A genuinely happy man smiling for camera

'I Just Want To Be Happy' - How to Find Genuine Happiness?

Key Takeaways

  • Happiness is not a destination but a journey filled with experiences of joy, contentment, and a sense that one's life is meaningful and worthwhile.
  • Common barriers to happiness include comparing ourselves to others, dwelling on the past or future, pursuing of perfection, and underestimating the power of small joys.
  • Strategies to overcome these barriers and foster happiness include embracing self-acceptance and gratitude, making meaningful changes in daily routines, and seeking guidance through online therapy or life coaching.

Ever caught yourself thinking, "I just want to be happy"? You're not alone. It's a simple yet deep wish that many of us share, often thinking it's out of reach or too vague to grasp. But here's the thing: wanting to be happy, really happy, is more than just a desire; it's a valid and attainable goal.

In our daily routine, it's easy to lose sight of what makes us truly happy. We chase after goals, compare our lives to others, and sometimes forget to take a moment and appreciate the here and now. But happiness isn't just about the big things in our lives; it's also found in the small, everyday moments and the choices we make toward self-fulfillment.

A happy man walking on the street sharing genuine happiness and smile

Understanding Happiness

What does it mean to say, "I want to be happy"? In essence, happiness is an experience of joy, contentment, and positive well-being, combined with a sense that one's life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile. So, when you say you want to be happy, you're essentially seeking a life filled with these qualities.

But here's a thought: happiness isn't a destination; it's more of a journey. It's not something you suddenly achieve and then it's done. It's about finding joy in the journey, not just waiting to get somewhere. Happiness is more about cultivating a certain way of living.

Understanding happiness also means to recognize its two key components:

  • The emotional or ‘hedonic’ happiness derived from experiencing pleasure and avoiding pain
  • The deeper, ‘eudaimonic’ happiness that comes from fulfilling your potential and living according to your own values

Once you start seeing this duality, you will focus less on hedonic pleasure, which can be fleeting, and focus more on eudaimonic happiness as it can provide a more sustainable path to fulfillment. This doesn't mean we should suppress our guilty pleasures; rather, we should also strive for growth and meaning in our pursuits.

Lastly, understanding happiness goes beyond just knowing its types; it also requires finding out what truly makes us content. For some, happiness might be found in the calm of a morning spent reading, for others, it might be spending quality time with friends, or reaching personal goals.

Common Barriers to Happiness

So, why do we often find ourselves wanting to be happy, but struggling to get there?

  1. Comparing ourselves to others. It's human nature to look at what others have and wonder why we don't have the same. But remember, comparison is the thief of joy. This habit can sap our happiness, leaving us feeling inadequate. Your journey is unique, and filled with different challenges and triumphs. Focusing on our path, rather than how it stacks up against someone else's, can free us from this happiness hurdle.
  2. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. A study published in Science Daily found that people spend nearly 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing. Living in the past or future, rather than the present, can prevent us from being happy in the now.
  3. Pursuit of perfection. The quest for flawless results in every aspect of life is not only unrealistic but also a major obstacle to finding happiness. It leads to constant dissatisfaction, as the goalposts of 'perfect' are always moving. Instead, try to accept your imperfections and understand that mistakes are part of your growth.
  4. The trap of negativism. Constantly focusing on what's wrong or what could go wrong drains our energy and blocks feelings of happiness. Shifting our focus to what's right in our lives and practicing gratitude can slowly lift us out of this negative spiral.
  5. Underestimating the power of small joys. Often, we're so caught up in chasing big achievements that we overlook the happiness that daily, ordinary moments can bring. In practice, you'll find that those who appreciate these small moments will experience higher levels of well-being.

Now if you want to overcome these barriers, it all starts with awareness, willingness to change, and sometimes, a bit of guidance. It's not about avoiding challenges but learning to face them more effectively.

Man looking into the mirror practicing self-acceptance to find genuine happiness

Strategies to Find Happiness

Knowing the common barriers to happiness is one thing; working around them to find genuine joy is another. Here, we'll look into actionable strategies to find happiness in our daily lives.

Embracing Self-Acceptance and Gratitude

Self-acceptance means acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and treating yourself with compassion. It's about saying, "Here I am, with my flaws and all, and that's okay." Embracing self-acceptance frees us from the shackles of perfection and comparison, allowing us to appreciate our unique journey.

Hand in hand with self-acceptance is the practice of gratitude. Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack to what we already possess. A simple daily gratitude journal, where you write down three things you're thankful for, can help you stay grounded and feel more content with your life.

Making Meaningful Changes in Daily Routines

It all starts with small, meaningful changes. Try adding activities that bring you joy, such as hobbies or spending time in nature, this will greatly benefit your mood. You also have exercise, with its natural endorphin boost, which has been proven a happiness enhancer. Even something as simple as making sure you get a consistent good night's sleep can improve your overall sense of well-being.

Lastly, setting boundaries is also key here. This means learning to say no, prioritizing your mental health, and creating time for things that matter most to you. Balancing your work, social, and personal life, though challenging, is important to maintaining a positive outlook and mindset.

Working With a Life Coach

While we can implement many changes on our own, sometimes, guidance from a professional can make a significant difference. At Life Architekture we focus on personal development and resilience, to help people like you find clarity, purpose, and, ultimately, happiness. As a life coach, I work with you to create a personalized action plan, addressing your struggles to happiness and leveraging your strengths to overcome them.

We can provide that external push needed to get you started and start making positive changes. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and a step toward happiness.

Famous Quotes on Happiness

Hearing how others articulate happiness can sometimes spark a light within us. Here are a few quotes on happiness from some notable figures:

  • "Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama
  • "For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness." - William Saroyan

These quotes remind us that happiness is often a product of our perspective and actions. Whether it's through embracing our own journey, finding contentment in what we have, or realizing that the pursuit itself is part of being happy, wisdom can be found in these simple words.

Final Thoughts

This path to happiness might seem challenging, but remember, it's a journey worth taking. Wanting to be happy is not just a thought; it's a profound wish that guides us toward a life filled with joy, meaning, and satisfaction. By understanding happiness, acknowledging the barriers, and applying practical strategies, the possibility of living a happier life is within reach.

So, take that next step, explore what happiness means to you, and embrace the journey. You just might find what you've been looking for!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I start practicing gratitude?

Begin by keeping a gratitude journal, noting down three things you’re thankful for each day. This simple practice shifts focus towards positivity, contributing to a happier state of mind.

What role does self-acceptance play in happiness?

Self-acceptance is pivotal for happiness, allowing individuals to embrace their authentic selves, flaws and all, fostering a sense of inner peace and contentment in one's journey.

Can online therapy really help with happiness?

Yes, online therapy can significantly aid in overcoming personal barriers to happiness, offering personalized strategies and support from trained professionals to enhance overall well-being.

How does setting boundaries contribute to happiness?

Setting boundaries helps in prioritizing mental health, protecting personal space, and ensuring time for activities that bring joy, all contributing to a happier, healthier life.

Why is it important to focus on the present for happiness?

Focusing on the present allows individuals to appreciate and find joy in their current situations, reducing stress and anxiety about the past or future, which is key to feeling happy.