We all want to be happy, right? But the source of happiness and the ability to maintain it can be the tricky part. It’s not possible to be happy all the time. Think about it this way, if we were happy all the time, then what would happiness mean?
This is just a question that can lead us into deeper thinking which may help us figure out what we expect from being happy. Because even though there are many emotions that guide us through our experiences, we can still continue to make our own happiness as well.
Happiness can come in different forms, shapes, and in various situations. It also requires us to widen our perspective. When we do so, we begin paying closer attention to the tiny details that contribute to our own happiness.
The path toward happiness also includes gratitude. Like all else, we develop more gratitude the more we practice it. Shifting our perspective toward what we’re grateful for and constantly reminding ourselves of those things that are on our gratitude list, are important ways to cultivate gratitude. We can only truly know the worth of something in our life if we pay close attention to it. If you’re looking for ways to attain a grateful perspective, you can start your journey with gratitude meditations.
Our social bonds and communities are other aspects of our lives that are crucial to our well-being. Being around people, forming strong bonds with those we love, and having secure relationships in our lives are important contributors to our overall happiness. From time to time, we may experience difficulty maintaining our relationships due to miscommunication or drifting apart. But even with that, our long term happiness is very much about our social connections. Spending more time with the ones that we love has a major effect on how we feel about ourselves and our connection with others.
Being present. Often, we may find ourselves rushing from one task to another or from one stop to another. We fall for the illusion that life’s greatest treasures lie in the future, when we obtain that one thing or the other, we’ll be happy. But guess what? Life is happening right here and now at this very moment. The moments that we spend being unaware of it, cause us to miss the powerful and moving little details that lie in the present as well. So, being mindful of the here and now enables us to be more grateful, compassionate, and maybe even happier overall. The best part about all this? Meditation is a great tool to embark on this journey.
We all experience happiness differently and there’s no one-size-fits-all, no formula. The path toward happiness can be long and may even be the work of a lifetime. It’s not a destination, but rather a practice we have to commit ourselves to every day. Thankfully, there’s a vast amount of psychological research on happiness and well-being that we can all learn from as we do the daily work of pursuing our own joy.
On the subject of happiness, Psychologist Martin Seligman’s “PERMA Model” may be a good resource to help get us started. The PERMA Model underlines 5 important elements of happiness and well-being: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. This theory suggests that: the more we’re engaged in what makes us joyful and happy, the more we feel in flow, the stronger our relationships, the more solidified our sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Our daily habits and routines can be the start of our journey toward happiness. How you start your day, the amount of sleep you get, the physical movement you do during the day, all contribute to the formation of our habits and thereby impact our lives overall. The quality of these activities can help us maintain a balanced and healthy life. So, what habit do you wish to improve upon or incorporate further in your life?
Creating peace within our minds begins by being aware of our thoughts and emotions, by identifying the feelings that arise in the present moment. We achieve this state of mind when we practice mindfulness, which lets us adopt this approach of calm reflection in all aspects of our lives.
The heart of mindfulness practice teaches us how to be compassionate, present, and self-aware. Those who practice mindfulness are better at orienting to the present moment, more open to novelty, have enhanced emotion regulation and are thoughtful about different perspectives.