What is the true meaning of happiness?

Dear reader,

Let me begin by acknowledging that a question as complex as this can be answered in a bunch of different ways, and the accuracy of those answers depends on the person. To be brief, happiness is personal, but it generally means a sense of contentment or pleasure. That being said, as someone who is constantly asked, “How are you so happy all of the time?” I do have some ideas about the subject of being happy.

First, I do believe that happiness is a choice. It is a choice to disregard the mean words of your haters. It is a choice to let disappointment have a bright side. Happiness requires accepting that many aspects of life are out of your control. It means taking the worst parts of your day and finding the value in their happening. Happiness means choosing to keep moving forward, even when it seems all else is pushing you in the other direction. Happiness means releasing all that is negative and embracing positivity each chance you get.

Happiness means feeling comfortable in your own skin. Perhaps the most essential characteristic a truly happy person has is a healthy level of self-esteem. It is necessary that you believe in yourself and trust in your own abilities. If you are striving to feel more comfortable in your own skin, challenge yourself to do things that make you feel out of your element.

Photo by: William Wrobel

Photo by: William Wrobel

Participating in something that makes you very uncomfortable can make you grow in ways you never anticipated while boosting your ego in the process. At the end of the day, it is important to give yourself credit for all that you have done, so think to yourself, “I like me because I…” and complete the thought. Do not worry about being “conceited” doing this exercise. Sharing what you love about yourself boosts your self-esteem and in turn makes you feel happy.

Say yes to new opportunities. An instant recipe for unhappiness is regret, therefore it only makes sense that participating in new activities will improve your happiness. Whether you are trying out a new hobby or a new restaurant, life needs some variety.

Happiness means sharing your thoughts and opinions without hesitation. There is nothing more disheartening than feeling as though you do not have a voice. Share what you think with people.

Happiness means leaving behind the frustrating parts of your day. Don’t dwell on things you can’t change. Life is full of sticky, annoying, uncomfortable, tricky and downright unpleasant situations, however, it is up to ourselves to change the conversation. Eliminate complaints from your vocabulary. Avoid bringing up yesterday’s cause of disappointment. Instead, speak about things that make you feel good.

Do not fall into the trap of trying to please others. Indulge in what you love, refute what you don’t and always act on what will make you feel best rather than what someone else wants you to do.

Happiness means embracing life. We only have one, so use it the very best you can! Wake up with the intent of living a happy day and the results just might surprise you. I live by the philosophy that every day can be the best day of my life; I encourage you to join in my approach.

Stay happy,

Arline