The pursuit of happiness seems to be the biggest part of the American dream yet so few people identify themselves as being happy. Is it possible to be happy when there is so much sadness in the world? Is it possible to be happy if the people you care about are not happy? Is it ok to feel happy when there are so many reasons to be miserable? Is being happy over rated?
These are the questions I get from clients that come to me with all different issues but their bottom line is always, “I just want to be happy.” They believe they will be happy if they lose weight or if something changes at work, or they will be happy if their partner or spouse did something differently and the list goes on. I always advise them to not put the keys to their happiness in someone else’s pocket!
Happiness is one of those things that you can define in too many ways to list but since the definition is so broad, why not create a definition that you can comfortably fit into. What if you were already happy and just forgot to notice? What if you could define happy as what you are now? For example find three things you are grateful for. Three things that if you lost them you would definitely be less happy. Then decide that those are three good reasons to be happy! If you could begin to feel happy now how would your life look or feel differently? How would it feel if you began to tell yourself each day, “I am so happy because….” The chemicals released in your brain with feeling of happiness will actually make you feel better! It’s what that saying, “fake it till you make it “ really means! So often people focus on the negatives in their lives or on their past mistakes that they find it hard to feel happy. There is so much sadness, suffering, guilt, anger and shame going around that it feels frivolous to want to feel happy. Do you want to wait until everything in your life and the world is the way you think it should be? Do you want to put off feeling happy? I want you to know that even if you begin to feel happy now, if something good happens, you can always be happier! There is no limit to the amount of happiness you can feel.
I know that there are those who don’t know what to do to begin to feel their happiness. If you want to do something to make you feel better, find a random act of kindness to do anywhere. Find a way to bring happiness to someone who needs some help. Bring a smile to someone else and it will come back to you and help you begin to feel happy. Acts of kindness, especially when they are delivered directly can be such a nice source of happiness. Spreading happiness actually will increase your own happiness. I know it sounds a little corny but it is still very true!
Are you happy? I would love to hear from you! If you aren’t happy, I would like to hear from you too!