Happiness can be an elusive feeling at times; we base our happiness on things, how many times do you hear the expression, I will be happy when I lose weight, have more money, find a lover or buy a new car. If we base our happiness on such fragile things we set ourselves up for a reality shock at some point, being happy does not rely on having stuff or a person in our lives, it is a feeling, an authentic way of being, this comes from within.
As adults we have lost the ability to see the fun in simple pursuits. We over complicate things, we tend to live in the future, rather than enjoying the present moments. Living in the moment is one step to being contented, if we are constantly talking in the future tense we are not living abundantly. Happy people share, they give without expectation, they stop waiting for something to happen, and they create the world they want to live in, by simply being authentic.
Honesty with yourself and others is a great start to becoming a more centred and balanced person, if you are always compromising your ideals then you are not living in your own truth. We can all get a fix of happiness, eating chocolate, buying something, watching a favourite movie, but these are all quick fixes and do not fulfil the human psyche long term.
Acceptance of things you cannot change brings emotional freedom, having achievable goals keeps you focused rather than striving for something you may feel is unobtainable, look to the things you have rather than focusing on what you feel you lack. Happiness should be organic, if it is forced you are not being true or owning your own emotions.
Some scientists believe that genetics can play a role on whether you are optimistic or pessimistic, David Lykken a geneticist “believes our feeling of well-being at any moment is determined half by what is going on in our lives at that time and half by a “set point” of happiness, which is up to 90 percent genetically determined and to which we eventually return after dramatic events.
“While our happiness set point is largely determined by our genes,” says Lykken, “whether we bounce along above it or slump along under it depends on our — or our parents’ — good sense and good training.”
Regardless of whether our genetic inheritance has any influence over our happiness genes, I believe we are not at the mercy of them. Our mind can train the thought process to see and respond differently. Personally short term fixes do not work, creating a new mind set on your own reality will have more far reaching consequences.
People that are lucky or have lucky breaks in life have a happier attitude to life in general, it is their perceptions that create opportunity, and they see the gift in each situation.
Our mind chatter can be our biggest enemy; it can sabotage our greatest ideas, by being more spontaneous about life and enjoying the simple pleasure like family, friends, walking and creative pursuits, we can build a small mind library of happy emotions. When we feel our energy dropping we can recall these memories, by adding a positive memory file you will eventually create your inner journal.
When my mother died, my mind focused solely on the last few days of her life, my thoughts were fixed on this timeline, joy and happiness seemed to elude me, I needed a coping mechanism and began to build up a journal of her life, after a few weeks instead of feeling grief I understood that my memories were made up of 44 years not just the two days she was in the hospice.
My inner dialogue had changed from one of sadness to remembering the laughter and joy she had given her family. If we allow our perceptions to change we can see the world in a better light.
© Paula Wratten 2013