Being happy. What does that really mean? Everyone has a different perception of what happiness means to them. It is a feeling that is very personal. A feeling that can change day to day if we allow it. It is a process, a way of thinking. It is a journey.
To be happy one must first understand what happiness is. If you google the definition of happiness you will find “happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment”. Who doesn’t want all of that in their life? We all seek happiness but many times we forget that in order to feel joy and satisfaction, to feel we have a fulfilled life, it will require us to pay attention to how we live our lives and what we say to ourselves and about ourselves.
We live in a society where we are told what happiness should look like. We see this through social media outlets, beauty advertisements, and yes, we see our happiness through our own self value. The world has painted a very clear picture of what our lives should look like in order to achieve this so called euphoric happiness by the clothes we wear, the vacations we take, how we look, what car we drive, to even the foods we eat. This is called marketing, and if we are not careful and very aware, we can fall into a trap of never feeling quite up to par. There is a distinct difference to what we see and how we feel, to what is pretend and what is a reality. This is where self-esteem comes in – either assisting us to live our best life or limiting us to live with regret.
Having a good self image is extremely important. What we say to ourselves about ourselves impacts how we think. No one is “perfect” but at the same time we are all perfectly ourselves. We are what we think. Happiness starts with positive thinking! This may come to some easier than others depending on their life experiences. The good news is that we have the capability to change how we think no matter what has happened to us. Positivity truly is something we can achieve and control on a daily basis no matter what other people may say or do. With positive thinking comes a positive attitude. Our attitudes have a defining effect on the outcome of our day, week, year, and yes, our lives.
However, before we can get on the happy train, a little soul searching must be done. This reflection starts with asking yourself several questions. Taking paper to pen to start this “happiness journey” will bring more awareness to your everyday life habits keeping you accountable and motivated. You see, once we put our thoughts on paper, they become a reality.
Questions that need answers
Are you ready for some positive change in your life? What are your dreams? What are your goals in life? Do you have goals or are you just moving from day to day? What do you think when you look in the mirror each day? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you feel healthy? Do you look healthy? Do you see your life as your glass is half full or half empty? Do you understand that the feeling of happiness can come and go but joyfulness is an emotion that can remain with us forever? These questions and their answers are essential to achieving a fulfilled life.
Sadly, we are own worst critics. We can be very hard on ourselves, which only leads to a negative way of thinking and in turn deflecting from reaching our goals. Focusing on the things or people we cannot control versus putting our energy on what we have control over will contribute immensely to our happiness. Keeping things simple will also allow us to stay focused on what matters most in our lives. Distractions can become detrimental to the happiness we seek.
Realizing each of us have a purpose in this life. Each of us have our strengths and our weaknesses. Each of us have certain talents, those things that come naturally. Starting our day with a sense of gratitude and positive thoughts should be a number one priority as this will permeate throughout our day to each person we come in contact with and in turn resulting in a fulfilling day for us.
Everyday that we wake up, we are given another opportunity to improve who we are and how we will affect those that we care about. Remembering we can only give what we have. We have the choice whether we will make it a good day or whether we will allow any negative situations to impact our attitudes.
Taking care of ourselves, eating well, exercising, filling our minds with positive content, allowing for relaxation, and yes, taking good care of our skin will all contribute to how we think and feel. When we strive to live a balanced, intentional life, joyfulness follows. A joyfulness that is there because of the choices we make every day. People are attracted to those who have a positive outlook on life. These individuals inspire others to be better and they also give hope to others. We can choose to be happy despite what happens around us or to us. We have the choice. This is true beauty. A beauty that comes from within each of us.