Happiness is subjective. While others will say that success, wealth, and beauty do not define what happiness really is, for some people, those are everything they need. Hence, you can’t really impose on what makes people happy. If it’s not a fleeting feeling of pleasure but a lasting source of joy and contentment, then that might be your true happiness.
What is true happiness?
First of all, what is happiness?
Here is my working definition of happiness:
Happiness = feeling good about one’s life in general while you are experiencing it.
We could rephrase that as:
Happiness = momentary pleasure combined with long-term satisfaction.
For a person to be happy, he or she must be able to experience both feelings: enjoying himself or herself at the time and being content with his or her life overall.
In fact, these two components should reinforce each other.
If your life was excellent but you never felt enjoyment from what you did, would you still call yourself happy? Maybe “satisfied” instead of “happy”? But that’s a different question.
Satisfaction and enjoyment are the two components that compose happiness, but they should mesh together in a way that doesn’t create conflict.
They both have their own role to play; no one component is more important than the other—neither is the foundation for true happiness.
Happiness depends on how well this balance between satisfaction and enjoyment works in your life.
If you can get as much satisfaction from an activity as possible while still enjoying yourself, then you’ve discovered what true happiness feels like!
Talking about “true happiness”
Happiness has three main manifestations:
- 1. the happiness you have now
- 2. the ideal happiness you’d like to achieve someday
- 3. the optimal way to get there.
True happiness is when you feel truly fulfilled in all aspects of your life—you are getting as much satisfaction as possible while also experiencing the maximum amount of enjoyment. It’s a state that everyone should strive for and try to achieve.
Optimal happiness is the way of life that will help you achieve true happiness—the strategy, choices, and sacrifices necessary to get there.
15 Ways to Find True Happiness in Life
Now, how do you find true happiness? Here are some ways to help you find pure joy and genuine happiness in life.
1. Know what happiness means to you.
First, you need to know what happiness means to you. Your friend’s happiness might be building her own family, your happiness might be publishing your own book, and your other friend’s happiness might be accumulating wealth. Everyone has his or her own definition of happiness. You can’t undermine others’ definition of happiness; neither do they have the right to judge yours. So, don’t hesitate to ask yourself first: “What makes me really happy”?
2. Work hard for your happiness.
Knowing what makes you genuinely happy is just the first step. For you to attain happiness, you need to work hard. Is making your own name in the business industry your true happiness? Is it making your family happy that makes you happy as well? Then, work hard. Achieving your true happiness sure doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, it will never be easy, but it will all be worth it.
3. Don’t rely on other people just to make you happy.
Also, you need to remember that your happiness does not depend on other people. Be truly happy on your own. Be happy if you’re single; there’s nothing wrong with being one. If you’re in a relationship, don’t rely on your partner too much. This is not to say that you shouldn’t be totally happy with your partner; you deserve that, but don’t forget to find ways to be genuinely happy without relying on other people.
4. Attain stability.
Let’s be realistic. It’s hard to attain true happiness if you have not yet attained stability. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you need to fulfill your physiological and safety needs in order for you to attain higher needs. The same thing applies to happiness. It’s hard to attain whatever it is that makes you happy if you can’t provide for your basic needs.
5. Stay healthy.
Even if you’ve already attained happiness, if you don’t remain healthy, then everything will be put to waste. What’s wealth if you’re not capable of enjoying it? Take care of yourself. Be responsible with what you eat; be responsible with your body. You know the consequences if you don’t prioritize your health.
ALSO READ: 12 Simple Tips to Have a Healthy Life
6. Appreciate the little things.
Sometimes, you may be too caught up in finding happiness that you tend to overlook the simple things in life that can actually make you happy. Isn’t it wonderful that you’re still breathing? Isn’t it great to see the sunrise and set? Learn to appreciate the things that you have. If you develop the attitude of being grateful, then it will be easier for you to find true happiness in life.
7. Forgive yourself and other people.
Sometimes, you end up blaming yourself for a past mistake. You think your life is miserable because of what you’ve done. If you keep blaming yourself, then you will hardly find true happiness in life. Learn to forgive yourself; know that you still have a chance to make yourself better. Also, if you hold some grudge or even hate for other people, try your best to forgive them. Don’t make that hate stop you from being truly happy in life.
8. Defeat the green-eyed monster.
Sometimes, it’s hard to beat jealousy. However, you cannot find true happiness in life if you keep comparing yourself to other people. There will always be people who are more successful, more brilliant, more good-looking than you. However, that doesn’t make you less as a person. You might have something that others don’t have. They might even be dreaming of what you already have right now, so defeat the green-eyed monster.
9. Be truly happy for other people.
Once you’ve conquered the green-eyed monster, it will be easier for you to be genuinely happy for other people. Remember that one’s success is not your failure. If your best friend just got promoted or got the chance to study abroad, be truly happy for him or her. You will get there; you have your own time zone.
ALSO READ: 8 Signs You Are Bitter: How to Stop It and Live a Happier Life
10. Accept the things you can’t change.
In order to find true happiness in life, you need to accept that there are things you just can’t change. You can’t change your past mistakes, your childhood, your height, etc. There are just things that are out of your control. All you need to do is to keep moving forward and think of not doing the same mistakes.
11. Focus on what you can do.
While there are some things that you can’t change, there are so many things that you can do. Focus on them. Do you want to get the highest possible rank in the company you’re working for? Then, work hard for that goal. Have a good work ethic. Seek for self-improvement. Want to lose weight? Then, do something about it. Challenge yourself. Stay determined, dedicated, and disciplined.
