There’s probably not a personal development enthusiast alive today that doesn’t believe in the power of positive thoughts. Why we simply love the concept and practice of positive thoughts. After all, there’s been a lot of scientific studies that even back up this notorious claim. But let’s not confuse practicing the power of positive thoughts with actual happiness. While the power of thinking positive thoughts may decrease worry and anxiety and even boost self-esteem, it doesn’t translate into actual sustainable happiness. For the sake of clarity, let’s start by examining the very definition of happiness.
While the dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” which gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. Let’s look at some different things that happiness can be, but keep in mind that ultimately, happiness is in the mind of the beholder.
Many feel happiest when the following most of these conditions are met or understood:
Your Needs are Met – When a person is happy, they usually have an inward sense that their most important needs are being met. It doesn’t mean that may or may not be experiencing some sort of difficulty. You can even be uber-creative in making this happen. The takeaway here is that in your mind it is happening and as a result you find yourself feeling happy.
You Feel Satisfied – When you are happy you tend to feel simply satisfied with your life. You think about your life and you just feel good about it. You might not have everything you want but deep down inside you feel very satisfied when you look around your life. You can see and appreciate all of the blessings that you have whether it’s where you live, who you live with, or even just about yourself. This deep feeling of satisfaction may cause you to smile at yourself.
You Feel Content – A happy person tends to feel content about the things in their life. They feel content about their work, their home, their stuff, their health, and their relationships. Even though life may be far from perfect – nothing is constantly nagging at their mind and causing stress. Happy people do have stress, they’re just better at feeling content even when things aren’t perfect. They have mastered the art of enjoying the journey.
You Are at Peace – A happy person often feels a lot of peace surrounding their life and family. They have a deep sense that everything will turn out okay and are good at turning negativity around into positivity.
You Have Your Definition – The truth is, happiness is how you define it personally for you. It’s not about getting tons of stuff unless that’s what you want. It’s not about finding the perfect spouse unless that’s what you want. It’s not about having kids unless that’s what you want. It’s all up to you and how you define happiness.
You Realize It’s a Journey – Happiness is not a destination that you get to one day and stay there for the rest of your life. It’s a lifelong journey that will have many ups and downs and struggles. However, despite the ups and downs of life, you manage to feel good about it.
You Understand It’s How You Respond – When you are happy you tend to act in a more positive way overall. When you’re happy, you eat better, you move more, and you think differently. You refuse to worry constantly.
You have it in your power to be happy where you are in your life right now.
Happiness is more than just thinking positive thoughts. Happiness is having a sense that your needs are met, but it’s not about having everything, or even the best. Happiness is about being satisfied with what you have while also being able to dream and work for what you want. While you do have to do more than just think positively to really and truly feel happy, it does start with your thoughts. After that, it’s time to put in the work!
Be well + prosper,
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