We all strive for happiness. Every human being is very different in so many ways but one thing we all have in common is our pursuit of happiness. But what is happiness? Maybe learning about the properties of happiness will allow us to have a better understanding of how to actually achieve it.
Happiness is often misunderstood as a temporary emotion that comes and goes. But in reality, happiness is not necessarily dependent on the events of our lives. It can be considered as a state of mind. And you can definitely make choices and some behavioral changes to achieve it.
In this article, I will extensively discuss the answer about is happiness a state of mind. I will also talk about how to stay happy for most of the time of your life and how you can train yourself to be happy. Hopefully, you will understand the true meaning of happiness if you read through the whole article.
Is Happiness a Feeling or State of Mind?
We call true happiness the mixture of harmony, tranquility, and fulfillment. Happiness is therefore certainly a state of mind. On the other hand, feelings are responses to different real-life experiences that are produced inside your brain. You may be scared, for example, if you watch a scary movie, but you cannot consider it a state of mind.
Gladness was deemed an emotional consequence in everyday life in earlier days. Psychologists once said that if we do something fun and satisfying, we are happy. However, scientists came to the conclusion after thorough studies that pleasure is not simply an emotional manifestation of a fun experience.
Steve Maraboli was the first one to suggest that happiness is a state of mind. According to him, happiness in everyday life is not an emotional result. This remarkable author described happiness as a way of life. As a product of any form of success. He said that the way a person lives will decide if he will live a happier life.
Through scientific research, it has been found that the degree of satisfaction we enjoy is dictated partially by the genetic code in our DNA. This research also showed that about 50% of our happiness depends on DNA coding, another 10% depends on the circumstances of the individual and the remaining 40% are in our possession.
So, we can’t really control our state of mind due to genetic causes. But the other 40% is in our hands. We can actively make changes and adapt behaviors that can make us happy.
You may have noticed that some people almost always are in a good mood and some are the opposite. In your life, even though all is going smoothly, you might have observed that you are not happy. And sometimes you feel good for no reason whatsoever. Why does this occur?
Knowing the true meaning of it is important so that you could understand the roots of happiness. It is a very difficult job to define a proper concept of happiness. Instead, I will try to explain it thoroughly and address how people confuse other feelings with happiness.
Say, tomorrow you will watch a film and for a long time have been excited about it or your favorite video game has come and been waiting for that game for a long time. You may think it will create happiness in your brain when you watch that movie or play that game. Shockingly, it is wrong.
There is a big difference between happiness and excitement. And above-mentioned events of life only generate excitement.
Playing games, watching videos, riding on the rollers, kissing your better half, enjoying a delicious meal, etc. would give you massive excitement. But your brain will ask you what’s next right after you’ve completed any of these tasks. And your brain will be looking for a new source of stimulation that generates excitement.
Most people think this is how life works. We think life has a higher curve and a lower curve in terms of satisfaction and we just have to accept that. But it is a wrong concept. We made this up and down curve for our minds, which in the long run is bad for us.
Then what does happiness mean? It simply means harmony, calmness, and pleasure. You’re happy if you’re done with what happens now in your life. A happy man doesn’t think of the past, he doesn’t think of the future. He lives only today. Moreover, the most important fact is that he is not related to any unique stimuli. A happy person is able to overcome any kind of hardship.
Happiness is not an accomplishment, it’s a sensation. People believe that by satisfying our life needs we will achieve happiness. But the fact is after fulfilling one part of our lives, people want more and more. The satisfaction for the achievement of real-life goals is extremely transient. So, people spend all their lives looking for happiness.
Happiness gives people pleasure. Everyone believes that the other person is happier than him. However, for everyone, happiness is different. You can also not put your life on a par with others, they can just be miserable without showing it.
How Our Brain Handles Emotions
As the human race evolves, we embrace the nature of holding on to negative aspects over positive aspects of our life. You will be grateful, just for a very short time when your boss informs you that you are doing an outstanding job at work.
But you can recall only the derogatory remark of your boss, if he adds, “… but you must make certain improvements on some areas of your work.” This is the way our brain functions. In other words, a positive life experience does not neutralize a negative experience.
We once needed this form of physiological effect for survival. It didn’t matter if we survived with a happy mind at the time. Our brain just cared for survival in a very harsh world. There wasn’t even any time for considering happiness in a world of constant peril and dangers.
However, this negative drive is virtually useless in our minds nowadays. As we don’t have to be scared for our lives all day. The absence of stress for survival has left our minds with an emptiness that can only be filled with happiness or sadness.
A good thing is that we can train our brain so that we are satisfied and can forget the negative aspects of life. This is important for proper mental development and a happy life.
How to Be Happier in Life?
Happiness can be achieved with the right mindset and practices. As mentioned before materialistic gains only give you excitement, not happiness. You being happy only depends on how you perceive and interact with the world around you.
How here are some tips on how you can be happier. Following these tips will definitely bring some positivity in your life which is a precursor to being happy.
