How to Increase Your Happiness and Satisfaction in Life

Share happiness
Share happiness | Source

Introduction

In this time of financial strife and steadily rising jobless rates I'm sure many of you are scratching your head and thinking, "increase what happiness?" There are people losing their jobs on a daily basis, worse yet, there are people losing their homes with their marriages dissolving as a result. Happiness? Satisfaction?

John Lennon said, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” Let that sink in a minute. This is a very difficult time for very many people, and yet, through it all there is happiness to be found. We can find happiness in what we have, not what we want. It has been said, "the key to happiness in the heart", your happiness, YOUR heart!

Happiness

There are more "be happy quotes" on the Internet than you can imagine. Being happy and increasing that happiness is what keeps that smile on your face.

Laura T. Coffey tells us one way to be happy is to remain optimistic. I know that isn't always easy but thinking the glass is half full instead of half empty sure does make the glass look better. Try to look at the big picture and the good things that could happen. They might not be happening right not, and may not have for a long time but things can always get better no matter how bad they are. Trying to tell ourselves that can lighten the burdens just a bit.

Wikipedia defines happiness; "Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy." That's a huge range, but happiness and satisfaction with your life often go hand in hand.

We often think of happy people as those who have everything they want, but that isn't always true. There are happy people who have little or no possessions in the world, yet they are happy. They are happy because to them happiness is a state of mind and they are 'satisfied' with their lot in life. They have learned to live with things the way they are and not always desire other things, or want more of what they have. What makes these 'poor' people happy? The fact that they are alive and well, the fact that they have a loving family, the fact that they see the sun come up every morning. These are things that can make anyone happy.

There is an entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy about happiness which includes the theory that happiness may just be the opposite of depression. Possibly then happiness is just the state people are in when they are not sad. Yet as the title here indicates we often relate happiness to satisfaction moving it a bit beyond being just the opposite of depression.

Everyone wants to be happy. We like to watch happy movies with happy endings, we like to read happy books, and we like to be around happy people. All of these things, by the way, will help increase your happiness because happiness, like the flu, is contagious! Remember, if you've never been sad you'll never know happiness.

What are you grateful for? Stop and think a minute. Do the things you are grateful for make you happy? If you are happy with them are you satisfied as well? Sometimes we are happy and satisfied with our lives and don't even realize it. Oh sure, we'd like to have a Lincoln Continental in the driveway instead of a Chrysler Van, but, does it really matter? Doesn't the Chrysler get you where you want to go? Doesn't the Chrysler look nice when its clean? Doesn't it get good mileage? So, are you happy with it? Are you satisfied with it? In most cases the answer would be yes.


Happiness

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Enjoying their time togetherHappy on the outside and the insideThis is the funniest gift ever!A Happy coupleHappiness is playing in the leaves
Enjoying their time together
Enjoying their time together | Source
Happy on the outside and the inside
Happy on the outside and the inside | Source
This is the funniest gift ever!
This is the funniest gift ever! | Source
A Happy couple
A Happy couple | Source
Happiness is playing in the leaves
Happiness is playing in the leaves | Source

Synonyms for Satisfaction

  • achievement
  • bliss
  • cheefulness
  • comfort
  • delight
  • enjoyment
  • fulfillment
  • gratification
  • happiness
  • peace of mind
  • pleasure
  • relief
  • reward

Satisfaction

Speaking of satisfaction, what is satisfaction? Generally satisfaction and contentment are the same thing. Being content with your 'lot in life' isn't a difficult thing to achieve. I think I need to clarify here. Though I am speaking generally I do not think happiness and contentment can be applied or achieved by people living in oppression, war zones, or truly experiencing starvation though some of these people have. This is directed at your average person living under average/normal circumstances.

Before we go any further, of course I have to mention the Rolling Stones' song, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". Those of you from the sixties know this song is about sexuality and commercialism but regardless of what it's intentions were, many of us think of it immediately when we hear the word "satisfaction". Okay, back to what I was talking about. If we look at synonyms for "satisfaction" one of them is "happiness", so it is easy to say happiness and satisfaction go together.

Big corporations are always trying to satisfy their customers because they know if their customers are satisfied they are happy and will come back to buy more. Satisfaction! Being satisfied with your job helps you do a better job and makes those around you happier, because you are satisfied.

Happiness and satisfaction. So how do you increase them?

