No matter what your aim in life is. No matter what your dreams and goals are. At the core of it all, you are only ever looking for one thing. And that is to be happy.
Happiness is one of those feelings we have all felt, and it might be fair to say that words may not do justice when trying to describe how it really feels. When you are happy, you just know it. There is no mistaking it.
Happiness, if you need to describe it, is a feeling of pleasure and joy. You feel a certain level of exuberance throughout your body and you just feel “good”.
There may be different levels of happiness and even different kinds of happiness, but you generally feel ecstatic if you are happy. It is a feeling that everyone wants to feel. And it is for this singular feeling that you do what you do.
When you were a child, it was really easy to keep yourself happy. There were no worries or stress, and all you really knew was how to enjoy life and live every moment with a beautiful sense of curiosity. Life was really simpler back then.
However, as you grew up, and the weight of responsibilities got heavier, you started losing the ability to stay happy all the time. This is one of the biggest tragedies of modern times.
It’s not to say that adults are not happy. They are. There are many things we do and achieve that make us happy. It is just that, as adults, we seek ways to be happy instead of just being able to stay in that state all the time.
In fact, that even sounds impossible to do. Regardless, if you know how to be happy, by all means, you should indulge in doing that and doing as much of it as you possibly can.
Are There Different Types of Happiness?
All happiness feels the same. And you can seldom tell the difference. However, there are different types of happiness according to many psychologists and spiritual masters.
These are mainly based on some particular sources that cause happiness, all in their own unique ways. There are mainly seven types of happiness which are discussed below in brief:
1. Physical Happiness
Health is the greatest wealth. This statement was said for a reason. As is usually the case with feelings, happiness originates from within and only when you are physically and mentally healthy, can you be happy in the first place.
You don’t always think about it but consider the time when you got sick and then recovered. Didn’t you feel happy that you recovered to full health?
The joy you feel when you are fit, strong and can do anything you want to do is subtle yet quite powerful. It is something that lurks in the background, yet is something that is really prominent.
2. Social Happiness
We, humans, are social animals. Your interactions and unique dynamics with society at large play a huge role in how you feel. If you achieve your ideal social status and have strong relationships with friends, family, colleagues and anyone else, it brings you a special kind of joy.
You feel loved and secure knowing that there are people around you, on whom you can always rely.
3. Happiness From Nature
Have you ever been amidst nature and felt so ecstatic and peaceful at that moment that you almost wanted to never go back to civilisation again? We have all felt it, and there is a good reason for that.
We, essentially, came from nature and so we have roots to all things in nature. It is only in most recent times that we built a civilisation for ourselves and started dwelling in concrete jungles in contrast to the real ones we used to dwell tens of thousands of years ago.
You feel at home, with fresh air surrounding you, crystal clear water at your feet, open blue sky above you and a general sense of peace permeating your very being when you are amongst nature. That is the kind of happiness you don’t get to feel often.
4. Vocational Happiness
Your work forms a huge and significant part of your life. In fact, it becomes your identity and people associate who you are with what you do. If you love what you do and enjoy the journey, that provides you with a sense of special satisfaction that, in turn, generates immense happiness.
When things are really going well, it makes you feel you are on cloud nine and that is a beautiful feeling.
5. Spiritual Happiness
Few people walk this path, but those who do know how special it is. Getting in touch with the unbelievable forces within you and feeling one with everything is something that sounds like the stuff of movies.
However, all of it is very real. As real as anything can be. Spiritual masters stand proof of the fact that there is a certain level of alignment and mastery you can achieve within yourself that can help you achieve a perpetual state of happiness and bliss.
6. Intellectual Happiness
As adults, there is a lot of figuring out of things that we do on a daily basis. So, your intellect is a tool that you can’t seem to use enough. When you can comprehend something, remember it and explain it to others, you feel intellectually happy.
On top of that, when you can solve complex problems using your intelligence, it makes you especially happy and confident in your abilities.
One of the most awesome qualities that we have is that of humour. The ability to make something funny and laugh no matter the situation.
There is a reason why comedy movies and tv shows are so popular. People just want to laugh and forget all their stress and problems. Also, as they say, laughter is the best medicine. Doing so generates feelings of well-being and ecstasy and you just feel alive. In real terms.
Why Is Happiness Important?
The importance of happiness in your life cannot be stressed enough. It is a fundamental pillar of a well-lived life. One grave misconception that people have is that happiness is a destination that can be achieved if they do certain things.
