rediscover yourself.
Takeaways from this blog+
> make meaningful connections.
>random acts of kindness will take you a long way
>find your people (happy pills)
>move and you’ll be more energetic
>find your work, what you like, your destination
>never lie to your true self