I am an author who focuses on faith and mental health issues, particularly depression/anxiety, and fluctuating moods. My blog, goodthoughtsgoodlives.com, also focuses on these issues with a little DIY thrown in now and then for some relief.
What if someone asked you, “How happy are you?” It might be hard for you to answer as happiness is a fairly complex emotion.
Can we be trying too hard to be happy?
What if we are always pursuing the things we think will make us happy, like more money, being married, owning our own home? What if we get so busying pursuing those things we forget to enjoy our present moments? What if in these pursuits we overlook the things that really will make us happy?
The more we seek out that illusive something the more dissatisfied we will be and the more illusive happiness becomes. We will keep thinking there is that one thing around the corner that will make us happy or happier. Consequently, we will miss those moments of happiness that show up in surprising ways.
Expectations of happiness can be so unrealistic we wouldn’t recognize it when it’s right in front of us. And we can become so busy pursuing success, we sacrifice meaningful relationships.
And if we’re judging our happiness based on how happy we think other people are, we are really in trouble.
The definition of happiness changes with history and cultures. Early settlers to America might have defined happiness as freedom from drought and attacks by Indians.
African women might define happiness as having enough food for their family.
(As I was searching for pictures in Google, I came across images that absolutely horrified me. I chose not to use them because somehow that seemed to be “cheapen” what these children and their parents deal with every day. Plus I have a big problem with using such photos for their shock value. In a world where such information is easily accessed, if we don’t know about the starvation that exists in this part of the world, it’s because we don’t want to know.)
Sad to say in the United States, happiness might be defined as having the latest “smart” phone.
The definition of happiness changes depending on where we are in our life and where we live in the world.
Funny how survival has a funny way of narrowing our definition of happiness. 🙂