"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."- Andy Rooney
“I’m happy,” I randomly state to no one in particular. The suddenness of my outburst takes me by surprise. Unsure if I finally donated my body to science before I was done using it, my husband responds, “Thaaat’s greeeat.” “Ya, it IS great,” I tell myself as a wide grin covers my entire face.
To some, my response may seem strange. But for those of us that suffer from overthinking, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and other happy busters, moments of contentment and pure joy can be far and few between.
Have you ever asked yourself, “What does happiness mean to me?” For me, happiness means peace. It’s the quieting of my brain from worry, anxiety and depression—and it’s the slowing of my body from constant movement. At least it was when I randomly blurted out, “I’m happy.”
So, what DOES happiness mean to YOU?
Happiness is a feeling only you can define. It’s individually unique— just like you. It’s based on your specific preferences, needs, core values, and even your chemical makeup and DNA. What makes me happy— a clean house fills my soul with pure bliss (mostly if I don’t have to clean it)— might not be what makes you happy. We are also not always going to be happy. There will be those stinky days where not only do we NOT see the glass half full, but we’d rather see the darn glass thrown against the wall. Having a bad day here and there does not make you an unhappy person—it makes you a normal person.
Obviously, we want more joy and more happiness in our lives and simply thinking it or stating it isn’t exactly going to get you to Disneyland (Get it? The Happiest Place on Earth? I crack myself up). We have to start by defining what happiness means to us. Have you even said these words? I just want to be happy. Well, duh, we all want to be happy. But what does that look like to you? How could you possible ever be happy if you don’t even know what happiness means to you?
Increasing your happiness is not going to be a goal you reach and then you are done. If life is a highway, then happiness is along for the ride. Happiness is part of the journey and you have the wheel. What made you happy ten years ago, might not be what makes you happy now. That is because we are constantly in motion, constantly changing. Happiness is a state of being that can change and even be fleeting at times. If you are simply in a constant state of unhappiness, it might be time to find out why and what has changed and what needs to change to reach a level of happiness in your life.
I don’t know about you, but I sure could use some improved happiness after the year we had. I can also safely say that some things that I wouldn’t have defined as making me happy a year ago, sure would now- like eating in a crowded restaurant. Shoot, I think I’ve been isolated so long that I could find joy in taking a ride on “It’s a Small World After All” at Disneyland!! Okay, now I might just be delirious.
To help you in your journey to enhanced happiness, I’m attaching a “Happiness Journal” that you can print. According to research done by psychologist Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage” there are six habits that you can do each day that will help you on your happiness journey. The six habits are included in the journal, along with a daily journal template that you can do for the next 30 days.
Natalie Griffin once said, “Happiness is a choice not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you CHOOSE to be happy.”
Happiness Journal (Click Link to Download Journal)
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