Myth Buster #6: Happiness Happens by Itself
We have come to collectively believe that happiness is one of the main goals in our day and in our life. This belief is a major cause of unhappiness. Most of us do not have any clue of where happiness comes from. And some think that happiness happens by itself… it is what the movies tell us.
I used to believe there was something horribly wrong with me because I was rarely happy as a kid; which only made me feel worse and sink into depression.
Marketers tell us that happiness can be created by buying stuff or experiences; there is profit behind this concept.
The truth is that happiness cannot be bought or even given.
But then where does happiness come from?
Like all the negative and hard emotions (which I talk about often) happiness too is an emotion that comes from the thoughts in our heads.
Sometimes thoughts happen so fast that we are unaware of them so we do not make the connection.
But when we slow down and observe the internal process that we each have we can find a thought for every single emotion.
Are you thinking that I am going to tell you to ‘just think happy thoughts’?
I am not.
Happiness is not the goal.
When we expect that life and ourselves are supposed to be happy then we have a lot of room to fall short. And a lot of unnecessary suffering… like my depression.
My goal, and what I encourage my clients to get on board with, is to live a full human life by embracing the full spectrum of emotions. Happy, sad, anger, and everything in between.
How to Create It
That said, understanding that happiness comes from inside our heads is empowering.
We can stop looking outside and start looking inside.
Realizing that we can decide what thoughts happen inside our head is enlightening.
Making Happiness Happens
To truly learn how to manage our minds and generate feelings on purpose is a skill to develop; one that usually requires a guide or a coach.
But in the meantime… there are always multiple ways to tell a story about anything. The story that we tell others, as well as ourselves, is what determines how we feel.
This holiday week is a great time to practice brain training and use your internal ability to focus on thoughts and stories that generate happiness (and gratitude) for yourself.
Tell yourself and your loved ones stories that include the upside.
And remember you have to believe the story in order to feel the happiness, so do not go too far. Make sure you feel connected to your thoughts.
Happiness does not just happen… it always starts with a thought.