12. Take a break.
No matter how passionate you are about things, you will still end up getting exhausted. That’s why it‘s important for you to take a break every once in a while. Take a nap. Travel. Go to a party. Have a drink. Read a book. Do whatever it is that makes you relaxed.
ALSO READ: How to Give Yourself a Break From Work: 11 Ways to Recharge Your Batteries
13. Surround yourself with positive people.
Another way to find true happiness in life is to surround yourself with positive people. Be with the ones who will cheer you up. Be with the ones who will uplift your spirit. Let these people inspire you to pursue what makes you happy. These people will remind you that there are so many things in life to be happy about.
ALSO READ: How to be More Optimistic and Positive in Life
14. Do something nice to other people.
One secret to finding true happiness in life is to treat other people well. You don’t have to do grand things for them. Just showing them that you care for them is already a big difference. Help an old man cross the street. Avoid gossiping. Do charity work. You might just find real purpose and happiness in life by seeing other people’s smile.
15. Conquer yourself.
Most importantly, find true happiness in life by conquering yourself. Your greatest enemy is not your neighbor, not your competitor at work, not your teacher, but yourself. Overcome your worries. Face your fears. Don’t live in the “what ifs”. Get up. Surprise yourself with the things that you never imagined you could actually do.
Indeed, finding true happiness seems a little bit tricky. However, you can always do something. Be yourself. Work hard. Never give up. Live your life the way you want it, and be happy.
14 Signs of True Happiness in a relationship
How do you know if a person is truly happy in a relationship? Can you see it through his/her eyes, smile, or laughter? Can we say that people in a relationship are happy when they don’t fight and argue with each other?
We enter into a relationship because we want to be happy. Of course, who wants to experience sadness anyway? We expect that love can give us a unique feeling of joy, something that we’d never felt in our lives. Love and relationships may throw us some trials and cause us some pain. But no matter what troubles come in our way, we can still find happiness somewhere within our own relationship.
To achieve real happiness in a relationship, we have to first identify and recognize what it really is. We have to distinguish fake happiness from the genuine one. To help us identify true happiness in a relationship, here are 14 signs that someone is truly happy in his or her relationship.
1. You feel like your dreams have become realities.
You feel content and fulfilled. You do not feel envy anymore. You are indeed living a true life in the present moment.
2. You’re glad to face trials.
The problems and challenges you face in your relationship don’t make you sad and weak. Instead, they make you stronger and more positive. You count those trials as joy because you know they only exist to test your faith, and that the testing of your faith will help you produce more patience.
3. You’re not bothered by the past.
You’re not troubled about the past because you have already accepted them. You have accepted your partner for who he or she was. You have already forgiven those who have hurt you, and you have already forgiven yourself as well.
4. You’re not worried about the future.
Your love for your partner has made you a complete lover. Your love is pure – you are not afraid to not receive love in return. You don’t waste time thinking about losing. You just love unconditionally, and that makes you simply happy.
5. Small things make you greatly happy.
You don’t mind receiving expensive gifts, dining in a fine restaurant, or traveling around the world. Just seeing the smile on the face of your loved one and realizing that you are having time together is already enough for you to feel an unexplainable joy.
6. You are happy to sacrifice things.
You don’t count the things you give to your partner and feel unfair if you think you are giving more than your partner does. Your love is true, and that is why you can give them more than what they deserve. When you give something more than what they deserve, that is called grace. And you feel truly happy knowing how grateful you are.
7. Your relationship lets you love yourself.
Your relationship doesn’t let you hurt yourself. Instead, it nurtures you and helps you become a better person. It teaches you to take care of yourself. It lets you love your partner as you love yourself.
8. You rejoice in the truth.
You don’t need to cover your life and relationship with lies to fake happiness. You are not afraid to tell the truth because both of you appreciate it. You share and enjoy truthfulness together, making your relationship an honest and transparent one.
9. You don’t need to brag things.
You don’t feel obligated to show on Facebook, social media and other public places that you are happy in your relationship. You can simply enjoy your relationship in private without trying to make other people feel envious and feed your own vanity.
10. You don’t need absolute freedom.
What you need is balanced freedom. You are working hard to free yourself from hatred, lies and other wickedness. You don’t want to be a slave of those sins. But you are happy to be a slave of love, kindness, truth, and compassion. You do not serve two masters, because you know it is not possible.
11. You can be happy even without physical intimacy.
Physical intimacy is vital in a relationship, especially in marriage. However, it may not be available all the time. You are truly happy in a relationship if you don’t rely on physical intimacy alone. You believe that a healthy and happy relationship also feeds on emotional, mental, and spiritual intimacy.
12. Your heart is full of mercy.
You do not keep grudges and bitterness inside your heart. You forgive your partner for their mistakes and shortcomings. You do not keep a heavy heart and that is why you are truly happy.
13. You can argue peacefully.
Both of you are not too sensitive and reactive. You can speak freely and share your own opinions with each other. You listen to each other. You can argue about things peacefully and productively.
14. You can cry.
You have a soft and open heart. It doesn’t restrain your true emotions. You can freely let your tears flow, whether they are tears of joy or pain. You can keep yourself as a real and natural human being.
40 Inspiring Quotes about Happiness
Reading through the quotes about happiness from some of the wisest people throughout history will help you have a more positive outlook on life. Here are 40 inspiring quotes that will restore your smile and brighten up your day.