Who doesn’t wish to feel happy in their hearts? That’s the ultimate goal in our lives, right? But it’s not a so easily obtained emotion. People keep looking for that perfect heart of happiness, but it remains elusive.
It is such a subjective feeling or state of being that you can’t specify that when this happens, an individual will become happy or stay happy. Because every person has their own thing or factor that triggers the deep emotion of happiness in them.
No two people are the same. If baking makes you happy, you will surely have a particular friend that feels truly contented after doing expensive shopping. Before delving into the heart of happiness, i.e., a heart filled with absolute joy and pleasure, let’s shed some light on the term HAPPINESS itself.
What Exactly Is Happiness?
Sometimes we get confused about what will give us this mysterious, in-demand emotion. This unclarity comes from many directions: our family, friends, social media, and ads. Have you ever noticed how all such elements gang up on you to influence you about what will make you happy?
The result is that what you think will make you happy is drastically different from what actually makes you happy. Becoming a millionaire might be your dream to achieve that longed-for heart of happiness, but even if you get there, you might not still feel pure happiness.
You will realize it by keenly reading the coming few paragraphs.
What exactly is happiness? It’s complex to understand and describe. I personally believe true happiness is when you combine two types of happy feelings;
The contentment you achieved through experiences of pleasure and enjoyment.
The happiness you feel through virtuous actions, acts of moral excellence, and giving yourself room for total growth of self in the world.
Even Sonja Lyubomirsky, a Riverside psychologist and happiness researcher from the University of California, supports this definition;
Happiness: “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”
We found a decent definition of happiness to satisfy our curiosity. Now comes the tricky part; How to achieve this heart of happiness?
Achieving the Heart Of Happiness!
Let’s see how you can gain and retain that feeling of joy and contentment to make your life extraordinary.
1. Letting Go of Harmful Regrets
Everybody has regrets. But constantly obsessing over past mistakes or actions makes such regrets harmful rather than constructive. You can even feel suicidal or depressed if you keep ruminating about the past. Let go of excessive regrets with exercise and other healthy habits to become happier you.
2. Exercising and physical activity
Exercise and physical activity help produce happiness in one’s life. You leave your devices, venture outside, and sleep better. In addition, the released endorphins give us a pleasurable experience, reducing anxiety or stress.
3. Giving Honest Expression Of Self
You get the heart of happiness when you stay true to yourself deep inside. It means avoiding the unhealthy strategies of people-pleasing or caring too much about what others think.
4. Meaningful Relationships With Others
No human being is an island. Stay connected to your loved ones or pursue new meaningful relationships that give you a sense of meaning, self-worth, and belonging. A Harvard study proves that strong social relationships are the greatest contributor to lasting happiness for most people.
5. Staying Positive Against All Odds
No matter what the odds, try to practice optimism when thinking about your future. Studies indicate that humans tend to have a negativity bias, i.e., underappreciating positives and over-focusing on negatives. Reframe things from setbacks to opportunities to stay happy and contented.
6. Performing Acts of Kindness and Generosity
Nothing compares to the feeling of true happiness you get from helping others. Your spirits lift up, and you feel wholesome. Just be careful not to overcommit or burn yourself out while doing acts of kindness with others.
7. Being Grateful For Everything
Some people are ever not thankful in life, which makes them unhappy overall. Being grateful for what you have can immensely affect your quality of life. Sometimes saying a simple ‘Thank You’ to someone for their help on your behalf is more than enough to build a healthy connection and spread happiness within you and other people.
You decide what you must do to achieve the mysterious heart of happiness. The reality is that happiness comes when you focus on yourself and other things, such as establishing deep connections, serving others, and contributing to something larger than yourselves.
As the English philosopher John Stuart Mill states:
“Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness: on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming at something else, they find happiness, by the way.”
Achieving a happy heart is not just a myth. You can turn it into a reality by adopting positive habits and approaches.
Being happy and joyful directly affects your general health. Many research studies link happiness with improved heart health and a lower risk of heart disease by about 13 to 26% (Kim, Smith & Kubzansky, 2014, Boehm et al., 2011, Kubzansky & Thurston, 2007, Davidson, Mostofsky & Whang, 2010).
Is happiness a choice? Yes. Initially, you get the impression happiness is a feeling. But now, people realize happiness is a choice, and it's up to you to intentionally choose to be happy, whatever the circumstances.
The answer is no. These are two entirely different things. You can be the richest person on earth and still be unhappy.