Contentment/Satisfaction

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Satisfied with their winter bathEnjoying the nice, cool snow, that's satisfactionHappy AND contentHappiness is hanging with your UncleHappiness is an afternoon nap
Satisfied with their winter bath
Satisfied with their winter bath | Source
Enjoying the nice, cool snow, that's satisfaction
Enjoying the nice, cool snow, that's satisfaction
Happy AND content
Happy AND content | Source
Happiness is hanging with your Uncle
Happiness is hanging with your Uncle | Source
Happiness is an afternoon nap
Happiness is an afternoon nap | Source

Increase Happiness and Satisfaction in Your Life

Of course, start with yourself. Take stock and look at all the good things. You really are a nice person. Sure you've had some rough patches and there might be more to come, but that doesn't make you less of a person. You know you have talents! Writing, cleaning, reading, you're good at directions, you can sing better than anyone in your family, you know how to grocery shop faster than anyone, you can change a tire in the blink of an eye.... I know there's more but this is a small start.

Don't be afraid of life. Take risks, try new experiences. A little spice might be just the thing you need in your life to make you happy. Next time you see the guy in Apartment 2B, say hello, he won't bite! Take that class in electrical wiring or walk your dog down a different street. Branch out and try new things.

While you're taking stock of your life, realize the many things you have to be thankful for. Perhaps your parents are both gone like mine, but, I have such wonderful memories of such love and guidance. Think a minute, don't you have great memories? What about the people in your life? I'm fortunate to have a truly wonderful husband and we've raised four wonderful children. Okay, maybe you got divorced, but what about those wonderful kids? Really, you know there are many valuable things and people in your life, you weren't born under a rock!

Suppose you're all tense and nervous, maybe a massage will loosen you up and make you feel more content. It doesn't have to be in a posh massage parlor that will cost you a fortune. I'm sure someone can recommend a nice, cheap place to go. Treat yourself and help that contentment start to come to the surface.

Think about what makes you dissatisfied and try to change it so you can be satisfied. I know, all of this is easy to say, but it does work for most people. If you have a spouse or a close friend, enlist their help. Tell them you want to be happy and satisfied and you need them to give you a boost. Know that there are many people in worse conditions than you are, those with no homes or no families. Those who lost all their possessions in Hurricane Sandy, those who just managed to get through those horrid tornadoes...you have much to be grateful for and with a little time and effort you can increase your happiness and satisfaction. The best part is, if you do increase your happiness and satisfaction, your family will benefit too!

Summary

The very first step to increasing your happiness and satisfaction is learning to share happiness. See the happiness in your life; in your children, your grandchildren, your co-workers, and your friends. Share their happiness with them and share your happiness with them. As you learn to share happiness you will become more satisfied with your life. Wishing you joy and peace from this day forward.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved.

Are you satisfied with your life?

Satisfaction Poll - Think about your answers!

  • I am happy with my life
  • I could make a few changes to be happier
  • There are a lot of things I need to change in my life now
  • If I could live my life over I'd make a lot of changes
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

A great and inspiring hub Mary, and one needed even in this "improving" economy. There are many "wrong" things in the world around us, but we can only really change ourselves. Unemployed/retired (depends on how you look at it) for a year on 1/31, I still get up every day with the intention of finding employment. My wife works as a coroprate recruiter from home ( for two different companies now) and I do a lot of the cooking and most of the laundry and cleaning these days.

My 24 year old daughter has a good job and works hard at it, and I am happy that she is employed. Many people she went to high school and college with are not.

I voted that I am happy with my life, but there is always room for improvement!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you for being the first to comment, and with such a great comment. Sounds like you keep yourself busy Sheriff ;) Glad that your wife and daughter have jobs, I know how hard it is to get and keep a job. Every life has room for improvement but being happy with what we have keeps the sun shining :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Well, til, this is a very interesting read, gf. I'm all in favor of "happiness,' the more, the better. I couldn't be more average and my life is without a doubt, your basic "normal" sort of life......(no, I'm not going so far as to say that I am normal) LOL......but, for the most part, I have to say, "I'm a happy gal."

