Happiness: the first of four key pillars to living a good life
There is mounting evidence that true lasting happiness is a balance between finding what gives us pleasure and what is meaningful in our lives. We also know that a positive outlook leads to personal wellbeing, contentment, better relationships and a more fulfilling life.
Human beings are eminently capable of creating and experiencing different forms of pleasure, for example:
- Joy (such as when seeing a new baby)
- Gratitude (both feeling it and demonstrating it)
- Serenity (peace and calmness of spirit, acceptance and ‘living in the now’)
- Interest (having meaningful interests which create benefits for the self and others)
Once you are aware of the things that make up wellbeing (instead of focusing on happiness alone), it’s much easier to live a rich, meaningful life.
It’s not about ignoring the negative. Everyone has challenges in their life. Everyone. It would be quite wrong and a near-impossible goal to achieve total positivity in everything you do, it is about finding the balance.
How? Learning to become aware of what’s positive; cultivating it; savouring it. Don’t reject negatives, but re-frame them by learning to understand what’s behind those feelings and to accept life’s inevitable ups and downs.
The other part of authentic happiness is having purpose and meaning in our lives. We can achieve this in a number of ways. Firstly, recognising our strengths and living life to our full potential is an important part of an authentic happiness. Also finding a purpose in life that goes beyond our own needs and responds to the needs of others has been shown to be an important ingredient in living meaningful lives.
If you’d like to explore the concept of happiness call us for a confidential chat.
Some questions to get you thinking…
Q. Imagine a time when you felt good. How great would it be to have more of those feelings?
Q. What are your strengths? For some inspiration see www.viacharacter.org
Q. What could you do today to bring greater contentment and peace to your life?