Happiness is the state of being happy. It’s as simple as that. But there are three questions you might want to answer: are you happy? Would you consider yourself a happy person? What does it mean to be happy? Whatever your answer is, anyone can be a happier individual.
Before we go to the hows of becoming a more gleeful person, let us first define happiness.
What is Happiness?
In psychology, happiness is a mental or an emotional state of wellbeing which can be defined by positive or pleasant emotions. These emotions range from contentment to intense joy.
Or so that’s what psychology says. But what about philosophy?
In philosophy, happiness is translated from the Greek concept of eudaimonia. It refers to the good life — a flourishing one — as opposed to an emotion.
So that’s what the Greeks think, or mean, when they use the word “happy.”
As a mood, happiness has two categories. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but there’s a difference between happiness as a mood and feeling happy, which is often what we mean by being happy.
More often than not, the notion of happiness is devoid of content. For instance, whatever it is that elevates your mood is a source of happiness. It may be physical, success, pleasure, and more.
There are, however, certain things that can make a person feel happy but can eventually lead to a state of happiness. This leaves happiness with a denotation that it is, indeed, fleeting.
Let’s focus on the nature of happiness. It’s subjectively experienced, but not everything that causes you to feel happy will make you happy over a lifetime. Therefore, there are certain levels of happiness, at a macro- and micro- perspective.
The definition of happiness varies, depending on how you choose to see it.
How To Become a Happier Person
Understanding happiness is the first step to becoming a happy person. If you can fully grasp the definition of being happy, then you’re good to go.
Here are the steps you can take toward happiness:
- Stay away from bad news. Research has proven that bad news can affect your mental health. It’s wishful thinking to ask publications to stop writing negative press releases because, as you know, bad news buys.
What you can do is to steer clear from all the news programs you usually tune into. Take news breaks every once in a while. This will keep your mind off the bad things happening out of your control.
- Don’t be a “yes” person. Saying no every now and then is good for your health. It may sting to hear this, but honey, you can’t do it all.
Saying yes to everything can not only tire you; it can also frustrate you. As most therapists say, a people-pleasing habit can hurt your mental health. So don’t do it. Learn to turn down invitations.
- Take a social media hiatus. It’s easier said than done. Excessive social media use, however, can be bad for your mental health, too. You need to take a break from your news feed. Unplug, if you must.
Having the FOMO, or fear of missing out, makes you anxious. You need to drop your phone because it’s not your responsibility to tune in to those updates all the time. At least use look for positive content, like sleeping dogs or jumping cats, which can make brighten up your day.
- Work out. Regular exercise can help improve your mood. There’s nothing else to replace exercise with. The great news is it can also reduce symptoms of depression.
Any physical activity would do. Be it brisk walking, running, or yoga, give it a try. Your daily life needs to have some portions reserved for your physical health. Your body deserves to be taken care of, and now’s the time to do so.
- Try cooking something new. Google is here to fill you up with recipes you haven’t tried yet. Explore the world of food and let your mind escape in the process. Your creative muscles will enjoy the journey and your taste buds are in it for a treat.
Make whatever kind of food you want, be it pasta, pizza, or burger. Trying something new can help you feel better. What better way to make you feel good than to eat good food?
- Write down your thoughts. Clear your mind with the help of writing. They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Well, this is your chance to prove it. Psychiatrists say writing can help you sort out your thoughts and reflections. Plus, it can help you feel calmer.
Journaling is an experience that can be very cathartic. It doesn’t have to be every day. You can start by doing it once a month, then switch it up to once a week, until you pick up the frequency of how much you want to do it.
- Make a sanctuary out of your bed. Sleep is critical not just to happiness, but to overall functioning. Turn your bed into a space that will make you want to lay on it at the end of the day. Your bed is a space for sleep and sex, so make sure it’s a comfortable place for you and your partner.
You can start by making your bed as soon as you get up in the morning. It’s the first achievement you have for the day and you can rest assured that after a long tiring day, you will have a nice bed to lie on.
- Put yourself first. This is the last tip. You can’t please everyone, and that’s a fact. But do you know the one person that can make you happy? Yourself. It’s OK to love yourself. It’s not selfish; self-love is actually the first step to giving out love to others.
After all, you can’t give what you don’t have. So look after yourself. Take care of your well-being. And don’t be shy or afraid to do so. You deserve it.
Fairy Godmother may have said, “Happiness: a teardrop away.” It’s true for some, but for you to gain happiness, you have to appreciate the process. It can be tedious, it can take a while, but it will be worth it.
Cheers to a happier you!