Such a simple little word – happiness. We all want it. So how do we get it?
This site is about my journey to creating peace and happiness and, along the way, I will share what I’ve learned in my research. I have a Master’s of Science degree in Developmental Psychology. Big deal – right? That’s just a fancy way of saying that I like to try to figure out why people (myself included) do what they do and how they grow and change as they age. I’ve done a lot of research on Positive Psychology and Creating Happiness and I would love to share what I’ve found. In this blog, I define happiness as a state of peace and contentment. I often use the words peace and happiness interchangeably.
So, what is happiness? What makes you happy? We all have different answers to that. It could be spending time with family, travel, eating chocolate. There are endless answers to what makes you happy. For me, it changes with each second. But when you get down to the bottom of it, happiness is a feeling. It’s a feeling of contentment, peace, and joy. It’s that feeling when everything is right in the world. So how do we “make” that feeling? Good news! Because happiness is a feeling, we don’t need to depend on anyone else for it. It doesn’t come from money or relationships or jobs or anything else. It’s in us.
I know…. I know… I just made a bunch of people angry because I said that happiness depends on us. Just stop a second before you send me an angry post and think about this….. Think about something that makes you mad (another feeling). For me that’s someone going slow in the left lane of an interstate. Why don’t they just get over? Why are they slowing me down? Ok now follow me here. Sometimes, I can get so irritated at them, I feel like honking to try and get them to get over. I drive too close behind them to try and get them out of my way (like I own the whole road). But here’s where this gets interesting. Sometimes the slow person in the left lane doesn’t bother me at all. Or they may just make me a little irritated. Why? Why is it that sometimes I’m spitting mad at it and other times, I’m just a little irritated? You might say, well you could be in a hurry sometimes or you could be having a bad day or you could be…….. The fact of it is, I choose I how react to them, regardless of the why’s. I’m choosing it. I may not be conscientiously thinking “OK, today I’m going to choose to be mad.” But I’m choosing it none the less. Am I wrong for getting mad? Heck no! I have every right to be mad. Right? Sure I do. But if I’m mad – I’m not happy. I want to choose happiness, so what do I do? I am going to accept that I’m mad at the slow poke in front of me. I’m going to smile. Yes, literally smile. I’m going to take a deeeeeep breath, and I’m going to say “I’m mad, and that’s ok because I’m going to work on creating peace.” Then I’m going to tell myself that the slow driver is probably not intentionally trying to make me mad. Maybe they are having a bad day and they just aren’t thinking. Then I’m going to say “I’m so grateful that I get this chance to practice patience” and I’m going to practice some deep breathing. By this time, I feel better. Do I feel like skipping through a field of flowers singing songs from The Sound of Music? No. But, I’m probably not as angry as I was. I actually broke up some of that mad and replaced it with some peace. I’m closer to being happy. I’m closer to finding my peace. I’m choosing to not be mad at Pokey McPokerton in front of me and I just created a tiny bit of happiness for myself!!!! When you break away pieces of anger or anxiety, or sadness, it gets filled with peace. Yay me!
I would like for this blog to be about people helping people. So, tell me what you think. Are you having trouble finding peace and contentment? Do you have questions for me? I would love to hear them. Let me know.
Wishing you much peace,