Many of us wonder at others who seem to be happy even when they are, for example: very busy dealing with multiple problems, having health problems, changing jobs or dealing with their teenage child. Why are we struggling and not happy or content with our own lives? What is their secret to happiness?
We probably have seen people who are well off financially, with little to worry about and no significant problems on the horizon. Equally we have seen people who are single parent families struggling to meet the financial burdens attending school and working and yet are content and even happy with what they are doing. How can that be true?
Happiness is often said to be ‘a state of mind’. It is not a place, it is not another person, it is not financial security. Each of those things makes life more comfortable, but we can have them all and still be miserable. Sometimes it is being able to accept that we do not have the ability to affect others or control all the things that happen to ourselves. Sometimes we may need to leave the problems to a ‘higher power’. Sometimes we may need to use the Serenity prayer:
Grant us Serenity to accept the things we cannot change
Courage to change the things we can and
Wisdom to know the difference.
At other times we may look about us and see the little pleasures and successes of a bird flying, a child smiling, a gentle breeze on our face and a white billowing cloud floating overhead.
Perhaps even more important for our sense of happiness is what we see inside ourselves. Are we not a “good” person? Do we not make a difference to others? Have we not accomplished things we never thought we could do? So happiness is often wrapped up in feeling: We do matter!
One more thing that many of us do not pay attention to and is very surprising to people. We are generally not aware of being happy at the moment of being happy. Rather, become aware we were happy and can appreciate that time. So, for instance, when you were watching/ participating in a good show or event, you will often lose two things: the awareness of yourself and of time passing. After the happy moments you might say, “Wow, I was so involved in that I did not know where I was/what else was happening outside the event and how time had flown by.” So happiness often is being immersed in something or someone else to the point of losing your awareness of ourselves.
Hopefully you can explore being involved with others and other activities where you can lose yourself for a brief moment and gain happiness. If you have more questions about happiness, contact Lake View Counseling of Myrtle Beach today.