Happiness is more than just smiling all the time and pretending everything is okay. It’s so much more than ignoring the hard times or sweeping things under the rug. While there may not be one concrete answer as to what true happiness really is, most people can agree that happiness and a contentment with life are the same thing.
If true happiness rests in contentment, most people can experience that when they are confident in the path they are on. Feeling as though you have control over your life and being content with your path can lead to happiness, even in the midst of difficult times.
There has been a lot of research done on the idea of happiness. There are lists and articles regarding different characteristics and habits of happy people. Those don’t really answer the large question of what happiness really is, though.
The truth? Happiness is a gift that we can receive on a regular basis. It is good for our health, and it feels good at the same time. Most of us could probably say we feel happy much of the time, or at least have the ability to. But, there is a difference between true happiness, and the ability to feel happy here and there.
The Power of True Happiness
“True happiness tends to deal with the internal, rather than the external. You might be happy that you’re having a good day. But, true happiness comes with an inner-sense of contentment and wellness.” Says Alia Aizenstat a therapist in Santa Barbara, CA. Your inner-most self is at peace and content with the life you’re leading. It doesn’t really come and go or fade away depending on your circumstances.
True happiness also has a lot to do with gratitude. As stated above, happiness is a gift. People who are truly happy tend to recognize that. When you feel like you’ve been given something special, it’s easy to feel grateful. In turn, that grateful feeling can resonate throughout your mind and body, making it easy to feel better about most things.
Happy people have the ability to deeply feel emotions. They don’t shy away from anger or fear or sadness – that would be unrealistic. But, they understand that true happiness is in a completely different category from what might be going on in their lives. Their situations don’t alter their underlying state of happiness in any way. That’s not necessarily an easy thing to achieve for a lot of people. But, when you can get there, you can ‘unlock’ a happiness you may have never known before.
How to Be Happy
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a simple sentence that could tell you exactly how to be happy? Unfortunately, the idea of happiness is different for everyone, because everyone’s desired level of contentment is different.
One thing you can do is be mindful. Be mindful of your entire life, from everyday situations to the ‘big picture.’ When you view happiness as a gift, you’ll want to take care of it, and showing compassion, being kind, and being fully aware of the world around you are great places to start when it comes to cherishing the gift of true happiness.
Mollie Busino, LCSW, Director of Mindful Power, Counseling Hoboken. Mollie has had extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Mindfulness. Her work focuses on Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Career Changes, OCD, Relationship, Dating Challenges, Insomnia, & Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.