Are you happy?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Am I happy?
Surprising to me how many of my clients never ask themselves this question. I appreciate why so many people avoid this question but pretending you’re life is ok is not going to improve your situation. A big clue to whether you’re happy or not will certainly be evident in your daily life. If you find yourself binge eating, drinking to excess, angry, or numbing the pain with some other kind of addiction, then it may well be time, to be honest with yourself.
Secondly, if you’re the kind of person who is looking for happiness in some fictitious distant future, then this potentially could lead to an unhappy place, as happiness is not a destination. Things to look out for;
I’ll be happy when I get a better job. I’ll be happy when I have more money. I’ll be happy when I find the love of my life. I’ll be happy when I get promoted. I’ll be happy when I have lost some weight. Again a big clue you are searching for happiness.
Happiness Is A Fleeting Emotion
Happiness is not something we get from buying a flashy car, a new home or the latest I-phone, as it’s so transient. For a brief moment, you’re thrilled with your new purchase, and within a very short time, you will go back to how you felt before. Psychologists call this hedonic treadmill (also known as hedonic adaptation) which is a theory that people repeatedly return to their baseline level of happiness, regardless of their life situation. Essential to be aware of if you want more in your life.
Nothing Wrong In Wanting More
Nothing wrong with wanting more I hasten to add here, however, if this is wrapped up in wanting more happiness, then this neverending cycle could lead you to nowhere. You only have to look at some people who have an abundance of wealth, and still walk around as if they were carrying the world on their shoulders. Equally, there are people, and I’m sure you know a few who have very little and yet they are very content.
Happiness does not come from things, status, or power; it simply comes from within. Being happy right now is a great place to begin. You only have to watch young children to fully understand this, as they live in this very moment. Happy to splash in the puddle, or sit in a cardboard box. They are not worrying about tomorrow, or what to put on for dinner; they are simply here and now. Bronnie Ware, who was a palliative nurse and cared for patients in their last 12 weeks of life, wrote a bestselling book, Top five regrets of the dying, and this is number five. Bronnie writes;
I wish that I had let myself be happier. “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”
I Have No Money!
Now you may be wondering how you could be happy when you have debt, work to be done, people to care for and so on. I get it. However, focusing on the negative parts of your life will never create happiness. Happiness comes from putting your direction in all the things in your life which are going well. Being grateful, thankful, appreciative is the perfect ingredient to a happier life. As when you can be thankful for what you have, life becomes easier and seems to flow.
Paradoxically more appears to come into your life from this place. I do understand that if you are sceptical, or going through a particularly challenging time, how what I’m saying could appear to be bs, however, why not give it a try?
Give It A Go
I always encourage my clients who find it difficult to see how this could change their lives, to give it a go. If how you’ve been living up to now is not so good, then what have you got to lose? I would suggest writing down five things a day you are grateful for and see what happens