How to Achieve Personal Happiness
It’s interesting to notice to notice that now, when I’m at my happiest, I keep coming across articles about Happiness. Like when you buy a new car and suddenly you see them everywhere on the road. Last week I received a guest post on Activities to Help Depression and today I received this fascinating read …
The Psychology of Happiness and Wellness
Guest Post by Leandra Slabbert
There are currently over 20 000 books on Amazon written about happiness; books on how to achieve it, the definition of happiness, happiness hacks – the list goes on. You’ll find many different writers giving their take on happiness and sharing their teachings for those seeking the meaning of it, from philosophers and world renowned spiritual icons, to no-namers who are sharing their stories.
The ‘self-help’ genre, is a booming industry all on its own; raking in $720 million in revenue, worldwide, in 2012. I think it’s safe to say; people thrive on powerful material that teaches and enlightens and relays constructive information that they can apply to their own lives.
People are constantly seeking better ways of living, to perhaps improve their circumstances or their feelings. The majority of all mankind want to lead better lives; a life that fulfils, satisfies and brings them feelings of happiness and contentment.
Achieving a level of happiness is the main goal-whether one is conscious of it or not. It’s an emotion that is vital to our well-being and keeps us hopeful and motivated. With the absence of that single feeling, we’d lack the motivation to do great things, to invest in ourselves, our lives, the people around us, or life in general. We’d rather curl into a ball, than push through another day. Without happiness, life can feel meaningless, and we as humans know; for our sanity and survival, we need to achieve some level of it, in one way or another.
So, what is happiness and what is the psychology behind it?
Everyone has a different definition of happiness, and it depends where their value lies. It could lie in the acquisition of grand things; fancy cars, a beautiful house, a well-paying job, travelling to exquisite places- or it could lie in a booming social life; many friends and people that love them. It could lay in the number of goals they have reached, and what they have achieved in their lives. Every person has their own idea of what happiness looks like, making it difficult to create a definition that fits for all. That’s where it becomes tricky; one needs to understand themselves first before they’ll understand what’ll make them happy.
However, many studies suggest that happiness is, in fact, a way of being. They suggest happiness is a choice; and is not something that will dawn on you, once such and such happens or when you possess a certain material thing. Happiness is not something hanging over our heads, which needs a particular turn of events, for us to acquire it. Psychologists suggest that it is already within us, and that one only needs to make a choice, to access it.
However, there are a few ways that one can experience the euphoria that happiness brings, which has little to do with what we have, and more to do with what we do for ourselves and others.
Find your Passion
In finding, and living your passion, you’ll be able to express what you love and will most likely meet people along the way that share that same passion. You’ll find your place and your ‘tribe’, which will bring a sense of purpose and belonging. Your passion may be a special talent or a skill; perhaps it’s even something that allows you to help others; such as working as a nurse.
Showing kindness to others, helping where you can and giving of yourself, increases your level of happiness. Doing good for others has a positive effect on our lives, minds and emotions and helps us to better identify our blessings. In identifying our blessings, we can identify what we are grateful for.
Choose a Positive Mindset
As the studies suggest-happiness is a choice. One should choose a positive mindset that encompasses optimistic thoughts, gratitude and mindfulness. All these aspects generate feelings of happiness, as one directs their thoughts to positive ideas, rather than negative ones.
Manage your Stress Effectively
Every person experiences some level of stress, at some point in their lives. Managing it effectively, through talking to people you trust, writing your stresses down, or educating yourself will help you to achieve contentment. For example; if you’re stressed about your career, research ways to avoid career woes. Or if you have a problem in your social life, chat with a person in your circle that you trust and respect.
I think it’s important to note, that to a large extent, happiness is found within, and not without.
About the Author:
Leandra Slabbert is a South African who enjoys travelling and writing. She has recently started copywriting and hopes to expand and explore her knowledge of a diverse range of topics. See more of her work here: Medium
I totally agree that Happiness is a choice and found within. I have certainly noticed that that givers are happier than takers. My Dad was a Minister and I used to see it all the time in the Church – those who were constantly complaining were the one’s who were not actively involved in service, in helping or contributing to the community. I find I’m at my happiest when I’m giving the most of myself, when I’m in my creative flow and I know that what I’m doing is making a real difference to others. Am in one of those happy phases right now. I blogged about it recently here and here.
Over to you, Moms… how do you achieve personal happiness? What makes you happiest?