Happiness, More Than A Feeling

By James Denny

Try counting the number of songs written about Happiness or the lack thereof? Scholars and philosophers have spent their lives searching for the Happiness that has eluded mankind for centuries. There is even a Science of Happiness, (No lie. Look it up).

Happiness has been described as an enjoyable or satisfied state. Feelings of joy, appreciation, contentment, and feeling fortunate with one’s situation in life are all indicators of Happiness. Perfect Happiness has been described as enlightenment that comes when you have all your needs satisfied.

Duke University conducted a study to determine the difference between Happy and Unhappy People. This study concluded that if the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and safety were met for a sustained period, the state of being Happy or Unhappy was based on an individual’s thinking habits and patterns. Happiness is an ongoing process, not a destination. Happiness requires us to see life from a positive perspective, have a purposeful life, and a healthy spiritual life.

Could the way to Sustainable Happiness be in our thoughts? We all have a million thoughts flying through our minds at any given moment, but we choose the thoughts we dwell on. Grabbing hold of healthy thoughts and memories changes our emotional and physical state, which leads to a peace of mind that can experience joy, appreciation, gratitude, and contentment.

There is no evidence proving wealth contributes to sustainable Happiness, although it does make life easier. Being truly happy is as much about the attitudes within us as the circumstances surrounding us. The following is a list of contributors to a Sustainable Happy and Healthy, Emotional Life:

Find a Purpose or a cause and contribute to making a difference. People who are focused on their needs or situations score lower on the Happiness Test. Giving is better than receiving and being able to elevate something above yourself generates stronger self-worth.

Cultivate a strong Spiritual Life that promotes love, compassion, thankfulness, loyalty, healthy relationships, and old fashion values. Spiritual life will expand your ability to experience Happiness and Healthy Emotions.

Live in the Present. Today has possibilities for fun and enjoyable activities. You can easily miss out if you are not in the moment and forever lose the opportunity. Preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression and emotional stress.

Resolve to be Involved with the Real World. Although the world of technology is trying hard to replace interpersonal relationships, nothing will replace the need for human-to-human interaction. Family, friends, church, and social gatherings contribute to a feeling of belonging and purpose.

Embrace Forgiveness when you are handed a Raw Deal. Let go of resentment and self-pity and replace it with the thoughts of undeserved, unearned forgiveness for others and yourself. It is not an over-exaggeration to say, when you hold onto a grudge or unforgiveness, it is like taking poison and expecting someone else to get sick. Unforgiveness is a major factor in unhappiness.

Don’t Waste Time, energy or resources fighting unrealistic goals or conditions you cannot change. This is not to say give-up or lower your expectations, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you find a big distance between where you are in life and where you want to be, or if the conditions you face today have changed from the time you set your goals, give yourself a break. Give yourself the time to acquire the abilities to reach those goals. If your goals are unrealistic, evaluate and reset your direction based on talents and skill levels you have developed. When tested by life’s conditions or circumstances, give yourself the time needed to learn new skills to adapt to the challenge. Sometimes how we face a situation is more significant than the situation we face.

Why do you want to be happy?

Why do you want to be happy?

  • Happiness is good for your heart; it lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Improves your Immune System and helps you combat Disease and Disabilities.
  • 1,500 Americans, ages 65 and older, rated how much happiness and enjoyment they felt. After seven years, the participants with more positive emotion ratings were less likely to be frail. The same researchers found that happier elderly people were less likely to have a stroke; this was particularly true for men.
  • Lowers Stress Levels and allows quicker recovery from stress-related effects.
  • Happy people have fewer aches and pains. Unhappiness causes pain.
  • Happiness can prolong your life; some studies show it can extend your life by seven to 10 years.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

––Norman Vincent Peale

James Denny is the owner and operator of Imagine Senior Living, LLC and life-long senior advocate. www.imagineseniorlivingllc.com