Happiness Inside You

Happiness is a complex topic that many of us consider a pre-requisite to a "good" life but often find very fleeting. The oxford dictionary describes being "happy" as the state of "feeling or showing pleasure or contentment." This definition tells us a lot about what it means to be happy in a few simple words. It tells us that happiness is a momentary state, not a constant/personality trait. It tells us that it's a feeling of contentment, not to be confused with the feelings of joy or other emotions. It tells us that happiness can be more than an individual experience; it can be shared externally with those around us. This understanding of happiness lays out the necessary foundation to address the topic at hand. So what does it mean to be happy? The answer, though easy to define, is hard to internalize. It's a crucial part of what makes being alive worth it and gives our life more meaning. To feel happiness, one needs to be in tune with their core values, principles, and aspiration. Being and feeling happy isn't the norm; feelings of happiness don't come easily. It's important to realize this, as it enables us to work towards creating the necessary mindset and environment to be happier. Happiness "scientifically" may be defined as the release of certain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. But these chemical responses are complex and don't fully capture what it means to be happy. One may get these serotonin fixes from a variety of ways- many of which aren't good. To experience genuine happiness, one needs to put in the effort. Many scholars would agree that feeling happy involves working on a task and then being rewarded for it. Look for moments in your past life where you felt genuine happiness and analyze why it was that way. This may be a personal project, sticking to a fitness regime, working on your relationships, and spending time doing things that bring value to your life.