Truth is, even when I'm not....I pretend to be. Why, one might ask? Because there is huge credibility to the phrase, "Fake it til you make it." In addition to this......NO ONE enjoys being around sad sacks and miserable people. Whiners, complainers and pessimists are the WORST! .......which reminds me of more inspiring words of wisdom from my childhood.....like when my mother would say, "Quit your damned crying, or I'll GIVE you something to cry about!!" Yep, Mom was all warm and fuzzy, she was.............Love this hub, Mary-Mary. Are you DONE with your apprenticeship yet? You oughtta be a Brigadere General by now, shouldn't you?....UP+++


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I found this most inspiring and do feel happiness is the spark we have or do not have. None of our lives are without problems and grief and issues..however what time we are on earth les make the choice to be happy. Voting up and pinning for others to be happy.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm sure you know how I voted on the poll. I love my life. By the way, the pictures of the girls...adorable smiles. Loved this hub, Mary, and the message should be stamped on the foreheads of every grumpy person that we meet.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Wonderful Hub Mary with a message and advice that w can never hear or take to heart too often. So glad I read this this afternoon. Not that anything was wrong, but now I am feeling better. Blessings! Theresa


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Great hub! I think it's needed. We are the key to our own happiness in life and I think you illustrate that beautifully. Thanks for sharing this!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Mary,

Very inspirational hub! I love one of your opening statements of the very difficult times a lot are going through right now, and that is so true, it seems it is ever-increasing, but still happiness can be found. It is all about looking at one's many blessings in lieu of what one does not have or "want." The best things in this life to me are family and enjoying the simple things in this life, i.e., even just a sunny day. Your photo of your grandchildren is precious and I have no doubt they bring you much happiness, as do mine. I am so thankful to have them in this world to love on.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I'm a lucky gal!!! I'm happy with my life. I've had my problems just like everyone else, but they were overcome. I guess I just refuse to be unhappy!

Great inspirational Hub. I voted it UP, and will share.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you very much for this. I and my family, though not rich, had many wonderful opportunities unfold before us. I attribute them to God, hence I worked hard t serve my Lord by spread my joy with others.


Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 3 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I am happy when I see that my work and my efforts to help other people are demanded. I am also happy when all in my family is fine. Thank you for this hub. I should admit that it was interesting!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

You know Effer, you really scare me, not only did my mother use the line "I'll give you something to cry about" but I did too! Like you, I never claim to be normal but d### I'll be happy if it kills me! Apprentice Program lasts six months. February is only month three...but I'm hanging in! Stick around, heaven knows what title will be next.

Thanks Carol, I think we do sometimes have to make a choice to be happy as it is not always easy.

Yes, Billy, I know how you voted and that's another thing that makes us happy, knowing we know happy people. Thank you for complimenting my grandchildren.

So happy I could make you feel happy Phd!

You put it so well Alecia, "we are the key to our own happiness"!

Yes Faith, appreciating the little things in life definitely helps oh, and the grandchildren! One more precious than the other. We are blessed.

Mary, you're just an incredible lady...I know that from your hubs. Thank you so much for the votes and share, and may God bless you and yours.

MHatter, your attribution is well placed. Without God in our lives there is nothing. Keep spreading your joy!

Pavlo how nice of you to stop by and comment. May your family continue to be fine.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

The little things in life have always given me happiness - reading a good book, walking in the woods, seeing a beautiful sunset. This in addition to my wonderful family - just thinking about my grandchildren puts a smile on my face. Your grandchildren are adorable - love the toothy grin in the first picture. I noticed that s0 far, 15% of those that responded to your poll said that they would make lots of changes in their life. Maybe that's food for another hub? Voted up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

It is the little things in life that should make us happy mperrottet...many of us can't get to the BIG things ;) How lucky some of us are to be happy with exactly what we've got!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I love what you said about being thankful, Mary. We have to be thankful for our blessings before we get any! Thanks for sharing!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Good point Michelle...thanks for stopping by and sharing.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

Loved your hub---Happiness is indeed in the heart itself.

But as someone said, 'It is so simple to be happy, but it is so difficult to be simple'.

