February 3 2021 - Define Your Happiness!
How do you define happiness? I realize that may seem like a strange topic at a time when so many of the things we love to do have been compromised by the pandemic. That said, it's vital that we connect with and recognize the things that continue to bring us joy. We need to ask ourselves what that means for us! Is it something sweet and pure, like a warm puppy? Or something experiential like being out in nature and feeling that connection? Or is it something more exciting, like winning the lottery? Obviously, there's no right or wrong answer here. That's because happiness is subjective and it's connected to our own state of mind.
There is no shortage of research on this topic. One movement that has been around for over 20 years is called "Positive Psychology."" This branch of psychology is concerned with what makes a good life or an engaged and meaningful life. Interestingly, research shows that neither wealth (as long as basic needs are met), nor high IQ, nor youth, or even marriage bring us happiness. What does seem to generate the most happiness are those moments when we experience sensory pleasure, such as a beautiful sunset, having memorable times with friends, family, partners, work or hobbies and being able to use our personal abilities and strengths in some meaningful way.
So, it's our connections to others and our sharing and giving of ourselves and talents that really seem to count most for us. I know that, for myself, when I think back on my moments of happiness, a couple of memories come to mind. One was a spectacular summer evening spent with a friend on a dock at a lake just talking and eating pastries. And another time was when I was on a panel at an astrology seminar and the time just flew by as I answered questions from the audience about the topic of Astrology, which I find so fascinating!
We can experience smaller moments of happiness in our day-to-day that are also fulfilling. For me, that can be when I take my afternoon break to enjoy a cup of tea or when my cat Rufus curls up in my lap or even spending time in my garden. Life feels very full in those little moments.
It's very important that we take time to reconnect with the happiness in our life and let them warm our heart. It's good to be reminded that we have the power to make our lives more fulfilling and more engaging just by reaching out to others and partaking in the world around us. Now each of us just need to think of ways we can do that and then do just that!