We all search for HAPPINESS as an ideal that we aspire to 'find', but if we are looking into the future for that happiness we are looking in the wrong place. Happiness is also not the same as 'pleasure'. We get momentary pleasure from material things, like buying a favourite book, a new car, new job, or other item which adds to our quality of life. But the key word here is 'momentary'. Pleasure is always fleeting and tends to dissipate as soon as the novelty wears off. However, happiness starts from within, lasts a lifetime, and is strongly dictated by self-love and feelings of contentment brought about by a lack of unnecessary fear and self belief.
As this little saying emphasises, happiness starts with how we THINK. The bottom line is that unless we are happy within ourselves, we can never really feel happiness. We will always feel a sense of unease, of inadequacy, of low esteem and of substandard status. Once we feel good about us, there is an air of contentment which then carries us throughout the days, weeks and years; a kind of buffer against the slings and arrows of our world.
Happiness doesn't mean we are laughing clowns or people without problems. It means that, feeling good within us, those problems, stresses or bad times are minimised instead of exaggerated. They don't get the chance to take hold of us, or last too long, because our happiness overwhelms them as quickly as possible. Our positive thought patterns ensure that we don't get mired into negativity, despair or anxiety for too long. We might fall, but we bounce back up quickly with a smile of confidence in knowing that every setback in life is only ever temporary. We can find the answers.
When we are unhappy, we tend to see negative or bad things as permanent; as lasting on and on because we feel impotent to change our situation. Victimhood and misery gradually become more attractive than finding solutions. Worse still, even when life gets better for us, we still expect the worse to happen; we remain worried about the future because nothing will really make us happy. We don't feel good about ourselves, having no self acceptance, and are likely to beat ourselves up every time something doesn't go to plan, so how can we feel good about everything else?
Happiness comes from inside us, when we know who we are, what we stand for and where we are going; when we love ourselves unconditionally and treat others with compassion, value and respect.
If you yearn to be happy, perhaps you need to start appreciating YOU some more. Stop taking things and people for granted. Stop looking on the dark side of life, when there is also a bright sunny side. Stop being so self critical and start being more gracious and thankful for what you have been blessed with. Let go off the fear and simply live life as it comes.
Happiness is there for us TODAY, if we would like to have it. It's just that we are often searching in the wrong place for it because no external thing or person can make us happy. Someone might be able to enhance our happiness with theirs, but they cannot create it. Only we can do that through self acceptance, gratitude and self belief.
How happy are you today? You can find out here with this quiz.
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2012
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Happiness is a state of being. We are the ones who decide whether we wish to be happy or not, by the script we use inside our heads."