Smile as much as you can
Smiling is one gesture that will put a positive impact on your mind. It can have a good effect even in a difficult situation. It’s been scientifically proven that smiling more often helps reduce stress and automatically make a person happier. So, we are just going to improve our morale by putting a smile on our faces. This is a very simple way to always be happy.
The subtle shifts in muscles in our bodies have some drastic effects on our minds. Close your palm, for example. You should know that smiling doesn’t come easily when the palms are clenched tightly because it triggers the rage in your brain. Likewise, the brain would feel content with a persistent smile.
You might question if you should always smile. I know it’s not an easy task at all. When you’re going through a tough time, it is very difficult to smile. But this is achievable in reality and a smile can be used as a boost in your life. Smiling is one of the best ways to imitate joy in your brain. So, always try to put on a happy face regardless of the situation.
Wake up early in the Morning
Waking up early in the morning not only has positive effects on your wellbeing but also on your emotion and mood. Psychologists recommend that you wake up early in the morning because this will give you a good attitude and will relieve you of stress. Some studies say early risers are less likely to be frustrated.
Waking up in the morning is a must to embrace inner peace. I’ll recommend that you wake up, if possible, before sunrise. Your mental state will improve by the pleasant atmosphere present during sunrise. However, it is crucial to note that breakfast is absolutely essential within 30 minutes of waking up. Otherwise, the main purpose of waking up early might get inverted.
Try to Change Your Perspective on life
You would never experience a genuine sense of happiness if you have a pessimistic outlook on life. I agree, it’s not an easy feat for all of you out there. Some years ago, when I broke up with my girlfriend, I hit a rough patch in my life as well.
Obviously, I was devastated, and I saw the world and life as God’s cage. But with time, through a close relationship with my friends and family, I have repaired the wound in my heart. There is a fair possibility that you feel the same as you are reading this post.
Believe me, life has a lot to offer and it is surely no wise decision to hang on to the tragic past. You need to learn to let negative memories go and go on to find real happiness. Maybe it won’t be easy, but if you want a good and stable life it is necessary.
Express Your Emotions
One of the best ways to achieve real happiness is to show affection to the ones you value. Depressed people are typically someone who can’t show their emotions to the people they care about.
Katarina Blom is one of today’s most inspiring psychologists. During a talk, she addressed how your life and attitude will have a positive effect by expressing affection and kindness for your mom, dad, sister, wife, and friend. You have to inform people around you what you feel about them to pursue true happiness.
On the other hand, you should also take action if you do not like the behavior of someone against you. Because saying nothing to them is going to make you feel wretched. But you shouldn’t use the wrong behavior because doing that will give you some pleasure momentarily, but it is far from what true happiness means. It’s not good for you or anyone else.
A happy person never has disrespectful behavior with others and appears to maintain a positive friendship with everyone. You will need people around you who will support you in order to experience inner happiness.
Try to Appreciate the Things You Have
In our life, we all have multiple goals. Some tasks can be accomplished and others cannot be achieved. That’s how life operates. You might not reach a certain goal even after putting in a lot of effort. Often this continuous loop of success and failure causes people to feel unhappy, sad, and frustrated.
Another excellent way to be consistently happy is to appreciate stuff that you already have. Grinding over the stuff you haven’t done would just rob you. Just know, there’s somebody out there who lives a far more terrible life than yours. But still, if you are less happy than that man, what are your life’s accomplishments?
Acknowledging stuff you have already done would not only please you but also provide a further boost to your life’s success. To excel, it is important to have great ambition. But it is foolish to equate the emotion with this ambition because it will keep you from achieving a different target in the future if you fail.
Write Down the Strengths that You Have
There must be certain things in your life that you can do better than someone else. And this has no relation to the education or the area of employment. It could be like gaming, painting, dance, and so on. Whatever talent you seek, write it down on a pad or your screen. It doesn’t matter what field you excel at.
Writing down your strengths will inspire you to excellence in these areas and ultimately make you very happy. Some of the experts agree that our depression is directly related to our thoughts. Numerous people think they are utterly pointless and have little to offer. So, by recording our skills, we feel happy with ourselves.
You have to be content with what you have. When you learn how to count your strengths, you will never be disappointed. You must write it down at a place where you can see it easily. Writing advice will assist a man to better understand his life and fill an optimistic mind. And it will eventually lead you towards constant happiness.
Meditation is a Great Way to Pursue Happiness
You should start your day with sunrise meditation when you wake up in the morning. Mediating every day is not only healthy, it also gives you a sense of fulfillment. Studies have shown that the cure for depression can be meditation. Mediating on the morning wind is sure to improve your mood.
Meditation may play an important role in sustaining a positive spirit. The first two things that your mind needs to adapt to be calm and quiet if you want always to be happy. And several studies have shown that everyday meditation not only gives you these things but also helps in tough times. A regular mediator would not break down in stressful conditions.
Happiness is a mental state, and meditation trains a person to understand happiness. For your own betterment, you should wake up and become accustomed to morning meditation. Obviously, it is not an easy job to pursue a happy state of mind, but it is most likely done by meditation.
