Happiness is the new normal, but what is the trick of being happy?
31. Juli 2020
Happiness is the new normal.
Have you realized that happiness is „the new normal“? If you stroll through the magazine row in your supermarket, you find a whole corner with journals about “Happy Life”. You can read about „How to find true happiness“, „The Happiness Factor“, and simply about “Be Happy” all the time.
What is happiness?
But what is this term called happiness? Asking the Oxford English Dictionary it simply states „the state of being happy.“ But how can I reach this state? What if I don´t feel happy all the time, even unlearned to be happy?
Diving deeper into the definition and looking after “happy” at the same place, I found “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. But where do we get this feeling of contentment?
What makes you content?
First of all, you have to find ways to feel content, to define what pleases you on a deeper level. Is it taking a little time-out to read a book, booking yourself a massage or buying the new skirt you saw the other day? Or is it something on the outside like spending time with your friends and family, or preparing a surprise party for your lover?
What I learned throughout my readings about happiness and the state of being happy is, that it all comes from within. It is not something you can find on the outside. It is something, which has to be inherently available and easily accessible. It is the little things, which make you feel content.
Happiness comes from within. Really?
The more astonished I was the other day, when I picked up my phone and got a message saying: “Paradoxically the best way to make ourselves happier is by focusing on the happiness of others.” It was the Headspace App, an App for meditation, who had sent me this push-up notice. I like these little reminders they sent out on a daily basis to give you a little heads-up on mindfulness and carefully watching your thoughts.
But wasn´t this contrary to what I had read many times before? Contrary to the general opinion that happiness is something which has to come from within?”
I pondered about it, thinking how they could´ve meant it, until I finally had to admit that it´s true.
Make someone happy and you will feel happy.
Think about giving a present to someone. Do you remember how you feel, while you are in the shops, trying to select the right gift, anticipating the joy and surprise once they unwrap the present? You already have this little smile on your face, seeing their happiness in front of your imaginary eye.
But it doesn´t only need to be a present. It can also be a little favor or pleasantry. It doesn´t need to be much. One of my kids really appreciates, if I spend a bit of time and fully give him my attention, when he is sick. He doesn´t need much. If I brew him a cup of tea, measure his temperature and wrap him in a warm blanket, he is fully happy.
Or you always remember to buy the “best chocolate ever” for your spouse at the airport, coming home from a business trip, because you know this is the only chocolate he/she will eat. Or taking the dog out for the neighbors, who are invited to their aunt and can´t bring the dog along.
It is the small things, which make the day for other and give you a deep feeling of contentment.
Find the balance and you will live a happier life.
In the end, I come to the conclusion, that both is true: happiness starts within you AND you will feel happier, if you make other people happy.
If we only care for others, we might feel exhausted and empty at some point. So, it is important to care for ourselves with the same enthusiasm as we do care for others. We have to look after our own needs and emotions to not burn ourselves in the pursuit of making other people happy. But doing a little something for our beloved ones from time to time can definitely boost our overall happiness.
„Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.“