For many people, the “Looking for Real Happiness” quest only leads them astray from the ultimate goal of reaching it. But why is this so? Have we become victims of what television, movies, books, and pop stars are telling us about “real” happiness?
Somehow, we ended up being torn by the two meanings of happiness. Is it the feeling of euphoria or that sense of a deeply satisfying peace of mind? If you too find this construct elusive, here is some information that can point you in the right direction on your quest to finding real happiness.
What matters to other people who seem happy might not necessarily do the same for you. Taking a moment to slow down and self-reflect can help you discover the things you truly value. And, these are exactly the things you should pursue.
Try to ask yourself what kind of relations you enjoy most and what do you want your life to be about. The answer will reveal what you value most so that you can plan your activities. According to Susan David, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, pursuing activities that complement your values leads to a greater sense of happiness.
Moments of Joy Instead of Quick Thrills
The chemical responsible for feeling euphorically happy is dopamine. The only problem is that our brain becomes less and less sensitive to it and we need a lot higher doses of dopamine to feel the same effect. This is why experts advise not to seek happiness in quick thrills.
Instead, try to focus more on your moment of joy. Once you start paying attention, you will notice how many of those happen each day. We are just somehow wired not to pay full attention to them. Train yourself to incline towards joy and you will start feeling happiness throughout the day.
Be Here and Now
How many times have you heard the “you are your past” expression? It is so restrictive to think that you are determined by your past and that you can do anything to become someone else. This also restricts you from the experience that is happening here and now.
Try to anchor yourself in the now by practicing mediation. Acknowledging your thoughts and feelings in the here and now will open a completely new perspective for you. You will find out that both sadness and happiness are part of one’s life and that one doesn’t exclude the other.
In the end, it is important to find firm grounds from where you can safely take a look both inside yourself and the outer world. By learning to appreciate both sadness and happiness, you will discover the beauty of life which is the key to real happiness, which was, at all times, in front of you.