|My friend Stephany from Stephany Writes is going around the blogosphere guest posting as one of her writing goals for 2013. I’m honored to host her thoughts on happiness. I love what she says about finding happiness in the mundane. Cultivating an awareness for the small moments is exactly what fuels my standing 7th take in my Friday 7 Quick Takes posts and the happy 3 things emails I take part in. Thank you, Stephany for sharing your thoughts on happiness and cheers to the tiny everyday moments!|
What Happiness Means to Me
Happiness is defined as “a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”
That’s the technical, working definition but to get down to the bare bones of what it actually means to me personally is much more difficult. Happiness is a range of emotions and sometimes, happiness can be very, very hard to grasp and hold onto.
I used to define happiness as an external emotion. When I had something to look forward to, happiness. When something amazing happened in my life, happiness. When I got a compliment, happiness. Happiness was defined by something happening to me. It was motivated by external forces so when there is nothing exciting on the horizon or life was floating along at a boring pace, it was hard to find happiness in the everyday.
We hear it all the time: you can choose happiness. You can’t always choose what happens to you, but you can always choose how you react to it. Happiness is a gift we give to ourselves.
It’s easy to get happy about upcoming vacations or good things happening in our lives. It’s easy to be happy when life seems to be perfect and everything is happening according to plan. That’s when being happy is a simple emotion. A reaction to the good that is happening.
This year, I want to bring my focus to finding happiness in the everyday. I don’t have anything exciting on the horizon. My days are filled with sleep and work and exercise and trying to save money and eat healthier. Coming into this year, I felt a bit let down at all the work I was going to have to put forth. I wanted to feel a big change, a shift, in the way I feel about myself and my life by the end of 2013, but I will have to put in a lot of hard work to see this happen.
There is something about finding happiness and contentment in the mundane, everyday details that can be more exciting and thrilling than the anticipation one finds when they have something exciting coming up. Each day holds its own possibilities and there is such power in being content. There is such goodness when you can look at a day lying before you and be okay with its mundaneness. To be okay with boring. It won’t be boring forever. Things will happen. Vacations will be planned. Holidays will come up. But sometimes, life feels good when it’s just life. Just about working and enjoying each little moment as it comes.
So what does happiness mean to me? Happiness is about the little details. It’s about being content in the every day. It’s about the intense joy and gladness that fills us when we have something to look forward to. It’s about the choice.
We can always choose happiness. It’s not always the easiest emotion to choose (and frankly, sometimes we need to feel emotions like sadness and anger so I am not saying we have to be peppy all the time) but it is a worthwhile investment into our time. Happiness is a choice, it is a gift, and it is in our power to harness it and unleash it to the world.