Keep a good Relation with Your Loved Ones
The research found that a solitary lifestyle is a principal cause of depression. You could be more miserable and failing if you live alone. It’s important for a joyful life to have a family and friends. You have to stay or remain in touch with the ones you love and care about if you want to be happy.
I previously discussed how we get confused between Happiness and Excitement. An impressive study has shown how family members and friends can allow us to be happy continuously. In that experiment, a mouse was put in a tank with enough food and water. The mouse was given two types of food.
One form of food was mixed with opium and the other was just raw grain. The mouse had all but had no companion inside the tank. The mouse almost always chose the food with heroin.
The same experiment was performed again but a group of mice was present this time. Scientists were shocked that the group of mice did not touch the food contaminated with heroin. This experiment shows how important family members are to stay happy. Having a good relationship with your loved ones will help you to excel in your life.
Try to Work on the Field of Your Interest
Many people in the United States die from heart disease. One magnificent research has found that at around 9 a.m. most cardiac attacks or strokes occur. Do you know why this research was crucial to the time of heart attacks? The reason behind that is, 9 am is the hour of people’s general office. In the USA, 80% of people dislike their work completely.
How would you look forward to a happier life if you work in a field that you don’t like? The U.S. faces a major depression crisis around the world. Their place of employment is one of the major factors behind this depression. Many people still commit suicide because every day they choose death to jobs.
It is frightening, but really important to leave your career and to try to work in the field you want. You won’t necessarily see immediate success, but just trust me. You will have to be consistent for years, but once you hit the summit, you don’t have to think about your happiness. You will be pure and continually grateful that you work in your preferred sector.
Try to Spend as Less Time as Possible on Social Media
When a certain amount of dopamine is emitted inside the brain people feel relaxed and excited. And you may have guessed it before but cigarettes, heroines, and other narcotics unleash big dopamine’s into the brain, which is why they are so addictive. While social media scrolling is not as extreme as drugs, it still releases tremendous quantities of dopamine.
When the brain is familiar with this dopamine level, it increases the expectations of dopamine amount. This leads to various issues including headaches, inability to concentrate on work and research, lack of confidence in life, etc. Furthermore, it just adds to the self-created up and down the curve of happiness we described before.
You should prevent this kind of dopamine effect as far as possible to be reliably satisfied. Real lives, not social media, are the basis for the perpetual good mood. It’s a terrible thing for social media to devote that much time. An individual may be imposed across social networks in depression. It is a source of unhappiness and uncertainty for many people in society. People are contrasting their lives to others, and that is tragic.
Try to do One Good Thing Everyday
I’m very sure you have done something positive in your life, like helping elderly people go down the road or helping a homeless person with some cash. I bet you really felt good about it. Psychologists have agreed that serving victims would certainly boost your morale and purify you.
Helping people to seek constant pleasure is always beneficial. It makes you improve the situation once a day by being accustomed to supporting others. As I said, calmness and harmony are one of the main elements of real happiness. You would have a rare piece by supporting a less fortunate man that you cannot otherwise feel.
Try to Cut Ties with Things and People that Depresses You
There is something or someone in almost everybody’s life who made them feel less of a person. These individuals just drag people down. To seek true happiness, it is very important to break ties with these people. These people would make no constructive impact on your life and will only depress you.
For your personal and work life, any form of negative energy is highly hazardous. For a calm and happy lifestyle, cutting them down is very important. You may find it a little complicated, but you can really see immediate effects. You should quit the workplace rather than face constant embarrassment if that guy is your boss.
You must not only cut ties with negative people but also to objects that depress you. If you smoke, drink, or use some sort of drugs, then you need to acknowledge that these are just positive stuff that can drag you away. These toxic items are just made so that you get hooked to these goods.
They do not only harm your body; they also cause considerable damage to your brain and emotions. Nothing is greater than the feeling of genuine happiness. So, cutting off access to stuff that makes you sad will greatly improve your life and will help you to pursue true happiness.
Many people tend to divert towards drugs in search of happiness. It is unfortunately a common occurrence in our society. If ever have the opportunity to dabble in such practices. I highly advise that you don’t.
These will only temporarily make you forget about your depression and other troubles. As soon as the kick wears off, you’ll be back where you were. And this will continue like a vicious cycle until you are morally and economically ruined. The same goes for consuming alcohol.
Try to understand that these things do not bring happiness. They just make you forget about your sadness for a brief period. So, instead of taking the easy and temporary route, try to make actual positive changes to your life.
In this article, I briefly talked about happiness and tried to explain your question of is happiness a state of mind. I have also discussed how happiness can be archived by bringing small changes in your behavior, perspective and interactions with others. The fundamental goal of this article is to let you know that within your mind you can create constant peace. But only if you are determined to do so.
It is necessary to understand the difference between excitement and happiness. If you want to be happy, then you can practice some of the advice in this article. I’m sure you will notice the differences in a matter of days. I hope this article helps you to live a better and happier life. Wishing you all the best. Thanks for stopping by.