Happiness is a blissful yet elusive state. In the 1990s, a new branch of ‘positive psychology’ grew
around this topic. More than just a buoyant mood, happiness encompasses living a purposeful and meaningful life which brings deep contentment.
Happiness is not achieved from moving from one joy to the next; in fact, finding happiness often
involves working through moments of considerable discomfort. Many people mistakenly believe they will find happiness once they reach a certain milestone – that new car, that new relationship, that new career move and salary. With some irony, the pursuit of happiness is often where it is found, rather than as a final ‘accomplishment’.
Research shows that happiness is under great personal control; although genetics, life circumstances and your environment, relations with others, goal-reaching, individual mindsets and ways thinking and expressing feelings all influence if and how this state of being is attained.
Here are a few of the outward signs that someone recognises how to find happiness:
- Practices self-care and finds gratitude; leads a healthy lifestyle
- Shows patience, understanding, compassion and humility
- Enjoys learning new things
- Can have a laugh and is regularly seen wearing a smile, finds joy in other people’s happiness
- Able to ‘go with the flow’; has fewer expectations
- Works towards and chooses healthy relationships; communicates effectively
- Is happy for other people; is not spiteful or insulting
- Actively gives and receives, does not hold grudges, lets go of small annoyances
- Lives ‘in the moment’ without worrying over yesterday or tomorrow
- Finds purpose and meaning in life
Since what makes us happy changes over time and it is easy to let life happen ‘to us’ rather than ‘for us’, it is valuable for people to continue observing and revising what makes them happy to continue to aim for fulfilment throughout our lifetime. This is where life coaching and therapy can be very useful.
If you feel stuck, lost or undecided, Titch Haven has a range of services to assist you to find your happiness.