Finding Happiness: A Simple Way To Choosing Happiness Right Now
What Does Happiness Mean To You?
Finding happiness is undoubtedly an incredibly complex topic to address. Every person is different when it comes to how they feel happy and what makes them happy. The topic of happiness has been pursued by philosophers since the dawn of man. There seems to be no trivial answer when we are eagerly looking at how people can become happier. When we look at something like social media or commercials, they make it seem like it is not even a question at all. They give us the impression that if you acquire a certain object or if you look a certain way, then you will be happy. They make it seem like happiness is conditional.
Expectation Vs. Reality
Social media is extremely curated. Bloggers/Social media influencers are exceptionally careful and selective of what they share with the world. For example, an influencer who shares their cooking recipes may plate their meals in a way that they would not typically do if they were eating alone at home. They carefully place their meals and on a backdrop with some accent pieces that color complement the food. This gives the impression that that is how their food looks like all the time, but they do all of that because it is an art form. It is the whole expectation vs. reality deal.
When we are scrolling through social media, we compare ourselves to these people who seem as if they are living exceptionally happy lives. We start thinking to ourselves: “Maybe if I do what they are doing, then I’ll also be happy.” It is this game we are constantly playing, and it is a game that we are never winning. It is the if/then game.
“If I lose weight, then I’ll be happy.”
“If I can get my dream job, then I’ll be happy.”
If...Then...if...then...It is an extremely toxic way of thinking. For one, it causes us to feel like happiness is something that comes later and as a result of something. I believe that happiness is something that we can tap into at any moment. Second, this mindset can be toxic. Let’s say we do that “thing.” We get to graduate, land our dream job, and lose weight. What happens after that? From my experience, it is consistently something else. The bar keeps getting set higher and higher, and happiness seems to be this thing that is incessantly out of reach. That is how many us can end up feeling like we are stuck in a rut. What can we do about it? I believe there are two things we can do.
Be Aware Of Your Thoughts
It seems as if it is easier to focus on the things that we do not have. One effective way that we can shift our thinking is to stop, look around you, and be thankful. You might have a strong desire to explore the world, but maybe you live in a place where many people go as tourists. Is there a possible way that you can be a local tourist and explore your own country? It is just about shifting the mindset and focusing on the key things that we have instead of the things that we do not have.
It Is Ok To Not Be Happy All The Time
Not being happy all the time (Contrary to what social media makes you believe.) is normal and Ok. That’s just being human! I believe that this is the flaw of the self-improvement movement. It causes us to feel like if we are not stronger, happier, or a superior version of our former selves then we have failed in some way. We feel guilty for feeling the ups and downs of life, but that’s just characteristic to being human. We need the ups and downs and hardships to learn and grow. Those down moments encourages us to appreciate the up moments so much more.
Happiness is this extremely challenging and complex topic to explore. It is the state of emotion that we are all constantly striving to achieve. One significant thing that we can do that is to be grateful for the things that we have instead of focusing on the things that we lack.