Sometimes it seems like it’s difficult to find happiness without seeking it. It can easily be argued that every decision a person makes is in the pursuit of happiness. You might say, “Wait a minute. I go to a job I hate every day just so I can pay my bills, and still I barely survive.” True, but you really think that going to that job will make you happier than staying home and losing the ability to pay your bills, which is why you go to work everyday!
The need to be happy drives everyone, but people pursue happiness through different means. Some believe they’ll be happy if they can only amass a large enough fortune. Others believe they’ll be happy by helping others. Some pursue a family, while others believe the freedom of staying single provides a better opportunity for happiness.
An investment banker and a Buddhist monk are both pursuing happiness, only in dramatically different ways.
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
Can you make yourself happy on purpose? Can you pursue happiness and capture it like a child chasing a firefly? Science says “no.” So then, what is the secret to how to find happiness without seeking it?
How to find happiness without seeking it & without actively pursuing happiness:
1. Avoid overestimating the effect of your circumstances on your happiness.
- Even a perfect relationship and perfect job can become a grind after the newness wears off. You don’t need to live in the perfect location or have the ideal career to be happy. Nothing is perfect all the time.
- Studies show that people with modest incomes and possessions can be just as happy as the wealthy. Likewise, happiness doesn’t depend on where you live. There are happy and miserable people in the US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and everywhere else in the world.
- Happiness cannot be found by following a specific career path, following a particular religion, or having certain physical characteristics. There are happy and miserable doctors, clowns, homeless people, Christians, Jews, Muslims, tall people, short people, men, and women.
2. Avoid searching for strong emotions.
- Studies find that the happiest people are moderately happy on a regular basis. The frequency of positive emotions is much more important for happiness than the intensity of the emotions.
3. Focusing too heavily on yourself and your own happiness can lead to misery.
- Several scientific studies have shown that when subjects focused on their own happiness, they reported feeling lonely and depressed. Searching for happiness is a singular, perhaps even selfish, activity. Putting too much of your attention on yourself results in lowered mental health.
- Keep your attention on others if you want to be happy. It’s hard to be happy if you spend a lot of time alone, so widen your social network and focus your efforts on your friends and family if you want to be happy.
4. Gratitude is an important component of happiness.
- If you have a lot to be grateful for, you’ll naturally be happy, too, and find happiness without seeking it. Make gratitude a habit. Ask yourself what you’re grateful for several times each day.
- Set up trigger points where you can focus on gratitude, such as when you take a shower, put on your shoes, start your car, walk into your place of work, take off your shoes, and get into bed. Think about your own life. What are your current morning and evening routines? Use those routines to remind you to be grateful.
Happiness is the goal, but it can’t be pursued. It just happens when you’re living your life. There’s no reason to put off being happy until you’re married, make six figures, or climb Mount Everest. A few good friends, the right mindset, and gratitude are all one requires to have a happy life. Choose to be happy now!
Meditating and being grateful for your blessings can help you get in the right mindset and are important to your happiness, so remember to download the FREE 5 minute “Too Blessed To Be Stressed” guided meditation.
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Happiness coach passionate about helping you live a happier, healthier, less stressed life. Also love meditating, blogging, recording voiceovers, singing, and writing great music. Dedicated to utilizing my talents to help make your day shine! Contact me at [email protected]