Where is Happiness Found?

Oct 23, 2021
Where is Happiness Found?

Happiness really is the ultimate goal of all of us, isn’t it? And yet for many of us it is elusive. We seek and search for it, we chase it, we try to hang onto it, but it can escape us again and again.

In my upcoming book “U-Turn” I talk about happiness in the very first chapter. Happiness means different things to different people. It is subjective. What makes one person happy may not make another person happy. But we know that happiness is a very important part of supporting emotional health in our daily life. So where can we find it day after day? There are several ways of looking at this so we can wrap our minds around it.

Persisting Toward Happiness

Some people say that you just have to choose to be happy. And I never really understood that—especially when I was so poor that I had to choose whether to buy butter or toilet paper at the grocery store. I didn’t know how to choose to be happy. And it didn’t seem like a choice when I was struggling because of the excruciating pain of fibromyalgia that I used to experience. But I didn’t give up, I am a curious person that is part science minded and part faith based, so I persisted in determining how to be happy.

I was miserable and sad because of my situation in life and I was consumed with the dilemma that if happiness was a choice, wouldn’t someone in my situation would choose to be happy if they could? It wasn’t as if I was choosing NOT to be happy, was I?

My Discovery

Well through my experimentation, I finally discovered something! And you may think this is counterintuitive, or just plain bull, but it is true. I finally came to the conclusion that– the choice to be happy must be made BEFORE the attainment of the feeling of happiness arrives. Whoa, that is so simple it sounds profound doesn’t it…

Let me say this again. The choice to be happy has to be made BEFORE the feelings of being happy will show up. Essentially, while you feel like crap, are in physical or emotional pain, struggling to pay your bills, or just feeling down right in the dumps, you have to decide that you are happy. Sight unseen, you are buying this happy condo knowing it is in a shambles and you are going to fix it up even though you might not currently have the resources, money, tools, or know-how.

Really? Yeap. I’m not kidding you.

And this decision will not ever be followed by instant gratification. There will be no fireworks or balloons or congratulations here. (Except, from me of course. When any of my clients express that they “get it”, WE DEFINITELY CELEBRATE because I know how important it is in changing their life!)

Intentional Habit

So you may be wondering what the real key is here. When you make the decision, or intension , it means you are making a decision to train yourself to cultivate a habit of “feeling” happy. And I talk about how to trigger these habits in my upcoming book “U-Turn” and also in my Conquer Your Reality™ coaching program.

The choice comes first, then becoming aware of your daily mindset and purposely setting triggers comes next. When you catch yourself focusing on negative thoughts or you find yourself stressed, this has been an unconscious factor all along affecting your choice without you realizing it. BUT when you are having a good day, pay attention to how it makes you think and feel. Look at what occurred that day, the actions you took, the decisions you made in your own best interest, the friends or people you were around, and you can see what you need to intentionally include in your life on a consistent basis to cultivate the habit of happiness. These are the things that will support your emotional health and help you reach your goals in life. This is truly self-care.

Why is Being Happy Important?

 The feelings of happiness are a great indicator that things are going well in your life and that your emotional health is stable. This is important because your emotions can easily dictate your behavior and actions. Plus they also influence your physical health. If you are feeling low, it can be a negative feedback cycle that you have to break, so your feeling low won’t spiral and also affect your health physically. Setting up positive triggers can help you halt the cycle and turn it around.

Your emotions can influence your stress levels, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your sleep, your energy, and other physiology. Plus, your emotions can lead you to not taking care of yourself with diet, contributing to unhealthy food choices, or staying up too late and not getting the rest you need to recuperate from the day. If the negative feelings continue and begin to dominate, it can lead to a lack of self-care and your life can take a downward turn.

U-Turn on Happiness Avenue

The good news? You can turn your negative trajectory around. Understand that if you are able to identify and name your emotions, you know the coordinates of where you are on the emotional health map. Understand that negativity is an input on your personal GPS. Negativity is human-made, just a mental place you might currently be located. It is not permanent. Update your chosen destination to Happiness Avenue. You don’t have to know how to get there just INTENTIONALLY program the new desired location into your subconscious GPS and follow the signs. What signs? The triggers you set for yourself based on becoming aware of what you are doing in your life that brings you joy, or what you need to get away from or change that brings you down.

Here are some tiny consistent actions you can take to form happy habits :

  • Think about what you value in your life.
  • Align your priorities with what you value.
  • Be open to change and flexible to avoid frustration
  • Live mostly in the present, releasing the past
  • Schedule time to relax and do things you enjoy
  • Choose a friend that will support your goals, listen to you and encourage you
  • Make time for healthy choices, such as movement, sunshine, quality sleep, fruits, vegetables, and nutrition

Engaging in these tiny consistent actions and incorporating into your routines, can help develop habits that will improve your life and lead to the feeling of being happy daily.

Hearts & Hugs,
Dr. Jen