That is not the case at all. Happiness has to be a constant companion if you want to do those things effectively.
Many psychologists talk about the significance of happiness and how it affects almost all key aspects of human life. Everything you do is automatically enhanced if you are happy.
It acts as a catalyst for your actions, whose effects are often beyond your imagination. This is not something that many people think about, and that is clear from their quality of life.
We often see that truly happy people are more successful in many areas of their lives. Their work is phenomenal, their relationships are healthy, they are also healthy physically and mentally.
They just live a much more peaceful life. Happy people also do more volunteer work and contribute more to charity, which makes them even happier.
Much of the chaos that you see in the world today is the direct result of individuals not being able to sustain happiness. In extreme cases, this can lead to antisocial behaviour, political instability, and even wars.
Such is the sad state of affairs in the world. If everybody could be happy, it would set off a chain reaction that would make the world a much more pleasant and prosperous place to live in.
Does Happiness Come From Within?
The popular answer to this question is that happiness comes from within. And while that is very true, the fact that external factors influence the way you feel cannot be ignored.
It is important to understand the dual concepts if you want to understand how happiness (and feelings & emotions in general) really work.
We all know that every single feeling or emotion generates deep within us. There is no doubt about it, if it doesn’t come from within, it’s simply not real.
That is the reason why you can’t fool yourself into feeling a particular way. Happiness, like any other feeling, also comes from within.
However, the stimuli for that happiness often come from the outside. When you see a cute little kitten, for example, you feel happy. The feeling of happiness comes from within, but it was in response to something external.
When your friend finally achieves his long-standing goals, you feel happy. Again, internal feeling, external stimulus. You will find this to be true in most cases.
But there are ways you can generate happiness within you with no external factors. And to do that, you will need to explore spirituality in quite some depth.
Spiritual masters often say that when you can just sit down and focus on your inner being, you need nothing else to make you happy. They speak about an inner dimension that, when touched, provides you with infinite bliss and happiness. It is certainly something to think about and try for yourself.
What Does Happiness Feel Like?
If you are a human being, which I’m assuming you are, you don’t actually need an answer to this question. Since your childhood, there must have been countless moments where you felt happier than you could handle.
When you are happy, you just know it. You feel all sorts of good feelings permeating throughout your physical and mental being.
You feel as light as a feather that is blowing around in the wind, without a single care in the world. It is almost like a spiritual experience in that way. Internally, the body has many chemical reactions to sustain that feeling. It releases dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and others that keep your mood elevated.
Also, happiness leads to other great feelings like feeling strong, powerful, motivated, inspired, optimistic, pride, joy, pleasure, contentment and countless others. It is no wonder happiness is the number one goal of people these days. Who wouldn’t want to feel all of these constantly?
Is Happiness A Choice?
Happiness can most certainly be a choice. It might sound counter-intuitive to hear that as we’ve established that you can’t fool yourself into being happy.
It is something that happens internally and can’t be faked. The main point is that happiness can still be chosen and you can take steps that will ensure that you achieve it.
The first thing you have to do is declare that you will be a happy person, no matter what. Prepare your mind to be happy. For that, you need to do a bit of reorganising in your life.
Pay heed to the state of things as far as your career, relationships and health are concerned. Then you need to decide what you want to achieve in each of these areas in your life. Consider this as your starting point.
After that, you can perform certain rituals that will slowly but surely instill a deep sense of happiness and gratitude in your life. You will develop a zeal towards life itself and you will start looking forward to each day with enthusiasm. It will happen in small steps, but the important thing is that it will happen.
As for the daily rituals, you can start by counting your blessings every day. It might not feel like it, but there are many things to be grateful for. You already have more than enough to feel happy about. Counting these every day will provide you with the perspective you need to be happy.
You can also start saying daily affirmations. These are really effective ways to rewire your brain into feeling happy all the time. You start feeling that you already have what you desire, which is a sure way of ensuring happiness. After all, it is the fulfilling of the infinite desires that provide you with constant doses of happiness.
One other important thing to do is meditation. You need to understand that happiness is an intangible force within you, and it will do you well to get in touch with it, and meditation helps immensely in that regard.
In fact, it opens you up to the larger picture and you just “know” what you have to do and how you have to do it. That sense of inner alignment work wonders for you and allow you to be constantly joyful.
Can You Learn To Be Happy?
Everyone has probably seen someone in their lives enter a phase of depression and anguish from which recovery seemed impossible. In fact, you might have experienced it yourself.
