Happiness Is a State of Mind
In today's society, happiness seems to be the common goal. However, as much as we pursue it, happiness seems to escape us.
There are hundreds of books and conferences that claim to have the formulas for happiness, but they’re all very vague. Many of them state that happiness comes from the outside. They believe that happiness is at the top of a mountain you have to climb. However, the truth is that happiness is a state of mind.
Happiness depends on circumstances and, therefore, individuality. That’s why happiness will be different for each person.
Looking for happiness on the outside is a mistake
Everything around you urges you to seek happiness outside of yourself. If you buy that new car, you’ll be happy. If you find a new partner, you’ll be happy. This is why it’s so tempting to keep biting the apple of advertising. The dangerous thing about this is that advertising talks about joy, not happiness.
Happiness is more permanent and doesn’t disappear as easily and as fast as bubbles in champagne. Likewise, it’s an echo that withstands emotions. Whatever happens, it stays inside of you. Maybe it’s a special ability to pick up the pieces in your life and learn from them.
“Unable to find happiness within ourselves, we desperately look for it outside, in objects, in experiences, in ever stranger ways of thinking and acting. In short, we get further away from happiness by looking for it where it simply isn’t to be found.”
The power of our thoughts
If happiness is a state of mind, then your thoughts are the main actors. Your emotions or circumstances often motivate them. Also, they often don’t follow the script in favor of your interests. However, the good news is that you can intervene in that script. You just need to observe your thoughts. For this purpose, it may be a good idea to practice meditation.
Observe the great number of automatic thoughts that you have throughout the day. Identify how many are complaints, judgments, regrets, or self-criticisms. Becoming aware of this is very important. It’ll allow you to discover or re-discover a part of yourself that you may have forgotten or perhaps never worked on.
If you start seeing mistakes or failures as opportunities, then you’ll be taking a big step towards realizing that happiness is a state of mind. For example, maybe getting fired could be that push you need to change jobs, something that you’ve always wanted to do. Favoring positive thoughts over negative ones is the key.
Feeling good doesn’t mean that no negative thoughts cross your mind. Instead, it’ll be a more difficult place for them to grow. As pointed out by Matthieu Ricard, a person who many consider ‘the happiest man in the world’, we can think of the sea to help us understand this. Although the sea’s surface is altered by the wind or waves, its depths remain calm.
“By happiness I mean here a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being. Happiness is also a way of interpreting the world, since while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it.”
Happiness is a state of mind
Many people think that happiness is well-being, while others consider it balance. It’s not momentary, but rather something permanent. For this to be possible, you have to find your own definition of happiness.
Straying away from the ‘happiness’ advertisers tell you you need is the first step. More than buying things, happiness is all about deciding and choosing wisely. Because in the end, happiness is a state of mind.