Most people have experienced unhappiness at some point in their lives. It is quite normal and is usually because of one or other reasons. However, if you don't feel happy, even everything is perfect in your life, or the sadness prevails without any solid reason, then it is a matter of concern.
You feel unhappy even when you have everything a person wishes for. When such a thing happens, you feel confused and lost. You are unable to figure out what is the reason you are feeling like this even after possessing everything. You still feel a void, a missing piece in your life. And no matter what, you are still not successful in getting rid of it.
There can be many reasons why you can be experiencing this. But first, we need to evaluate what does it mean what being happy means?
The myth related To Happiness:
We humans often associate happiness with money the most that are related to having a successful career; after that comes having a family- a partner and kids. Yet, we always encounter people who have achieved all these things but are not happy.
On the contrary, they hate their life. Isn't it strange? We all have an ingrained perception that these things can bring happiness to our lives. Yet, it is not always the case. We are going to find that happiness is not in materialistic possessions. It is in how meaningful we make our lives.
You must have heard about the famous actor- Keanu Reeves. He is a Hollywood star and has done meaningful roles. He is really known and successful all over. He also has a great amount of money. One certainly can tell he had everything to be happy. But his happiness was never complete.
He lost his parents in his teenage years. He did marry a girl and had a boy with her. But this happiness of his was short-lived as well. They both died in a car accident.
He had a best friend who died because of cancer. He is now alone. And he has every reason to be sad and upset with his life. But he is not. He has learned to be happy despite everything.
He finds reasons to be happy. He spread happiness by helping others. He also does things to make others happy. He shares his happiness with them. He takes himself on a date, treats himself, and loves himself.
So you see, these things can't always bring you happiness. I personally know of people whose life is extremely different from what we are told of as normal. Yet they are just as happy with their lives as any we are told we would be if we follow the norms. And there are also people who are suffering in their lives even after having everything.
What is happiness?
As discussed, things that we know of bringing happiness might not always help in this purpose. Happiness is a qualitative term. So there can not be a definite description of happiness. It will vary from person to person, depending on their needs and wants.
But the basic definition for it will be "The feeling of contentment and satisfaction with one's current situation or life."
Based on this explanation, the key to happiness is dependent on these two factors- contentment and satisfaction. Of course, happiness is a far wider concept, and we can not sum it up in just two words. Yet, we cannot also deny the fact that these two emotions form the base of happiness. So yes, it is essential to feel satisfied in order to gain happiness.
Why is happiness so important?
A person does innumerable things in their lives. They are trying to fulfill their needs, learn new things, carry out different activities, and gain achievements. Ever wondered why? There will be different reasons for working behind them. But the reason with utmost importance is that they want to feel content and satisfied. They want to feel happy!
Happiness is your birthright, just like freedom. Without the presence of happiness in your life, every other success or possession will mean nothing to you. Whatever you have or whatever you will be achieving will be worthless if you don't feel happy with it.
Everything will be meaningless. Your life will be meaningless to you. That is why we stress on being happy so much. So it is crucial to be happy than any other thing in your life.
Ingredients to be happy
We have talked about the importance of happiness for oneself. But the question now is how to achieve happiness? Life doesn't come with manual instructions.
There are no set of rules instructed for anyone to live life correctly and as much as fulfilling as you can. Even so, there are certain pointers that can help in achieving it. So let's have a look at what we can do on our part to be happy.
Change Your Programming:
Most of us have been programmed to live life in a certain way. You surely heard your parents or peers mentioning that you must do certain things in your life. They might tell you first to gain an education, then come getting a job phase. After that, they want you to settle down, get married, and have kids. You will be programmed to think that this is the way to live life and to happiness.
But that may not happen to you. Even if you have all these, you might still feel unhappy. Even lost maybe, as, after this, you have no idea what to do in order to achieve happiness. You might even panic or be depressed if your case is not so. To avoid such consequences, this programmed thinking has to change.
Life is not the same for everyone. You can still have a happy life without achieving all these. Not everyone has the same destiny, and we need to fit this in our brains. Just keep calm and let everything happen at its own pace.
