Happiness. A word that everyone seems to be talking about these days. Over years, we have been taught about a lot of things that they say can make us happy. But most of them turned out to be misconceptions that we often overlook.
Undeniably, this word has covered a lot of meaning throughout time. Since the ancient Greeks, happiness is attempted to be described, taping it with the word eudaimonia which means “to live well”.
In an article I’ve read, modern science looks at happiness to be related to hedonism— the pursuit of pleasure.
Moreover, science has established this certain concept surrounding the word, which gave birth to terms like subjective well-being. Some other studies propose happiness is an unmeasurable condition.
As you see, happiness is such a big word for it to be bounded solely by its definitions. There are so many studies about happiness and its entirety that gave it a deeper, more substantial meaning.
What I believe is that happiness is about having a sense of well-being, not just for one part of your life. I think that happiness is a subtle yet ever-lingering state that reminds you that you are well and okay. It’s also achieving security and high satisfaction in life.
The fact is many people often build misconceptions about the H-word. We try to define it as if it was a simple concept; a mere feeling of being happy. Something that we can control, achieved in an easier, more convenient way.
But trust me, we don’t want that. What we want is to train ourselves to be someone who regularly sees the opportunities to feel happy in our lives, and taking and using those opportunities to achieve better well-being. And doing this isn’t an easy road to follow.
The first step is to get more understanding of what happiness really governs.
So, before we dive into the good things about finding happiness in your life, I’m going to share with you some common misconceptions about happiness. I hope you read on and enjoy reading! 🙂
- Related Post: What Do We Need To Be Happy?
There’s no shortcut to happiness
Achieving genuine happiness is more than just a blissful feeling. It rhymes with the words, contentment, well-being, gratitude, a silver-lining, which are more stable and profound words.
This is the first and probably the most important misconception we need to take into account. If we want to be happy, we’ve got to have patience. We may have to establish better habits, and establishing better habits take time and effort to get into our system.
If you want to know more about the power of establishing better habits for your development, you can read my guest post blog here.
What I’m trying to say is, a few inconsistent efforts won’t do it. It’s not easy to maintain it in our life. One day or the other, we will eventually lose it and then we’ll have to look for it again.
We can’t really get a hold of it and expect that everything will be okay from then on. Life will find ways to take our happiness from us. We should have a better and more consistent way of achieving our sense of well-being.
It takes good effort and determination! Trust yourself and believe that you can be a person who regularly sees those happiness opportunities.
It isn’t measured by how many objects you have in life
People let their happiness depend on the things that they have. We are so materially dependent that we literally measure everything– our health, life satisfaction, social status, career, and well-being– by the objects that we obtain in our life.
People think that having these objects will satisfy them even in the long run. But it doesn’t. This is an unhealthy habit you have to break. This keeps you from appreciating your life!
- Related Content: 8 Unhealthy Habits To Break If You Want To Appreciate Life
Clinging into these materialistic things will just make you a person with lower life satisfaction and will possibly keep you waning for more. This can mean that you will never be fully happy.
Science suggests that wanting materialistic things that stick around can cause your hedonic adaptation to happen faster which is actually bad for your happiness.
If you become easily adapted to happiness, your happiness level can go back to its baseline and you will easily get bored with the things that you acquire.
Read my guest post, Hedonic Adaptation of Life, to know more about this phenomenon.
Sometimes you have no control over who or what affects your happiness
Another important misconception about happiness is that sometimes when we look at being happy, we think that it is something that is totally under our control.
But I have learned that there’s just much we can control. And oftentimes, our happiness is greatly influenced by a lot of things. Say like, the people around us, and our environment– which is not within our control.
There will be times when even our own minds are making us unhappy. It’s important to remember because maybe we force ourselves to feel happy even if we don’t feel like it. That’s totally okay. Because being happy also means that you know everything will be okay at some point.
What we can do is we can look and focus on the things that we can control and provide happiness for us.
Happiness can be found in struggles too
Do you know what makes an achievement so fulfilling? Aside from the fact that we did our best to achieve a specific goal, and finally being proud of ourselves, it’s because of those struggles that we overcame too.
It’s a realistic idea that our struggles are important for our happiness too, simply because they make us more resilient, and wise. And overcoming struggles feel good in the end.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the concept of flow and said, “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing ones. The best moments really occur when a person’s body and mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
Happiness is not just an expression of happy feelings like laughter and smiles, sometimes you feel happy inside when you experience flow too, which have been proven to be a necessary tool for achieving well-being.
I suggest you take refuge in your struggles too. They have been found to make us more grateful for the things that we have in life.
Happiness takes hard work
Happy people nurture their happiness. They always find reasons and ways to maintain it. They work hard changing their habits until they form into behavior that can increase their satisfaction in life.
Some studies show that one of the characteristics of happy people is that they have a social connection with others. Being able to communicate well with others apparently makes us happy.
You may think that this is good for extroverted people but what about introverted ones? The truth is, introverts and extroverts are just as happy when they socialize with other people.
Happy people have this kind of special talent wherein they often see some silver lining in certain situations and that talent takes hard work for others. You have to make an effort and help yourself find a simple gratification every day of your life.
Happiness isn’t something you can feel without doing anything. Even in worse situations, let us try to be the person who still sees something worth thanking for.
- Related Content: How to Overcome Difficulties in Life: A Collaboration
If you think that your circumstance is what’s stopping you from being happy, think again
You may think that changing the situation that you’re currently in will make you feel happier. Perhaps, you would think that becoming richer will make you happier. Or increasing your income money will finally make you more satisfied in life. It doesn’t actually work for all people.
You badly want an out every time you find yourself in a bit of a pickle and you wish things could just change to make you feel better. But truthfully speaking, every time that we get more of what we want, what we think we need actually increases too.
An article by John Rampton featured a Princeton study that says, “having a higher income increases happiness but only up to about $75,000 per year.”
We can be happier by changing our circumstances only to an extent. And after that, it really doesn’t get any better. Sometimes it just gets worse.
If you’re a man who has a stable job and has achieved financial stability, constantly wanting to have more can negatively affect your well-being.
If you think that you’re not earning enough so you’re not happy, maybe you ought to reflect on what you have and how blessed you are for even having that kind of stability in life.
It’s important to understand that we can always find happy moments even in situations where we don’t want to be in. The need to improve our circumstances won’t probably help us all the time. Sometimes we just got to work with what we got. Make special moments out of it, and focus on our well-being.
Everyone can learn to be happy
Finally, the last misconception about happiness that I would like to talk about. If you think that you will never be like those happy people who find good in everything, let me stop you right now. You’re wrong. With time, everyone can learn to be happy.
This is what’s great about the whole idea of happiness! Even those people diagnosed with clinical depressions, suicidal tendencies, and traumas can help themselves find light in dark moments. Some can learn how to reach out, and some can progress with the right kind of help.
- Related Content: Reaching out: How to Ask For Help?
Happiness can be learned, practiced, and maintained by doing the right things that will help us. Training our minds to achieve better thinking, behavior, and understanding of life is such a helpful way to improve one step at a time.
Let’s train our minds to constantly seek opportunities to be happy. The first step is to get more understanding of what happiness really governs. Now the second one is to put what you know into action.
What have you learned about happiness so far? Did you know about these misconceptions? What other misconceptions did you know about happiness? Comment down your thoughts below!
More more related post about life and happiness, click here.
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