It's the Little Things That Make Us Happy
Happiness is something that we don’t always know how to define very well, but that we all long for. Sometimes we even create a tremendous state of unhappiness as a result of the demands we put on ourselves to find happiness, whoever turns up, whatever happens.
If you ask people where happiness is found, you will usually get answers that refer to external things, things which fade, that are out of our control.
But reality isn’t like that. Neither health nor money nor love makes us happy and believing that your state of wellbeing depends on these areas of your life working out is a great mistake, which at the end of the day will make you more unhappy.
Where do we tend to seek out happiness?
Unfortunately people have invented hundreds of irrational beliefs. Unbreakable precepts that mark our path, whether we like it or not. In fact, questioning them can create the same vertigo as leaning out over a steep cliff. We take them as a command, we let ourselves be guided by them, we make them our own and we even defend them even if they make us suffer.
We mistakenly believe that if we have these needs and demands met then we will be happy, and on the contrary, if a crack opens up and we don’t meet our expectations, we will feel miserable. These are loads that nobody can carry, including ourselves.
Normally these beliefs refer to the approval of others, to our perfect performance in some important task, to money, to health, to having a stable relationship that works perfectly, to being a mother, to being someone interesting and charismatic, etc. etc.
Really, there are many types of beliefs and each person has their own, but basically they have to do with what we just listed. “Work gives you dignity”, “You’re going to miss the opportunity”, “Money makes you happy”, “Health is the most important thing you have”...
People tend to seek happiness in those things, which makes us impose unrealistic expectations on ourselves and in the end makes us unhappy. In fact, studies confirm that more and more of our needs are covered but we are less happy than in the past, and that this phenomenon is increasing.
What does make us happy?
If we own more and more and we live more and more comfortably, with more abundance, why are we more unhappy? What isn’t working?
What’s going wrong is that we believe that external things will make us happy. It is true that getting the job of your dreams, finding a partner who loves you and treats you well, or having money, does give us pleasure, but it is short term. And it is pleasure, not happiness.
Humans quickly get used to what they have and so need more and more, so there’s no limit, people are never content and that has a lot of implications.
Who hasn’t heard of millionaires who have stolen? Didn’t they have enough? Who doesn’t know someone who is killing themselves working despite the fact that they could live just fine working half as much?
When people realize that they aren’t happy despite having everything, they think that the solution is something more than what they already have: work longer hours, try to be better-looking, make more money, travel more, desperately look for a partner… and so the fall hurts even more.
What these people don’t know is that happiness is found within themselves, in their attitude, in how they decide to enjoy life and how their value scale works
Happiness depends on how you appreciate and enjoy what you have, whether it is a lot or little. There are people who have very little and are much happier than those who have mansions and great fortunes.
There are also examples of people who have everything and end up committing suicide, after leading a whole life taking all sorts of psychological drugs.
If you want to be happy, start by appreciating everything around you and stop complaining about what you don’t have. It is almost impossible for all areas of your life to be complete at once, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy with what’s already in your hands.
The smell of coffee in the morning, your little daughter’s smile, dancing to a song in the middle of the living room with your partner, running after butterflies with your dogs, seeing the stars, a good conversation on the beach feeling the breeze on your face, opening a bottle of wine with a hot bath… These are the little things that give us happiness, don’t you think?