It Begins With Your Mindset:
There is a theory that some happy people are genetically wired with it. Meaning they are born happy and remain happy for the majority of their lives. Although this does not mean that other people cannot be happy. You can actually train your mind to be happy that you can do by changing your mindset.
Look at things in your life differently. Everything happening in your life has its reasons behind it. So appreciate what you already have. Trust me; it is going to have a remarkable impact on your life.
Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around, says Leo F. Buscaglia.
There is no doubt that we totally ignore or neglect the power of a smile. This small act of affection can lighten up someone's day, and you won't even know it. This also doesn't require any effort. So smile as much as you can. Smile to yourself in the mirror, smile to your loved ones, friends, colleagues, or even a stranger. You are going to feel the positive effect of it.
Humans sometimes have problems to function if they do not have a goal or target to achieve. They just won't know what to do with themselves or with their lives. So you must set goals in your life. It doesn't matter how insignificant it seems if it is for a short period or longer if it is a small or huge goal.
Just have a goal. But also keep in mind to not get discouraged if you cannot accomplish it. Have a goal but also be content with what you have.
Paying gratitude for the things you have in life is a massive step one can take for feeling happiness. You must have noticed that there are so many people that can't even fulfill their basic needs. So make it a habit to count your blessings and be thankful for them.
It is a discipline you need to develop. Self-love doesn't mean thinking that everyone shall keep you on a pedestal and treat you likewise. It means to set certain boundaries to protect your mental peace and health.
Do not let any sort of negativity affect you mentally, emotionally, or even physically. Treat yourself when you feel down. If you are not going to prioritize yourself, then no one will.
Positivity is one of the most powerful weapons to keep you happy and fighting with negative feelings. Think as positive as you can, surround yourself with positive people. You are what you consume.
If you are consuming negativity, then you are going to attract negativity as well. Therefore, you must surround yourself with positivity so as to not get affected and keep away the negative thoughts.
Whenever a problem arrives in our lives, we just lose control. That is because we focus so much on the problem. We panic, thinking about the problem rather than finding its solution.
You cannot escape from having problems in your life. Everyone faces that, so will you. But it is the approach of focusing on solving it that will make a difference. It is a step taken towards happiness.
Learn to let go:
Admit it; no matter how prepared you are, there will be situations and things in your life that will be out of your control. No matter how much you want things to go your way, it will not always be the case.
So the only thing you can do at the time is to let go. Make peace with the truth and just accept it. This is one of the hardest things to practice, but it is the most rewarding as well.
Try helping others:
There is no more gratification than in acts while helping others. When you help others, it is going to make them happy. And happiness is a contagious feeling. Their happiness will affect you, as well. It will also make you feel accomplished in a way.
Keep your life simple:
Life has always meant to be simple. But people have complicated it too much by having unrealistic wants and desires. As a result, we feel unhappy when they are not fulfilled.
Prioritize what you really need in your life. The majority of things we wish for are not even needed in our lives. So keep it simple and satisfactory to have a happy life.
Do Things You Love:
There is no doubt that we feel good after we spare time doing things we love. You will feel positive and refreshed. It will make you feel as if you had done something meaningful.
So go ahead and give importance to things you love doing. Develop hobbies if you have none. Don't neglect it for the things that are demanded from you but add no value to your life.
Work For Something You Believe In:
Everyone has a set of beliefs that they have developed. And there are going to be events or activities that are related to or supports your own beliefs. Go ahead and participate in them. Doing so will make you feel fulfilled and validated.
Appreciate and celebrate the simple things you experience:
When I had volunteered back in my college for a workshop, I was paid for it. That was my very first earning, no matter how small. That earning is insignificant to what I earn now. But it meant so much to me.
I bought pastries for my family members with that and saved the rest. Appreciating my earnings that day and sharing the glee with my loved ones just doubled my happiness for that.
So appreciate and celebrate the smallest things you achieve and experience in your life. Share them with the loved ones in your life. It will increase your happiness ten-folds.