- Mental Health»
Finding Happiness Within to Be Truly Happy
In a world filled with commercialism, leading people to believe that external factors are what lead to finding happiness, it can be difficult to slow down and consider the facts behind such a belief. If you closely look at different statuses of people you may soon realize that external means are not necessarily the main ingredient to being happy.
Of course money, materialistic things and even relationships can create comfort and ease in some ways. But money, status and objects don’t serve to alleviate the inner emotional problems that we may have carried around for years. I’ve seen wealthy people who are not content in their personal lives and people with meager means who are very happy. So, materialism must not the core to being truly happy.
I too have fallen into the belief that I can only be happy when I acquire this or gain that. However, I also noticed that I’d only be temporarily happy and quickly would be looking for the next thing to fill my life as a temporary distraction from my real problems. After years of this process, I came to find myself wondering “when will I ever be truly happy?”
I began to look beyond myself and my problems and take notice to the fact that there are people who always seem to find happiness no matter what was going on in their lives. This got me wondering, why do they always find joy, where I would not? Did they naturally acquire an inner happiness neuron that I was missing? Are they more worthy of being happy than I am? What is the deal here?
When I decided that maybe the problem began within me, rather than what I have outside of myself, I began to learn what makes a person truly happy which I will state here. Though this takes some awareness of our own thoughts and processes, it is something that can be obtained for free!
Become more aware of your own thoughts, especially the negative thoughts. Negative thoughts tend to be self-defeating and hold you back from being able to find
Many people have developed habitual negative thoughts about ourselves and/or about others and our environment around us. Some people have developed this so concretely, that they share their negative views on every topic or situation more than positive statements. Negative thoughts and behaviors do the opposite of making people happy. They not only keep the primary person in a state of unhappiness, they also create a negative and unhappy vibe for others around them. The thing is; negativity breeds negativity. Negative thoughts dwell and grow within the mind, which end up creating negative habits, responses and cycles that then tend to produce negative outcomes. This can end up a self defeating cycle that holds you back from being able to find happiness.
Once you become aware of any negative thoughts, redirect them to see the positives.
Seeing only the negative side of a situation is not necessarily seeing the entire truth. For every negative you focus on, there is also at least one positive that may rise from it. Most prominent, are valuable lessons or personal growth/strength, or even a better understanding that can be learned from such. Some negative occurrences that occur in our lives may be a way of stating that we need to do things differently in order to produce more positive outcomes.
This takes some close awareness of your thoughts, as well as effort to redirect those thoughts. However, focusing more on having a positive attitude rather than fixating on the negatives helps a person to create an outcome towards being happy. Seeking positives provides them with the processes they need to overcome the negatives of a situation. Just as negative thoughts create negative outcomes, the power of a positive attitude and seeing positive potentials can drive one to redirect their efforts towards creating positive outcomes. When you choose to see the positives in a person or a situation, you might find what will make you truly happy. You may also begin to notice that you also attract more positive people and situations.
Direct your focus away from the negative perspectives and more towards a positive attitude.
When you focus on the positives, you naturally stimulate your brain with its’ own happiness chemicals. Our neurotransmitters respond to and produce various emotional responses in the brain and body based upon our thoughts and behaviors. Some typical "feel good" neurotransmitters/ chemicals in the brain include Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Endorphins.
When we view things in a negative perspective the amount of these neurotransmitters that are created in the brain will decrease; which keeps the mind and body in a state of melancholy, negativity, anxiety, pain, illness and even depression. On the other hand, having a positive attitude and seeking positive outcomes will create more activity in these neurotransmitters, signaling chemicals in the brain and body to feel truly happy and positive, which energizes the body and allows more blood flow to the muscles to help reduce anxiety, pain and illnesses.
Rewiring the Brain by changing our thoughts and experiences:
Train yourself to develop positive habits by seeking out the positive aspects of the situation.
When you find yourself faced with a situation that brings about negative thoughts and bad feelings, take time to acknowledge and assess those feelings. Those are your first reactions to the situation and you are entitled to them. Once you have acknowledged those feelings, rather than remain stuck in that mindset, step back and take a look at the situation from all angles to seek out equally true and positive aspects to work with. This doesn't mean that you go into denial about the negatives of the situation; it just means that you choose to pay more attention to the parts of the situation that are positive in order to seek solutions to improve it. When you seek positive solutions and outcomes and act on them, this creates self empowerment which leads to being truly happy in life, rather than circulating, negativity, defeat and unhappiness.
Say, for instance, that you feel defeated with your job and are weighed down with all kinds of negatives about your job, your duties, your co-workers, your boss, etc. Take time to dissect everything in your job and evaluate each part individually. If you take the time to do so, I’m sure you’ll find a few positives that you can choose to focus on in order to make your work days more pleasant. Whether you do or not, next focus on how you can create a positive outcome by considering what you can do to find something that you would enjoy more, or how to respond to the situation to create more positive results. Use this technique for any negative situation and thoughts that arise, about yourself and your abilities, your life, your home, your family, your relationships, etc. This is how you can find happiness!
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” - Albert Einstein
"To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” - Budda
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” - Mohandas Gandhi
“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” - Henry David Thoreau
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” - Helen Keller
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