Happiness is when your life fulfills your needs and you feel satisfied and content. This kind of happiness goes deeper and is more rewarding than fleeting experiences of having fun at a party, the excitement of a new experience or the appreciation of a fine meal. These are certainly pleasurable and may give you happiness for a time, but the experiences are fleeting and when they are over, are you happy the next day or the next week?
Here is an example. Karen, a 30ish Administrator, is unhappy with her job. She dreads Monday mornings, knowing that the work week is going to drag on for 5 whole, long days. It isn’t fulfilling to her. Therefore, she lives for the weekends and plans all kinds of fun things to do involving her friends and family. She goes out of town, attends concerts and other events while she laughs and plays and feels free! But come Sunday night, the dread begins to set in as she thinks of the upcoming work week and the heaviness of it darkens her spirits.
In contrast, imagine that you are perfectly satisfied and content with your life. What would that life look like? Where do you live, who is in your life, what is your dream occupation? Does your heart swell with joy and appreciation when you think about it? You may already have all of this and feel perfectly content. If not, and you feel unhappy on some level this article may help.
August is Happiness Happens month and in celebration of it, here is some information about happiness and how to increase it.
Are your needs fulfilled?
If happiness is when your life fulfills your needs, then what are you needs? Are they fulfilled? Do you feel satisfied and content? Each person’s needs are different as is their level of satisfaction. As humans, we all share common basic needs, but we differ in how strongly we feel the needs. Needs can also be based on our genetic makeup, how we were raised, our life experiences, and our definition of what is satisfying to us. A person who lives in a poor area can be very happy with a new appliance that will make their food preparation easier. They have needed it for a long time and they are grateful for the time and effort it will save them. Whereas a person with more financial resources gleans happiness from a new car and appreciates the features of comfort and performance it gives them. It also may stroke their ego due to the expense and flashiness of it as it screams “success”.
Are you happy? If not, then why?
Here are some reasons that may apply.
In our materialistic world, we tend to compare ourselves to others. What they have that you don’t is a common, competitive thought process and can lock you in a constant state of discontent. Appearance is a factor for unhappiness. If you constantly struggle with your weight it can lead to frustration and potential jealousy of those who are slimmer. You may feel a sense of lack rather than counting your blessings and being grateful for what you do have.
We get too comfortable where we are and don’t grow. The sense of being stuck can be boring but the thought of taking risks is too uncomfortable. Sometimes this is because of what we are told by others, including our parents. If you wanted to be a musician when you grew up and you followed their advice and got a “safe” job like accounting, then your life may not be fulfilling to you and results in unhappiness. As we age, we then feel regret for not following our dreams vs. living the life others expected of us.
Our modern world has created very sedentary lifestyles for the majority of us as we are tied to our computers the majority of each day. This can promote weight gain, and affect our health and happiness. When we move our bodies, particularly with exercise, and other extended movement such as walking or sports activities, endorphins are released. These chemicals trigger a positive feeling in the body and energizes our outlook on life.
Few of us live in the present and are satisfied with the here and now. Most of us are thinking of our past or are anxious about our future. This can freeze us into a state of inaction due to indecision of what to do next. When we don’t progress, our self-worth decreases and affects our happiness.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in present.”
5 Ways to increase your happiness
Find satisfaction in something that you already have. Start small. What in your life, home or work, are you grateful for and can feel a sense of satisfaction about? It could be an earlier personal or professional accomplishment, a home project, a craft item that you created, how an area of your home or office really works for you. It could even be as simple as a level of satisfaction as you take a stroll in a park and listen to the birds and children’s laughter. But find something that you can be satisfied with and then look for more things and situations that are satisfying. The less we criticize and expect perfection, the more satisfaction we will feel about what we already have.
Move your body! Do more than just getting out of your desk chair and going to the bathroom a few times a day. Take a walk at lunchtime, first thing in the morning or after work. Join a local sports club and play a team sport during the week. Adopt an exercise routine at home or a gym. It doesn’t have to be lifting weights. There are other options like Pilates and yoga. Take up gardening, sailing, hiking. Whatever will move your body will help. An added bonus is that you might meet some new people and forge friendships with those of like interests.
Give back. What can you do to help a neighbor that is handicapped or unable to get around easily? Can you volunteer for a charity that you want to support? What opportunities can you find where you can offer your time and resources to improve someone’s life or the community in general? When we do things for others our hearts swell with far more reward than the time or money we gave. It also helps us have gratitude and appreciation for what we have which increases our happiness.
Reevaluate your goals. As we age, we change. What was once fulfilling to us may not give us the same satisfaction. Take some time for reflection and make a list of things that you would like to have, do or accomplish. Go into detail with it. Research what will be involved in implementing the ideas. Then pick one and take action. The sense of accomplishment will boost your spirits.
Reduce stress! If your schedule is overwhelming you, find ways to eliminate some of your obligations. If you are in an unhealthy relationship, then take steps to learn how the discord can be resolved. If your health or weight is a constant ball and chain that is weighing you down, then take steps to adopt lifestyle changes, healthier eating habits and resolve underlying stressors that lead to emotional/stress eating.
Your happiness matters and achieving inner joy is the key to maximizing your creative abilities as you move through life.
Happiness has a wide range of degrees from bliss and enlightenment to depression. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. I’ve listed a few things above that can help boost your happiness levels if it is in the upper to middle range. For greater levels of unhappiness, anxiety, depression and stress, deeper, emotional work is required.
Are you unhappy because of your weight or health?
Is your unhappiness due to a dissatisfaction of your weight or health? As a wellness coach I specialize in helping my clients become more satisfied with their weight and health. Many times, this involves going deeper to identify times in their life that are still causing negative impacts, such as high levels of stress, which contribute to emotional eating and ultimately poor health. To identify these life experiences and resolve the stress reaction to them, I use a powerful alternative therapy, EFT, also known as Tapping, that is one of the top stress reduction techniques in the world.
I invite you to consider my coaching services as a solution to your weight or health issues. You may explore the pages on my website that explain more about how I help my clients achieve successful, long term weight loss and relieve symptoms of chronic illness at these links:
Would you like to give EFT/Tapping a try? Then attend the STOP the STRESS online coaching group on Monday, August 9th at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register here.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to increase your happiness, lose weight and improve your health. You may contact me at www.HuntForHopeWellness.com/contact.
Life Wellness Coach, Certified EFT & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
Helping you get over it, so you can get on with it, through Compassionate Coaching.
“Like” Hunt for Hope Wellness on Facebook, and…
Subscribe to my health newsletter by sending an e-mail with “Subscribe to Health” in the subject line.
What is Happiness? Learn About a Better Definition of Happiness You Can Use to Become Happier (happinessinternational.org)
5 Reasons Why Most People Are Not Happy & How to Resolve Them! | by Som Bathla | Multiplier Magazine | Medium