Happiness is a state of being that most people strive for. It is a positive emotion that can be caused by many things, including enjoying a good meal, spending time with loved ones, or achieving a personal goal.

Happiness is a very personal thing, and what makes one person happy may not have the same effect on another.

Find out more in the video below, or scroll further down for a transcript to read.

What Does Happiness Mean To You? – Video Transcript

What does happiness mean to you?

Thanks to our ancestors we have a natural negative bias towards the world, which means we are constantly expecting danger and bad things to happen.

Did you know that 80% of our daily thoughts are negative and that the average person has up to 60,000 thoughts per day, 80% of those are negative, and 95% are repetitive? It’s why we get wound up over the one car that cuts us off, while we forget about hundreds of others who are kind and courteous to us.

Back to – what does happiness mean to you.

  • So how often do you find yourself grasping for something that you think is going to make you happy?
  • Do we even know what makes us happy?
  • Or are we just chasing illusions that might drive us into misery instead of joy?

Research shows that having our basic material needs met has a powerful impact on emotional well-being and our sense of contentment. A roof over our heads, having enough food to eat, clothes to wear, and having some money in the bank is all part of that.

But acquiring more stuff than we need has little to no effect, more is definitely not the recipe to make us happier. Because, when we have all this extra stuff,  we tend to take it all for granted, and happiness continuously slips through our fingers. We seem to be looking for the next super duper thing, whether it’s exotic holidays, the latest fashion, phones, or cars… and when we have these latest ‘things’, the ‘happy feeling’ we are looking for, is so fleeting, and we are left grasping for the next new thing, feeling empty, probably not very happy, and our bank balance will no doubt be a bit worse for wear.

And then the search for happiness starts all over again.

So what does makes us all warm and fuzzy?

What do we feel when we’re seen, loved, valued and appreciated, even when life is difficult?

What do we notice when we offer help to someone in need, even if we don’t have that much ourselves?

We all thrive and are happy when we are connected to our fellow humans in some way, it’s so important to feel valued, respected and heard as part of our quest for happiness.

We need to connect with ourselves before can connect to others?  Here are a couple of suggestions of how to connect to yourself:

1) Be brave, say hello to yourself in the mirror every morning, because I am willing to bet, you don’t appreciate the person looking back at you in first thing in the morning.

Enjoy being you, and notice how taking delight in yourself makes you feel, even if you have to fake it a bit until you make it.

Do it, look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say Hello Joan, (using your name obviously), and look at yourself in the eyes, the windows of your soul, and really look and say hello from your heart, with true appreciation, ultimately this is the foundation for full-on happiness!

2) Next, how often do we look back at the experiences in our lives with appreciation?  More often than not we dwell on negative experiences without looking at the value and learning we can get from them. My biggest personal growth spurts have come from these negative experiences, or opportunities, as I like to see them. They also give me a really good bench mark of how much I have grown.

We can’t grow from getting it perfectly right every time, we only grow from getting things wrong, and learning from these negative experiences, or opportunities, so try going back to a few of the experiences that you think have been bad, and see the path you have followed since, and perhaps you can see that the path you have been on, would not have happened, had you not had this negative experience.

It is really helpful to choose to see every experience, good and bad, with curiosity, and interest, and the challenging ones as an opportunity.

3) And lastly, when you take good care of yourself and others, notice how that can make you happy.

We need to be careful not be a people pleaser, because that can lead us down the wrong garden path, so we need to learn to be happy in our own skins, that’s why you need to start with looking in the mirror in the mornings, and really value yourself, so that you can put healthy boundaries in place, so that you can take care of others, so we can be happy and okay with whatever life serves us, and dive in to live life fully.

When we can appreciate everything that life brings us, because it’s going to come anyway, even the things we think we don’t want, like illness, then maybe that happiness thing won’t be so elusive after all.

It can be challenging, maybe even daunting, but when you can discover what happiness truly means for you, everything that comes your way can be welcomed, and we can boost our joy by noticing the goodness both within and outside of ourselves.

That’s my sharing for today.

Feeling troubled or stressed? Find a way to manage stress and anxiety by discovering a solution that works FOR YOU.