Is America the best nation in the world?
Many say yes, but that doesn’t mean we’re the happiest.
We are the most blessed nation, but not the happiest of people.
Despite the trouble, we have multiplied opportunities to experience a happy life. However, recent research shows that happiness in America is in decline.
The latest World Happiness Report finds that life satisfaction fell by 6% in the United States between 2007 and 2018. This change is evident by the number of people who say they’re not too happy: 13% in 2018 compared with 8% in 1990. That’s over a 50% increase in unhappy people.
The mystery of happiness
The Oxford English Dictionary defines happiness as “a feeling, showing pleasure or contentment.”
On certain days, we wake up happy and don’t know why. Other days, we open our eyes to despair and wonder; Where’s my happy feeling?
Is happiness dependent upon circumstances? No.
Happiness is a choice, not a circumstance.
If happiness depends on circumstances, why are the most wealthy not the happiest? Yes, money handles trouble, but there are tons of happy people without money.
Jim Carrey coined it best: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
Happiness is intentional
Intentional living means dropping what we assume our life should resemble and deal with what it is.
Happiness eludes us. Can we unlock it? Yes, we can.
Psychologists Michael Woodward says: “Moving towards your potential fuels happiness.”
We can act our way into a new way of thinking. We can stimulate our happiness vibes. Stimulating our happiness includes things such as; Listen to soothing music, watch a movie, read a book, walk on the beach, or connect to a friend.
Everyday happiness is a choice. You get to decide your perspective; The way you view what happens. You need not pretend everything’s wonderful if it isn’t, but you can stop worsening difficulties and seek opportunities to tune into a lighter vibe.
Happify.com suggest 14 things that stimulate happiness.
Let’s consider these 8
1. Happy people are more successful in multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health.
2. Happy people get sick less often and experience fewer symptoms when they get sick.
3. Happy people have more friends and a better support system.
4. Happy people donate more to charity (and giving money to charity makes you happy, too).
5. Happy people are more helpful and more likely to volunteer — which also makes you happier!
6. Happy people have an easier time navigating through life since optimism eases pain, sadness, and grief.
7. Happy people engage in deeper and more meaningful conversations.
8. Happy people live longer than those who are not as happy.
Happy people live longer
Wow! Happy people volunteer more, live longer, are more generous, sick less often, experience more success, and enjoy better relationships.
There is a connection to good relationships and happiness. Happy people build meaningful relationships. Healthy relationships from immediate family members stimulate happy endorphins and great relationships make the world a better place.
Studies confirm that healthy relationships are a significant factor in experiencing genuine happiness.
Happy people also experience better health, improved social skills, higher-paying jobs, and healthier self-esteem.
Medium writer, Barbara Henslee says;
“It’s not our circumstances that create gratitude; It’s the perception of our circumstances. We can’t make our happiness conditional on things outside our control. The more complex our life becomes, the more expectations we have. So, we must make choices. We make the choice to move through life with a sense of appreciation in all we receive and to be content with our lives and the choices we make.”
Happy people are grateful
Gratefulness is also a choice and not a feeling. It is key to a happy life. Gratefulness is like a natural superpower.
Happiness and gratefulness are twins. Recent studies reveal that grateful people are more energetic, forgiving, emotionally stable, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely.
Charles Dickens said; “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many, not your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
Being happy is not the end game of life
This forces us to answer the question; Is happiness our primary purpose?
Ralph Waldo Emerson says: “The purpose of life is not happiness. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
According to Emerson, the purpose of life is not happiness but being useful, honorable, and compassionate. That sounds like a choice to me.
Unless we choose an alternative.
Thank you for reading this post. You can check out more of my writing on my blog site.