Intentional Living: How to Get More Happiness in Your Life
There are different schools of thought about happiness. In philosophy, happiness is translated from the Greek concept of eudaimonia, and refers to the good life, or flourishing, as opposed to emotions. In psychology, happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Happiness is not a one size fits all proposition
As with most contemplations of life, happiness (in my humble opinion) isn't strictly about having good experiences or one's emotional state. It is a combination of the two with a mix of several others factors. How that mixture looks for you may not be exactly like mine, and that's fine. After all, we're unique beings.
However, I do believe that we can learn from the experience of others, and provide assistance to improve each other's lives. It is in that spirit that I share my story.
I was working in healthcare at the time of my epiphany, and I distinctly remember sitting in my office when I had the thought, I'm not happy. It wasn't the first time the idea came to my mind. There were other times before. Although, usually I could shrug it off or focus on something else. But, in that particular moment, it felt different to me. Somehow oppressive, like a sweltering hot summer day with high humidity and no breeze. I was suffocating.
I didn't know it at the time, but I was dissatisfied with the life I was leading. And, it had gotten so bad that signs were beginning to appear in my physical body. More than stress, it was a weariness and mental fatigue that didn't dissipate after vacations or long weekends away from the office. I was operating on fumes.
Up to that point, I was also running off of an old program in my head. The I should have been happy program. I mean, I was successful and had lots of stuff. However, I lacked understanding. I couldn't see that the reason I had success was not related to my career or connections or even education. It was me. I was the common denominator. And what that meant was it was okay to pick up my pursue, close the office door (once and for all), and reimagine my life. I needed to permit myself to begin again.
What's Your Story?
Now, I'm sure there are other folks -much more in tune than I was- who heeded the signs that were present in their lives much earlier in the process than I did. I aspire to gain that level of discernment and avoid unnecessary anxiety and drama in the future. However, this post is for the folks that, like I was, are still in the process of sorting through their story and discovering what happiness means for them. Gaining that understanding will also reveal the next steps you need to take to achieve your highest satisfaction.
Need Help Figuring it Out? We've Got More Tools Than Ever Before
Unlike in centuries past, we now have scientific research and analytical data to aid in our pursuit of happiness. Technology isn't all bad :) Happify, a website aimed at helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, broke down the latest research on what creates a more joyful existence. And, they shared their finding in the most user-friendly form - infographics! If you can't view the information from Happify right now, let me share three simple things you can do to elevate your happiness quotient:
- 40% of your happiness - your thoughts, actions, and behaviors - are controlled by you.
- Happy people tend to eat healthier, and live longer. How we eat is a form of self-respect that has long-term benefits.
- They connect with others in meaningful ways; placing significant value on relationships and they take advantage of opportunities to help others.
Remember, a significant percentage of your happiness and wellbeing is dependent upon you. That means achieving it is well within your grasp. I encourage you to invest the time to understand your story, and where it diverges from your best life. The knowledge you gain will be (precisely) what you need to turn your situation around or change your outlook. Perhaps, like me, obtaining clarity will help you to chart a whole new course. Either way, you'll be happier as a result of taking action.
Help to amplify the happiness quotient in everyone's lives! Share this information with everyone you know. Like, share, tweet!
Always the best,