What does the word happiness really mean? What is it that we are searching for? There seems to be an endless journey to pursue happiness, so here we’re going to explore finding happiness within yourself.
Happiness means something different to everyone. Society teaches us at a young age that external things such as money, friends, designer bags, etc. create happiness. I certainly believed that.
It wasn’t until I attained money, friends, designer bags–but still seemed to be searching for ‘happiness’–that I realized I had it all wrong.
When you look for happiness in external things, it’s a fleeting, never-ending cycle. You are trying to fill a hole that never stays full while soul searching for something more.
Ok, How Do I Go About Finding Happiness?
Well for me, I packed a bag after a bad break-up and flew to Vienna alone to do some soul searching. I was petrified at the airport.
WTF was I doing?
At the time, I didn’t even enjoy spending time alone. It would make me restless.
I realized, in hindsight, something in my gut told me to book the trip, so I did before having the chance to back out.
My soul searching journey began when I stepped onto the plane.
It felt very uncomfortable and awkward initially. I wandered around an unfamiliar city alone. I ventured into cathedrals and palaces alone. I went to an Italian opera alone. I even ate at a Michelin Star restaurant by myself. Honestly, the restaurant, Silvio Nickol, didn’t know what to do with me. They brought me magazines because they had never had someone dine alone…hahaha.
Breaking out of my daily habits and venturing out of my comfort zone was life changing. I truly found peace within myself and found comfort in my own skin. I found the center of my soul.
Practical Ways I Practice Finding Happiness
Happiness must come from within. It’s also something that you need to work on consciously just like any other skill, until it comes naturally. I still practice happiness daily. Well at least I try to, LOL. Here are a few things that work for me:
- Gratitude – I practice gratitude every morning. I close my eyes and think of five things that made me happy the day before. If I’m in a rush in the morning, I write them down in a journal or recite them in front of the mirror while I am getting ready.
- Figure Out Your Happy Equation – It’s different for everyone and it evolves throughout the years. Mine looked very different a few years ago than it does today.
Habits To Finding Happiness
Maintaining these habits equates to daily balance and happiness in my life.
- Spending Time Alone – I challenge myself to do different things alone throughout the year. Sometimes they are big things like swimming with whale sharks alone in Cancun and sometimes they are small like exploring new streets in NYC my new home.
- Be Honest With Yourself – In order to maintain happiness, it’s critical to be honest about what actual does and does not make you happy. This often results in difficult conversations with people in your life that maybe a source of unhappiness. It will also make you realize that what truly makes you happy can be very different than what makes others happy.
- Do Something for Yourself Daily – For example, I buy myself flowers on a weekly basis because they make me smile. I might treat myself to a fancy tea, walk the Highline with a good friend, or book a spa day to detox.
- Stop Bullying Yourself and Being so Hard on Yourself – We can be our own worst enemy with negative self-talk. Be kind to yourself with your words. You are your own best friend.
- Embrace Yourself – Imperfections and all, you’re the only one who can put yourself first so do it now and forever.
Finding Happiness Again When I’m Not Feeling It
If you find yourself feelings sad and depressed, what do you do?
We are psychologically trained to think that feeling sad, disgruntled and depressed are bad things.
I one hundred percent disagree.
When I start feeling sadness or depression… it’s a little nudge from the universe saying “Hi…you are not on the right path buddy”.
Then it’s time to step back and I think about what is really going on in my life. It’s a time to remind myself that the universe is giving me a clue that I need to make a shift.
For example in 2015, I started to notice that I was feeling very unhappy at a company I worked for. I was feeling down every morning before going into work, dreading the day. I took a step back and started to do some soul searching and self reflect to figure out why I was unhappy. I came to the realization that my work environment was unfulfilling and toxic. I quit.
Don’t get me wrong… I was really scared, but I listened to my gut. Kali, my organic tampon subscription service, was born shortly after this major decision. Understanding my sadness and embracing it created lasting positive change.
Soul searching and finding happiness go hand in hand. I hope you’ve found a few special nuggets here to find a more happy you. It’s a very rewarding journey and can lead to a spiritual awakening that will transform your life like it did for me.
We’ve got other articles about happiness to help you on your journey:
- 15 Ways to Find Happiness, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
- Secrets to Happiness (of Pursuit) Straight from Thought Leader Chris Guillebeau
- Just Love Yourself Already, Would Ya?! Here’s 22 Quotes on Why
Go find your happiness.