Have you ever heard yourself or someone you know say, "I’ll be happy when…"? Do you think that happiness is something you will have or get in the future? Are there things you think you need to do or have before you will be truly happy? I’ve learned that you can control your own happiness and this article will help you learn to enable yourself to experience happiness anytime, anywhere, in any situation.
The Myth of Happiness
Happiness is one of those long sought after, conceptual ideas and it has turned into a sense of longing and searching for many people instead of a state of being and feeling. People have learned over centuries to look to the future to find more happiness instead of looking at the here and now with what they have. Well, did you know you can have happiness now? You don’t need anything else or anyone to be happy.
Have you ever been happy before in your life? Are there moments when you’ve experienced more happiness than right now? I suspect there are! If so, great, then you can harness that and be happy now as well.
Happiness is Internal
Many think that happiness comes from having lots of money, being attractive, having the perfect job or the latest gadget. Some people think it comes from circumstances in life or your environment. I personally don’t understand how people let themselves belief this so easily (obviously the media is very good at what they do for consumerism, but that’s another article). Studies, experience and worldly looks at happiness show that it doesn’t come from all your possessions, your genes or any external factors. It comes from within.
There are several different factors that do feed our happiness. Part of our happiness factor has been shown to be stemmed from our genetics and youngest years in life. This is a significant portion of our happiness which tends to give us a consistent fall back point for our happiness. It can move up and down from that point, but it seems this point is different for different people and doesn’t tend to change much through life. So, that area is not really within our control so there is not much point on dwelling or working on that. I have read however, that our genetics and base happiness level can be as much of 50% of what contributes to our happiness.
The next factor is circumstance. This is the one that takes the most blame for not being happy yet studies show it is only about 10% of our happiness factor. So, this area while may seem like the most important area to control, is fairly insignificant when it comes to our happiness levels. It’s something to realize but keep in mind that doing something about something in this area is not very impactful and it isn’t a factor that can easily be changed, so also not worth a lot of time considering the value.
The last factor however, is completely different. It’s your attitude, thoughts and feelings about happiness. The voluntary control area of happiness where you think about your past, present and future to adjust your level of happiness. This area is the area you have complete control over as it’s based only on your own internal thoughts.
How you think about your past and let it affect you today is up to you. If you put more thoughts on learning from the past, and use that to make life better now instead of dwelling on hardship or struggles, you can gain more happiness right now. People who focus on and remember the good times and happy memories are happier than those who remember all the unhappy times. Having an attitude of appreciation and gratitude for those good times strengthens that happiness you can experience today.
Your present is something you must practice in to increase your happiness. How you see things and respond to things is definitely up to you, and doing so in a way that brings more happiness is certainly a better option than choosing to bring sad or disappointing views into your mind. Look around to find simple things to take pleasure in and consider not what you don’t have, but what you do have. Having and putting time into relationships and enjoyable activities are great ways to experience more happiness in the present.
Your future and more specifically, how you think it will be, will also greatly affect your happiness. If you condition yourself to think that you need something else (like a possession) to be happy, then when you get to your future you will be trained to continue to look for the next thing before being happy. Instead, look at the things that make you happy now which are not external and think and remind yourself of still experiencing them in the future. Be optimistic with your expectations for happiness and you can drive yourself to be more happy!
Be Happy Now
So all of this leaves only one thing when it comes to happiness. Make a decision to be happy now and to change your thinking towards the things that contribute to happiness instead of deterring it. Choose your response to situations and live with a hope and appreciation to what is good, what is right, and what makes you happy.
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