What is Happiness and why does one need to be happy ?
Updated: Apr 14
"Happiness is a Choice"
Aeschylus, an ancient Greek playwright, once said, “Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.” I have often wondered and even asked myself 'What does happiness mean to me?”.
The answer had changed over the years as I went through different phases of my life’s journey. As a kid, it meant keeping my mum happy by getting good grades at school. As an adolescent, it meant behaving good enough to want people to be friends with me. As a professional, it meant doing well at my job and getting rewarded and praised for it. As a wife, it meant being the best one at keeping everyone round me pleased & satiated. As a mother, it meant having the best for my child and his overall well-being. So you get the drift…right?
The one thing common in all of these scenes is that I was looking for my happiness through external sources. I was focusing on what was making people around me happy and adapting accordingly. But the reality was, I was never truly happy in the real sense. There was always a void, a vacuum, an abyss waiting to be filled by ME and I was trying to fill it from others. It took me half a lifetime of unpleasant experiences to realize that the key to my happiness was always with me. I was trying to outsource it to others, who naturally had their own crux to carry, and I was burdening them with more. Of Course, I was going to be disappointed.
Ever heard of anyone putting down their baggage to carry someone else’s?
That’s the thing you see – you can't keep depending on external validations for love and happiness. As long as you keep doing that, you will always be looking on the outside to complete you. The day I learnt this ‘secret’ to being happy – there was no looking back.
So, what is happiness ?
Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can't help but smile. It's the opposite of sadness. It’s a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It's feeling warm and fuzzy inside and extending the feeling to your surroundings. You radiate positivity and people want to be around you, be your friends, talk to you.
Why does one need to be happy ?
Happy people make more money and are more productive at work.
Happiness is good for our health; happy people are less likely to get sick, and they live longer.
Happiness is good for our relationships.
Happy people are more likely to get married and to have fulfilling marriages, and they have more friends.
Happy people are more generous.
Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.
Happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.
There’s a strong co-relation between Mental Health and Happiness. You like being with Family and friends. You are in a position to help an unhappy person or a situation. You will find you let things slide by that aren’t working for you without the whining. You will find the strength to be resilient in dire conditions and look for ways to bounce back. You won’t feel more free of controlling your relationships. You tend to work on differences with love an respect instead of blame. The best thing is you learn to have the same respect and love for yourself.
There are some acts of kindness a happy person does for themselves.
Committing to doing one nice thing for yourself every day.
Listening to yourself - Forgiving yourself.
Accepting yourself as you are right now.
Eliminating toxic people in your life and workplace.
Prioritizing your health - Stop skipping meals.
Giving yourself a welcoming space
Getting some sunlight.
Today I know I am Happy because
I choose to have healthy relationships
I can let go of the Drama
I have a Go-Giver mindset
I can make all my decisions with integrity
I am able to have good emotional boundaries
I can practice patience and mindfulness easily
I have learnt to upgrade my happiness to joy
Now Happiness for me is meeting a girlfriend for coffee and talking my heart out, playing with my child (oh yes – I have learnt video games can be fun too), strolling in the park and taking in the beauty Mother Nature around me, seeking gratitude for the bounty of pleasure I have been blessed with, cooking for my family, walking the dog, sometimes just letting the house work be and lazing around, the list is endless I have understood that the power to be is within me and not outside.
I have come to realize that Happiness is a choice and not a result. Nothing will make me happy until I choose to be happy.