“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust
The ingredient for true happiness is shockingly simple.
Being the complex humans we are, we like to overcomplicate it. We tell ourselves that we need X, Y, or Z before allowing ourselves to be truly happy. We procrastinate happiness. We tell ourselves we will be happy once we get married. We tell ourselves we will be happy once we finally lose that weight, or once we finally buy that house. This inner dialogue seems like it could be motivating, but it toys with a dangerous idea: that happiness is only achieved once certain conditions are met. And this could not be farther from the truth.
We confuse happiness with many different things.
Happiness is not the same as joy. Happiness is different from pleasure or euphoria. Happiness, in its true nature, is the contentment with what one has- and this looks drastically different on each individual who wears it.
It’s not physically nor emotionally possible to be on cloud nine all of the time. It would be exhausting if we were! Joy is a rare life gift that must be embraced when it fleetingly appears, but happiness is something that can be practiced on a daily basis.
We can still practice happiness even when we are sad.
Another misconception we hold is the idea that happiness only occurs in the absence of grief. Simply, this is not true.
Think about the bittersweetness of the moment of saying goodbye to someone you love. You feel deeply upset about the upcoming separation, but there is also a fierce and undeniable sense of love in that experience. That remarkable moment brings forward all of the thankfulness and gratitude you have for that person ever existing in your life. feels to practice happiness even in difficult times.
That is what it means to practice happiness even in sorrow.
Being unsatisfied is incredibly easy. But…
so is happiness! It all depends on the lens you choose to look through. Some of the happiest people in the world have nearly nothing, but love so fiercely the things that they do have.
There will always be things in life that are beyond your control. Giving fate the power of determining your emotional satisfaction is risky business. Instead, accept what you cannot have and you will find a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. It’s not easy work, but it’s far better than investing in negative thoughts.
Gratitude will change your life in ways you would never expect.
Thankful people experience less stress, health issues, and anxiety. A healthy perspective helps to minimize the weight of worries, and instead, invites in positive and productive problem solving skills.
Those who practice gratitude form stronger bonds with friends, family members, and coworkers. They recognize the unpredictable nature of life, and therefore make the very most of the moments and opportunities that they have. When failure inevitably occurs, those that are grateful find ways to extract wisdom and opportunities to grow from the experience.
And most importantly, happy people understand that life isn’t always happy.
“Whatever you resist you become. If you resist anger, you are always angry. If you resist sadness, you are always sad. If you resist suffering, you are always suffering. If you resist confusion,you are always confused. We think that we resist certain states because they are there, but actually they are there because we resist them.” — Adyashanti
Truthfully, it shouldn’t be. Sadness, grief, fear, and failure all have things to teach us. When we accept their presence with open arms, it ensures that they never overstay their visit. And when those feelings do leave (they always will) a grateful person is able to recognize the beautiful glimmer of happiness arriving from a mile away.
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