Is your idea of happiness unobtainable? Is there a real understanding of what happiness is or what looks like? There are a few myths out there that can actually keep us from being happy. Being happy is possible. Real happiness is much more than a lasting good feeling. We may need to change how we view it to feel it.
Myths about happiness have almost become its definition. Happiness is not a human’s default state. Just having food, water, shelter, and a relationship does not automatically make you happy. Life is difficult. That means we will have difficult moments. Here are a few myths you may have heard before.
- I’ll be happy when I find the right person to date or marry.
- I’ll be happy when I get the job I want.
- I’ll be happy when I don’t have to worry about money anymore.
- I’ll be happy when I have children.
- I’ll be happy when……
Putting “whens” and “ifs” on happiness is putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Putting that type of pressure on yourself may actually keep you from really being happy. Happiness is an ever shifting state. We will feel sadness, anger, anxiety, and guilt. Think about the happiest day of your life. How long did that happy feeling last? For example, let’s say you land your dream job. You are absolutely ecstatic. That is a wonderful feeling. Then you start the job and it can get pretty stressful and creates some sorts of anxiety. Research needs to be done and deadlines need to be met. Feeling that stress and anxiety does not mean you are not happy. It means you are human.
Am I Happy?
Asking yourself if you are happy is a complicated question to answer. It depends on where you are in your life. It may not look like what you thought it would, but we cannot put conditions on happiness. You are not a failure if you are not where you thought you would be at this time in your life. You do not have to beat yourself up if you aren’t as successful as you thought you should be by now.
Being happy means finding happiness in where you are right now. Giving yourself credit for what you have accomplished is a great way to feel good about yourself. Doing things you love will do the same. A part of being happy is keeping up with your own mental health. There will be times where we feel fear and sadness.
That truly is because we are human. The feelings of fear, sadness, or anger can be overwhelming. The key is to have a healthy outlook and knowing how to properly deal with those emotions. Happiness begins when we take proper care of ourselves mentally and physically.
How Can I Be Happy?
The true definition of happiness is as individualized as we are. If there is one aspect of happiness we can agree on, it is that happiness comes from within. Happiness is not accumulating stuff or wealth. One study has shown that being kind to others can create happiness. An 80-year-long Harvard study said, ‘Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives…Those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes.’
Taking care of close relationships involves self care. It involves adaptability, communication, and motivation. Learning to adapt and communicate in positive and healthy ways is something you do within. It isn’t the relationship itself that creates happiness. Happiness comes from tending to it. What both of these studies have in common is that both of these actions come from within. Taking care of yourself and your own mental health can provide you the ability to be kind or create and keep long lasting relationships.
There will always be difficult times in life. It is how we deal with undesirable situations and negative emotions that makes us better people. Being the best possible version of yourself should be an ongoing goal. What you think your best possible self will look like will change as time goes on. Things that make you happy will change, as well. Having the thought that ‘all my best years behind me’ is self-destructive. We have to learn to adapt to changes in life. Our goal should be finding happiness in those changes.
To be happy we must understand that there will be difficult times in life and we have to know how to deal with them in a healthy way. If you take good care of yourself good things will happen. So, changing the goal from being happy all the time to taking care of yourself could be key to feeling true happiness in your life.