I've been trying to figure out happiness. What is it? Where does it come from? How do i find it? I grew up with the whole, 'just be happy' attitude and that never resonated with me. How can you just be happy? Don't you have to find your happy? How do you enjoy things? How do you find things to enjoy? How does one have a positive attitude when things are always (to quote a good friend), "going sideways"? Sometimes the sideways is upside down, inside out, backwards, and flying full speed through the sky with no control.
The state of happiness: contentment, pleasure, satisfaction, cheerfulness, joy, gladness, well-being, good spirits, and enjoyment. The definition only caused myself more confusion. Was I supposed to feel this way everyday? All the time? Is that even attainable? Once I started down this path of trying to understand my own happiness, I began to feel upset at myself, and feel I was broken because I couldn't do what it seems everyone else can do. I cannot feel happy, I cannot understand this concept. It seems so foreign.
I came across a quote that I particularly relate to by Eleanor Roosevelt, "Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both do in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.".
Something a couple of weeks later clicked as I was pondering what Eleanor had said. Happiness isn't a bubble you live in all the time. Happiness at it's simplest form is contentment. Am I content? In my job, marriage, hobbies, friendships, spiritual, physical health? I found that in some of those categories I am overly content and calm, while others (particularly my spiritual and physical health) I am lacking in contentment. My journey of finding happiness requires change and introspection. I decided to actively work on my own happiness, research other peoples journeys, reflect on how to begin a metamorphosis in my life to attain the happiness I long for. Most importantly how to be in the present with where I am now, and accept myself in that state.
I picked up Gretchen Rubin's book, 'The Happiness Project', and am quickly soaking up everything she has written. With my new understanding of the definition I can see so many ways I can make my own Happiness Project. I have picked up several other books on this topic and can't wait to dive in. In something not true to form to myself, I am currently working on making changes while I am reading and not waiting until I am done! Currently I am trying to meditate in the morning, get at least 8 hours of sleep, remember to drink water, call my husband daily, and have at least 1.5 hours of tech free time before bed. In the past week I have been doing these small things I have noticed a difference in my mood, fatigue levels, and work production. I am very excited to continue my happiness journey, and discover where it leads.