Lessons Learned: Being Happy

I decided to look up the word “happy” when hearing a few people say how unhappy they are in life. So what is the best way to being happy? Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com, defines “Happy” in three ways:

Being pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.
This is the easiest to achieve. Little moments can bring definite joy in life. It can be an indirect feeling or sheer elation. Some moments of happiness are upfront and in your face, while others need to be drawn out. If you always let negative feelings come in, it’s harder to see the positive ones. Each night, think about what made you happy that day. If you weren’t happy, was it because of your attitude? Or, were you happy just being miserable? Hint: Acceptance is the first stage to recovery!

Showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment
This one is achievable but still requires work. Showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment can be a simple gesture that can go a long way for you and your recipient. But how can you make someone else feel happy if you’re not? What if you try to do your best but it comes out wrong?

My suggestion is don’t think about it so hard. Just do it. If you know that your mom likes flowers then surprise her with a colorful bouquet. Watch her face light up. If your neighbor’s wife is suffering an illness, bring them over a meal. Leave gratitude out of the picture. Do it because it makes you happy to help them out. A bonus is they’ll be happy because they have such a great neighbor.

Smiling can go a long way too. I love smiling at my grandson when he’s been crying or when he just wakes up from a nap. Seeing his mood lift and his face turn bright always makes me happy.

The pleasure and enjoyment because of your life situation
I believe this is where most people rate their happiness, and the one that is misinterpreted the most. I don’t believe there is a cut and dry “happiness” but more of a general, inside feeling.

If you are unhappy, think about your life-long efforts or situation. How did you get there? Did you or someone else weigh you down with too much responsibility? Are you letting peer pressure or ego get in the way so you’re blind to what true happiness is?

Just remember that sometimes the harder stuff, the life situation happiness, really isn’t so hard. Your happiness may be within you but is waiting to be pulled out. Take a moment to give yourself time to see and feel it. Define your happiness. Consider all three situations listed above, apply them all, and let that be your path.

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