Updated: Mar 6, 2019
Today we celebrate International Day of Happiness! How awesome is that? Not that we need a day to talk about it or celebrate it. We’re probably thinking about it a bit too much, a little too often and some of us may be obsessing about the question: Am I happy? So I wanted to share my views on happiness and my personal recipe for being happy. Supported in fact by the biggest study on happiness.
It’s not always been easy for me to stay happy or to fully understand what true happiness is. I talked openly about my anxiety, struggles with finding the right career path and other day-to-day doubts and fears. I have learned a lot about myself and …well, life, in the last five years especially. It was only after a lot of trial and error in my personal and professional life that I understood what happiness really is and, most importantly, what it is not! So let me start there:
HAPPINESS IS NOT:
– joy or pleasure
– hard to achieve
– in the future
This should be very clear for each and every one of us, especially today, in a world hooked on instant gratification and chasing status and money. Please know that EVERYBODY who’s extremely successful or has achieved a lot will tell you that happiness is not that. Everyone who has the ‘perfect’ body, face, etc will also say that happiness is not about that.
IN FACT, the biggest study on what makes a good life finally gives us the answer. And it’s not what you think! I have come to realise that myself every single day, happiness is linked to one simple thing:
The quality of our relationships within society, with family, friends and our community are the real source of happiness and health. Think about it – when was the last time you felt truly happy? I bet you were not on your own. I bet you were surrounded by friends, family, or even work colleagues. What about the sense of community on Instagram? We are all grateful to have found like-minded people who share our beliefs and values in one area of our lives at least (food, mindfulness, health).
So what does this REALLY mean? It means we need each other to stay happy. That no person can or should try and do everything on their own. We need to stay connected. In real life. We need to be kinder to each other, make an effort to maintain our relationships, help each other, give back, support each other.
I think it is crucial for all of us, in a world that is deceivingly connected to, to make sure we meet new people, make new friends, be part of groups, clubs and communities and not isolate ourselves. Nothing quite compares with sharing food with other people, laughing, having a meaningful chat, being a shoulder to cry on.
And most importantly, we should slow down and appreciate what and who we have.