No matter how bad things get, it is always possible to learn to be happy again. Life takes us all on a rollercoaster of a ride, and it surely takes us to new highs after making us face new lows.
Learning to be happy, especially after a huge setback can be difficult, let’s not sugarcoat it.
However, the important thing is that you can do it. It might take some time and have some ups and downs of its own, but you will eventually get there if you keep at it. Constant progress, no matter how small, is bound to get you to your destination one day.
As with most things in life, your friends and family will form a huge part of your recovery. We sometimes shun them when we are dealing with rough patches, but we actually need to do the opposite.
They are your biggest and strongest support structure, and their role becomes even more important when you are feeling down. Their mere presence can be enough for many to start the recovery process.
They may also make you look at things in a different way or suggest ways to get out of the hole you find yourself in. They will be ready to provide any help you need and will go beyond their means to make sure you are back on your feet.
With continuous support from them and continuous efforts from your side, you will be able to take small steps that will turn into strides and you will finally be able to feel truly happy again.
How Does Happiness Reduce Stress?
Just as water puts out fire, happiness puts out stress. It can be said that happiness and stress are on the opposite ends of the spectrum of human emotions. How many times do you find yourself feeling stressed when you are happy or feeling happy when you are stressed? It rarely happens.
Stress has an accumulative effect, which means it can build over time to levels that are simply unsustainable. This is where little spurts of happy moments are important. They help bring our stress levels down so they don’t keep building to an uncontrollable level.
Biologically speaking, when you are happy, your body releases certain hormones that help you elevate your mood and provide you with a general sense of well-being.
Some of them we have already mentioned above – dopamine, serotonin, etc. These hormones have a direct impact on stress. They quite literally reduce it.
Does Happiness Make You Live Longer?
Happiness promotes healthier internal chemistry, and so it definitely has a direct impact on the longevity of your life. Many studies have been conducted that show a link between happiness and long life.
One study, in particular, found that older people are up to 35% less likely to die if they report feeling happy.
According to researchers, positive emotions could be responsible for the better physical health of human beings. There are a number of reasons for this.
The regions of the brain that are involved in the “chemistry of happiness” are also involved in blood vessel function and inflammation. We all know how important it is for blood vessels to function optimally for good health.
Another very important reason is that a person who is happier has much lower levels of the stress hormone called cortisol.
Higher and prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream have been shown to have several negative effects on the body like impaired cognitive performance, suppressed thyroid function, blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia.
It is no surprise that staying happy has a significantly positive effect on your body. Your physical, mental and emotional well-being are all taken care of if you are just happy. All of this helps you live a long and highly enriched life. This is all we can really ask for.
How Can You Be Happier In Life?
In the modern world, the search for happiness has become like the search for the fountain of youth. People don’t really get anywhere. There are a lot of factors at play, but our inability to stay happy for longer periods of time is one of the most important ones.
It is not that difficult to be happy in life, though. You only really need to do a certain number of things, and that in itself will be enough to fill your life with more happiness than you could have wished for.
These are things that you might have already heard and may sound like cliched solutions. However, when you try them out, you realise that the solutions were always staring you in the face.
The first thing you need to do is clean up your life. It does away with old negative energies and invites fresh positive energy.
It entails not only cleaning out your living or workspaces, but also abstract spaces in your mind and emotions. This might take you a while, but it will be well worth it. This will be like laying the groundwork.
Next comes having clarity about what you want to achieve in life. Not knowing is one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety for most people, so it is imperative that you figure these things out as quickly as possible.
You should follow the advice of great people in history and current times and just do what you love. Following your heart may get a bad rep, but people have found great success and happiness doing exactly that.
You also need to adopt several good habits that you can follow daily. This also means putting an end to bad ones. This will contribute immensely towards slowly building ever-lasting happiness.
Your life is in your own hands. You have the sole responsibility to make something beautiful out of it.
Yes, there will be ups and downs. You will feel sad and stressed at times. But that’s normal. That happens to literally every single person on the planet. And frankly, that is important. It makes you stronger and wiser.
What you do learn from difficult times and what you take from positive experiences will define what your life looks like. You owe it to yourself to achieve your dreams and live a happy life. We have all got a very limited time on this planet. It only makes sense to make the most of it.
So decide for yourself.
Do you want to spend this time being stressed out and sad? Or do you want to march along with your head held high and a huge smile on your face?
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