Happiness is a curious subject. We all seem to crave it, but few of us I believe really understand what it really is.
Have you ever heard yourself say or think, I’ll be happy when…
Usually this follows with:
Ill be happy when I have paid off my mortgage?
I have the job of my dreams?
I have a new car?
I have £****** in the bank
Unfortunately if and when we reach the desired thing that we believe will make us happy, we then move the goal posts and decide that actually, now that we have paid off our mortgage, we will only allow ourselves to be happy when we can retire, or have a different house, and so on.
The Problem with Happiness?
If we are always chasing the illusiveness of happiness, we often forget to actually enjoy the moment. If you ask yourself when was the last time you felt truly happy? What would the answer be?
Did the feeling last?
Were you disappointed when you finally achieved your goal?
Was it how you expected?
The main problem we have as humans is that we are really designed for happiness… (There I said it). We have evolved to survive. Our brains are hard-wired for survival. Not to feel content, happy, relaxed etc. These are only fleeting feelings, as eventually our brains will revert to our ancestors and go straight back to survival mode.
The good news about happiness is that it can be learned!
This is good news, because this means we can teach ourselves how to be happy. This involves a few but very simple steps, that I encourage you to try for yourself, here are just a few:
- Give to others, (For example, Buy someone a coffee in the queue in the coffee shop)
- Listen to someone else’s problems without talking about yourself at all.
- Experience nature fully, go for a walk and look at the trees, do something physical, that gets you out of breath
- Set a small achievable goal and achieve it, (No matter how small)
- Spend time with a young child, or someone who uplifts you or makes you laugh.
- Watch a funny movie
Watch this Ted talk by Dan Gilbert, its really very enlightening.