Happiness is a relative term that we use to describe certain aspects of our lives. We are happy for our friends when they go on a great vacation or get a promotion. We are happy for our parents who are enjoying their retirement. We are happy for our co-workers who got engaged or bought a house. We are happy for our kids experiencing success in school, activities, or at jobs of their own. But what about us? What makes us genuinely happy? Of course, we see the #happy #blessed all over social media? Is that the truth?
What happens when anger, fear, doubt, and worry creep in threatening to rain on our happy parade? The big four come to us in a variety of forms. Natural disasters, climate change, money, taxes, stock market woes, overdoses, opioid epidemic, mass shootings, politics that may have cost us a friend or two are just a few crises that plague our world and our lives. It is easy to let anger, doubt, fear, and worry overwhelm us…consume us at times. Can we be happy despite seeing so much heartache and sadness happening around us?
Even though I consider myself a happy individual. I spend a fair amount of time worrying over the “what ifs.” You know the things that hit you in the morning, in the afternoon, and at 2:30 in the morning. Worrying can make your brain feel a little better…for the short term. It makes your brain feel like something is being done about the problem. But in the long-term, there has to be a better answer than tossing and turning during the night worrying about work projects, family issues, or money troubles.
What can be done to quiet the fear, the doubt, and worry? What can be done to calm the anger? Does being genuinely happy help? I believe that it does. Sharing in others good fortune, seeing the beauty in the world around us, and spending time and attention on what makes us happy. What makes us happy? Family, friends, snow, road trips, hearing a great song on the radio, autumn leaves, puppies, fishing, reading you name it. There is a little chemical in the brain that goes by the name serotonin. It is sometimes called the happy chemical. Serotonin contributes to our own sense of well-being. The release of serotonin in the bloodstream makes you feel comfortable, content, maybe even grateful. Spending time focusing on those positive aspects in your life make you feel happy or filled with gratitude. That one simple act can affect the serotonin levels in your body.
What is the takeaway? Can we be truly happy despite the hard-knocks life throws at us from time to time? Political, financial, marital, parental stress can wear you down if you let. You hear the mantras over and over. Like live your best life, be the best you possible, killin’ it, and on a mission. What does it mean to live your best life? Only you know how to be you possible! Yes, we can be happy, grateful, and blessed. There are times where we have to wade through what I call a bunch of crap, but the journey to finding the gratitude and happiness is worth it. Find your happy.
All my best to you,