Thanks for sharing this interesting hub!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

ChitrangadaSharan, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I like how you said "Happiness is indeed in the heart itself."


kohuether profile image

kohuether 3 years ago from New Hampshire

This is a great collection of insights. I try to do all those things each day. 2012 was my worst year to date for various reasons, and I manage to remain positive and happy. The strategies really do help. If I didn't have this mentality already engraved in my mind, I wouldn't have been able to handle things when the s**t hit the fan in my life last year.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Very nice post and so encouraging to read. I am very happy with life and your tips are ones that I follow. The 60's song brought back memories, yes the tune has it's meanings but the word is what we all really get from it. Nicely done.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Hi Mary. Were you a "cheer leader" when you were young? This is a good cheer for happiness, satisfaction and contentment. I am grateful for all the things that I have and don't long for more. I am a bad consumer. I am happy.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

I have had to work along side a couple people determined not to be happy. I think it made me realize no matter what life throws at me I am happy.

This is a hub to appreciate.

Sharing this.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

I love this winning attitude. My Dear Old Dad used that line on us kids too. "Stop that crying or I'll give you something to cry about." Must be a universal thing. lol

Happiness is really a state of mind. We choose happiness.

Abe Lincoln said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." I have to agree with my favorite president and you of course.


macteacher profile image

macteacher 3 years ago from New York

In the sect of Buddhism I practice, they say "earthly desires are enlightenment." Striving for things keeps us motivated, but sometimes we forget to enjoy the striving part. It's the journey that helps us grow and appreciate the good and the bad. Thank you for a very uplifting hub. :-)


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mary,

Positve, wise and meaningful...your beautiful personality shines through this inspirational piece. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Katherine I hope its all been removed from the fan and this is a better year for you. The smile in your Avatar picture is an indication that you live the happiness belief!

Teaches, we all need a little encouragement now and then. Glad you enjoyed the music too.

No sligo, I wasn't a cheerleader, maybe that's it, I'm a frustrated cheerleader wannabe ;) Glad you're a bad consumer.

WND keep smiling and driving them crazy at work!

Peg your Dad and my Mom and about a million others must've gone to the same school together ;) I knew I liked Abe Lincoln! Thanks for understanding my optimistic attitude!

Mac, striving for happiness then should help us grow. Glad you found this uplifting.

Maria, smiling and livin and lovin....that's me ;)


kohuether profile image

kohuether 3 years ago from New Hampshire

I do live in the happiness belief. I keep changing, "It is a choice to be happy. I don't choose sadness, only happiness." You can either give in and get negative or try to persevere with a smile on your face. :-) Thanks for the insights!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Til this hub was so worth the read bless you :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Frank...all blessings gratefully received ;)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi Mary, your hub put a smile on my face because I can be a miserable whatsit sometimes! lol! and those photos of your family are lovely, I know what makes me happy, I have been ill thats why I haven't been on here properly for a couple of weeks, so not feeling ill or in pain is so lovely, we should really take notice of our health and when we feel okay be so grateful! hope you are well? nell


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

I do believe that happiness is a state of mind.

Tillsontitan, this hub of yours will inspire many to be happy.

I love the saying, "You weren't born under a rock!"

Voted up across the board :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Oh Nell I am so sorry you've been ill. I was wondering where you've been. I hope you're stopping here means you are back on the mend. I can't imagine you being any kind of whatsit! I am fine and wishing you good health.

Thanks Martie...though I must admit I know a few people who have crawled out from under a rock ;)


Laura Matkin profile image

Laura Matkin 3 years ago from Laceys Spring, Alabama

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” Be positive!! I needed to read this:) Thank you for putting this great message out here tillsontitan! I am taking it to heart. Relearning to be a happy person. Life is too short to be worried, stressed and angry.

Laura


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Laura we need to remind ourselves daily that life is too short to waste worried, stressed, or angry. Loved your quote, definitely a motivator. Wishing you nothing but happiness.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

I love that you included taking risks. Few things are more gratifying than taking a risk and succeeding. I know it makes me happy. Always challenging oneself is really important in my opinion. Good hub! Very inspiring.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Risk is what its all about. Every time we get out of bed we take a risk! Thanks for stopping by Glimmer.


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

This is great information tellsontian. Just what I needed today! Great pictures by the way!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

So happy to make you happy Sheri!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

It is all taking stock and bothering to set out to achieve what makes us happy! Sharing this again, Mary!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Ah Michelle, seeing you here always makes me happy! Learning to be happy with what we have is what its all about. Thanks, yet again, for the share.


joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

I feel the individual just has to make it happen for themselves. Not sure if there are any particular ways. Great article, powerful information


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

True Joe, we are responsible for our own hasppiness.

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