What does it mean to be happy? How does one feel when they experience happiness in its truest form? I’d love to answer this question with a statement that applies to everyone, but I can’t. That’s because, in it’s truest and most purest form, happiness is very much subjective. It is unique to the person who feels it, how they feel it, when they feel it and the varying degrees to which they experience it.
The feeling of happiness is a strange thing and it is one that can take us on a rocky journey throughout our lifetime. As a little girl, I felt happiness in almost all walks of life, with only minute moments of sadness. When my Mum brought us home surprise happy meals for dinner on a Friday evening, I would feel great mounds of joy radiating from within. When I would borrow a new book from the library, my heart would quite literally dance with happiness. However, as I grew older, my life got busier and I started to ignore all of life’s little details and existed solely on auto-pilot, and thus, I started to forget what it felt like to be happy. I suppose while I was focusing on the external details of life, I was neglecting the very real, internal feelings of joy I was already experiencing but just didn’t have the time to feel them.
I recently went on a journey of self-reflection and self-discovery after a very short stint of dark, unhappy times. I came to the conclusion that, because I was focusing on the bad in my life (along with all of the roles and responsibilities that I had), I completely forgotten to see all of the happiness that was right under my nose all along. When I began to see the light that was hidden under my dark, I started to see all of the good that was already in my corner and, in turn, I started to experience more forms of happiness.
So, if you’re in need of some reflection and some more positivity in your life, here are some of the tips I’ve come up with some tips to help yourself slow down and start to see more of the happiness that is already in your life:
1. Don’t compare:
Accept that people will experience happiness at different stages in their lives and that in it’s purest and most true form, happiness is indeed a subjective feeling, that will always be unique to each individual that feels it.
2. Follow your own path:
True happiness can’t be forced. In other words, trying to change who you are or copying somebody else’s lifestyle will not give you true happiness. We all have our own paths to follow and what might work for someone else might not always necessarily produce the same great effects for you.
3. Accept the journey:
Enjoy the ride and ride it well. Life really is a journey of very high highs and very low lows and I’d be lying if I said that, at times, it wasn’t a struggle. But it really is a tremendous journey and one that we should not take for granted because without experiencing life and all it has to offer we miss out on all of the banner moments (like happiness) that we so desperately seek.
4. Pay attention:
Stop, look and listen to your heart. Sometimes we are all rushing through life at a 100mph on auto-pilot, forgetting to live, forgetting to see the beauty that is around us and, most importantly, failing to see the thing that has the power to bring us true happiness when it is right under our noses. I recently realised how often I used to do this and, as a result, how often I was missing out on all of the true moments of happiness that were staring me head on in the face. Nowadays, I take the time to slow things down a bit so that I can start to appreciate more of the smaller moments in life and, in turn, feel a lot happier.
5. Keep the faith:
Believe. If you believe in things enough, they most of the time they tend to resonate. The same applies to happiness; if you start to think positive and happy thoughts, most likely you’ll start to live those happy moments. I know that life can sometimes get us down, but the important point is to not let it keep us down. One method I find incredibly useful when I’m having a down day full of negative self-beliefs is to take that one negative thoughts and twist it into a happy one. Every time I feel the negativity creeping back, I add another happy element to the thought. For example, one negative thought I experience often is “I’m unsuccessful and will never amount to anything good”. So, I flip this nasty thought on it’s head by challenging it and saying “I AM successful. I graduated from university, I am working in a job I love and I AM amounting to a whole of good”. Almost immediately I start to believe these things and bring myself joy.
Happiness in it’s truest and purest form is a great feeling, and so many of us wonder how and why we can’t achieve it. However, I do believe it can be achieved with time, lifestyle changes and some positive thoughts. It isn’t easy, but in time and with persistence, learning to think more purely about happiness and life itself can lead you towards a more happier and positive outlook on your life journey.
How do you feel that happiness can be best achieved? Have you tried any of these tips? Or have any to share with us? Let us know below!