Joy and happiness is what we all search for, but the real question is what exactly happiness is. Do we all have our own personal definition of happiness that we live by. This article explains what others believe happiness to be and what you should think of happiness being for you in your daily life to achieve happiness. (Image by aussiegall via Flickr)
Mired in this over stimulated environment, we are constantly reminded of our own inadequacy. (Oh, you finally lost those 10 pounds after giving birth six months ago? That’s nice. Gisele did it in two weeks. See this morning’s Google alert.)
Is it any wonder that so many of us devour books on happiness, open our wallets for life coaches and wellness retreats, and generally remain grumpy despite all the things we do have, always chasing that elusive state of “happiness.”
And, what is happiness, anyway?
Happiness: a state of contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.
Although, pleasurable and satisfying experiences sure are nice, I believe the Webster definition doesn’t really set our society up for success. I’d like to go out on a limb here and share my own definition of happiness:
Happiness: a timeless state of contentment due to embracing the control you have over your state of mind.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It would be really hard to be in a blissful state of mind each and every second of every day, but we get to choose which seconds define our day, our week and our lives. It is that choice and that control that I believe is true happiness.
Whether it’s a new computer or a new relationship, these external sources, although enjoyable, can distract us from our inner source of happiness — our control over our state of mind.
Happiness is not dependent on what the number on the scale says or whether you get that promotion at work or marry your college crush. Happiness is the ability to recognize and be okay with the fact that you won’t always feel — well — happy. Sometimes things don’t work out. Sometimes we screw up. Sometimes, truly terrible things happen. If you can allow yourself to experience negative emotions, you will recognize that temporarily feeling bummed out about life’s small and sometimes large disappointments are natural and do not have to permanently distract or define you.
Knowing that you control your happiness and that no one can take it away from you or define it for you leaves you in charge. One great nonfiction book to read that helps you get to your “happy place” is Happiness in Seven Steps by Lee G Lovett. Available at Amazon or click HERE to order a copy.
This is what I believe to be the definition of what happiness is and if you choose to believe this definition your life and state of mind will change for the better.