The Happiness Connection  

Are you happy?

I’m not asking whether life could be worse, or if you’re grateful for what you’ve got. I want you to think about whether you’re happy.

Pause, close your eyes, and focus on the question.

If you’ve tried this, you may realize that choosing yes, or no is more complicated than it might appear at first glance.

Don’t rush to find an answer. Accept what comes to mind and then dig a little deeper focusing purely on the query, are you happy?

Thoughts that might run through your mind could include:

What is happiness?

  • I felt happy 10 minutes ago, but now I’m irritated. This question is irritating.
  • I have such a great life; it feels wrong to say I’m not happy.
  • I don’t feel happy, but I don’t feel unhappy either.

This isn’t a test. There isn’t a right answer.

The purpose of this exercise is to help you look more closely at your feelings and what you believe about your life.

Awareness is vital in any area of growth. That’s true whether you’re striving to progress in your personal life or at work.

You don’t know whether something needs tweaking, overhauling, or to be left as is, until you know what the current state of play is.

If you want to make changes to how you feel about your life, self-awareness and total honesty are two major keys to success.

Happiness is an emotion, but it’s also a state of mind.

I believe being happy is more about how you approach life, not the ever-present feelings of joy and excitement.

Some days you may feel grumpy or irritated. On others you may find tears close to the surface. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a happy person.

Being happy is about your approach to life and how you react to challenges, disappointments, and successes. It requires constant and consistent monitoring.

When you practise happiness, you don’t expect to love every moment of your life. But when challenges appear, you aren’t surprised, nor do you expect them to last forever.

I practise happiness and, generally speaking, am a pretty contented and positive person.

However, with the recent occurrences in my life, I’ve had to remind myself of some of the principles that are instrumental to the practice of happiness.

With the continuation of the pandemic, greater restrictions, and COVID fatigue, you may also benefit from a reminder.

  • You are solely responsible for your own happiness. Others may bring joy and pleasure, but without them, you are still capable of being happy.
  • There’s more than one perspective to everything. You have the power to choose the way you want to view your life.
  • Practising happiness doesn’t mean you won’t experience negative emotions. There aren’t any feelings that shouldn’t be acknowledged and accepted. They all serve a purpose. Your task is to understand their message and then choose to keep them or let them go.
  • Everyone who’s touched by an event or challenge has the same opportunity for growth, though not necessarily in the same way. Whether you win or lose, you have a chance to discover a deeper understanding of yourself.
  • Happiness doesn’t come from what happens to you. It springs from the choices you make. You get to choose your reaction, perspective, and next steps.
  • You’re not responsible for how other people view life, or whether they’re happy. That’s their responsibility.

With these principles firmly in my mind, I’m ready to get back to being happy.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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