Is happiness actually elusive?
Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone chases happiness. Happiness is probably the most elusive thing. Why are we all chasing this “thing”? Why is it so important?
Happiness is essentially a state of bliss that is being sold to us through media. What does happiness look like? What does it feel like? When was the last time you were happy? Happiness can’t look the same or feel the same for everyone, even though many people feel it lies in finding that perfect partner, or achieving that dream job. Does that mean that we need to be unhappy until we’ve unlocked these things… these keys to happiness?
Happiness does not have to be that skipping through a meadow, giggling down a road paved with gold scenario we see on TV. Happiness can be sitting in your home under your zinc roof listening to the rain. This ever-elusive “thing” may not be so elusive after-all.
Because we really can’t define what happiness is or how we feel when we are happy (you could try, but you would really be listing synonyms), then perhaps happiness is a choice. We’ve heard this before, I’m certain, “choose to be happy”, but it’s a little deeper than that. It has to be a conscious decision you make each day to turn positive situations into more positive ones and to extract the positive message in the negative moments.
I feel like some sort of philosopher (does it show that I got an A+ in philosophy in first year?) but think about it guys, it’s true.
What gets in the way
I am a worry wart. I worry about every aspect of my life, every aspect of everyone else’s lives, I worry pretty much all day. Sometimes, I can’t even sleep because I am worrying about things I haven’t done yet. I’ve been trying to contain this compulsion and I have been succeeding, for the most part.
The religious among us will pray and they’ll tell you “Let go and let God”…and I’m not saying I’m a bad Christian but when I pray I may hold on to it a little bit until I feel like God might be near. So, prayer alone didn’t help me to let go.
I started making a conscious decision to stop stressing out about the things I literally cannot change (yep that Serenity prayer is real) and accepting whatever came. Trying to find the positives, even in a very negative situation. This decision to try to “let go” was brought on by my doctor telling me there was nothing medically wrong with me, I was just stressed. My blood pressure was elevated and my eye lashes were falling out – now this was the straw that broke the camel’s back – I can’t loose these luxurious lashes lol.
So now when I get upset about any issues at work – I laugh. This is a strategy I adopted from my father. He gave us all a scare when he had a stroke some time ago, and now instead of being upset at anything… he laughs. The doctor had told him it helps in the healing process because there are so many “regular” things you can’t do when you get a stroke. So the doc told him instead of being upset with yourself, just laugh and try again tomorrow. Just laugh.
You won’t achieve happiness unless…
Another key to “letting go” and unlocking your happiness is to actually let go. This I learnt from my relationship. After a fight, some kind of argument or disagreement, misunderstanding, whatever, it’s so much better to just let go, and not have dem up inna yuh heart (Jamaican patois for: don’t dwell on it).
Whatever was said, was said. Say what you need to, get everything off your chest and then let it go. Don’t allow how you treat your partner after this disagreement to be based on your feelings about the disagreement.
This was especially difficult for me, because I just can’t let shit go … I still can’t forget how that girl accused me of stealing her JMD$20 in Grade 2… but I digress. It’s still a work in progress, but I constantly working on “letting go”. In other areas though it is a little easier for me to do this (even though I still remember that particular case from Grade 2) – whatever has happened is in the past and I can do nothing about it, I can however manage how I react to the memories and how things will occur in the future.
Know your limits, your obstacles, your boundaries. Many people are driven to unhappiness because they don’t believe they have done enough to secure their dream. Acknowledge what you’ve done so far. Identify the reasons you’ve stopped or the obstacles that forced you to halt. Be mindful that you’re not a superhero, you are merely a human attempting to survive life’s many curveballs. You are enough, and you have done enough.
Your happiness is not tied to people or achievements, your happiness is dependent on you. Every opportunity I get to laugh out loud at a memory or something I’ve seen, I do it and repeat to myself that I am the creator of my happiness.
Let me just say this again, happiness is not tied to any man, woman, dog, cat, university degree, big house on the hill, brand name clothing, car, whatever it may be… your happiness is dependent on you.
Unlocking happiness (and doing facial exercises) can also help you look and feel younger, studies show… lol. Well the study shows, it’s me… I’m the study.