What Creates Happiness?

What a thrill it was to attend the World Happiness Summit this year and hear so many speakers address gratitude, values, and social connection as part of the path to our happier selves.

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Even better was the focus on a ‘WE’ culture, the discussion of finding a balance between focussing on ourselves and on others. We have to add value to feel value! Say that one more time please!

It seems in the last several years or last decade, we hear and talk about self care, a phenomenal idea and I’m all for it. So many of us get into a serving or helping frenzy until we aren’t always making our life a priority. Yet it’s all about balance, right? Self care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. The idea behind self care is to create our wholeness in order that we can help others.

Listening to more than one speaker talk about relational and community values gave me a long-needed sense of relief. It’s easy sometimes to lose sight of the big picture. What happens when we stay too focussed on only our values, our happiness, our well being? Society erodes, doesn’t it?

What were some of the juicy points reiterated over the weekend? How do we enjoy real happiness or joy? What doesn’t make us truly happy?

It’s important we embrace the idea of relational values, not just our individual ones. We are seeing an need to get out of our own heads a bit and focus on the larger screen.

Another way is to we create social connections, even with complete strangers. Connection is so much more healing once we make the effort. Helping and treating others rather than ourselves is almost a promise of true joy.

And gratitude! This is one of my favorite topics. Several speakers suggested we write a note of gratitude, and if possible, deliver it to the recipient and share the message with them personally. Imagine the impact this might have on both parties. This will bring me to tears, I’m quite sure.

What are the truthbombs in what does NOT make us happy? No surprise … materialism! We can keep gathering all the things, but happiness comes from a deeper space. Also, perfectionism or getting the best grades delivers little to no happiness.

Instead, gratitude, mindfulness, mind wandering, and taking the time to savor all of these moments and experiences as if you can ‘taste’ them. Be healthy: practice physical exercise, get rest and sleep, meditate, eat healthy choices for you and the planet. Yes, one speaker did address this, how we can eat mindfully for ourselves and all other living things on our planet. Of course, these are all individual choices, yet we all affect the life around us.

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