Now, this has been a topic that has been on my mind for months and I feel good enough to write about it. Even though this is still a work in process for me, I want to still talk about it. Happiness….what the hell is it? Is it something I’m supposed to feel all the time...when something great happened today...when life is going great? Now, this is going to be a bit of a rant but this is good to talk about for self-care. I tend to feel happy when I do the things I enjoy but I started to wonder if I depend on things to give me happiness..? I’ve come a long way as I remember when I was in high school, I always complained that I never had a good day. It would go well then something just ruins it. Some days can be great and some can be pretty difficult. Now, let me use a definition to start this off properly:
“Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfilment”
What I’ve learnt from myself is that when I’m left to my own thoughts, I can put myself in a bad mood. I find myself having negative thoughts from just being alone with my mind for a bit. In the future, I'll go further into the topic of "negative thoughts". Also, it's really hard to stay in a positive mood for being a young person in this world of social media after opening up your phone. Whether it’s a new headline or some crazy drama happening between influencers online. At the same time, you have people constantly talking about being positive. You know, finding the positive out of anything or maintaining a positive mindset all the time. There is actually a term I learnt last year called “toxic positivity”. Now, that might sound extreme but it’s actually a thing. Here’s another definition:
“Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset.”
Now there is no problem with finding good in situations but personally, I used to feel guilty when I would air out my feelings that might not be happy. I’ve been in positions where I felt comfortable with a person venting with them but it just turned to them dismissing me. I felt like I was talking too much or being too emotional. I started to suppress them and pretend honestly...pretend that I was okay and went with the “stay positive” mindset but it became a struggle. I would feel guilty for feeling sad, and I wondered if this was the right thing to do. Let my emotions happen or only the good ones happen? Here’s a simple example, say something bad happened and you went to vent to someone, and they say “Well, look at the bright side” or something like that. Are you supposed to appreciate that or take it as them dismissing your problems that you felt comfortable talking about? I didn’t assume it was toxic behaviour until a read a blog post about toxic positivity. I wished I could find back that post to link it here but as usual (Update: I found it, the post is from Transatlantic Notes!), I’m going to leave useful links at the end. After some realizations in the past year, I want to go through a few things.
Image from Ivory Mix
Trying to gain happiness
I think that what you do for yourself or your favourite things can be your happiness. In my head, you have to do a bunch of stuff that you like to stay happy...and that’s what I did. I started to feel like I depended on my favourites whether it was watching some youtube or maybe doing a face mask. I mean...spending time with your favourite people can bring happiness as well. Can you depend on things for happiness? Is that bad? I constantly query myself if I’m supposed to get happiness in other ways.
Is it truly from within?
Now, I tend to see this phrase, “Happiness comes from within”. I don’t usually swear on my blog but….respectfully...what the fuck does that mean? Like I genuinely try my best to understand this, maybe it just shows how I struggle with emotions and can’t maintain my happiness without external factors...or it means nothing. After questioning myself, I went to someone with more years than me….my Dad. When I ask him what is happiness to him, the first thing he says is “When you don’t have people bothering you”. Now, that can be a contribution to happiness haha...but he made me feel less guilty about doing the things I enjoy or makes me feel great. I felt like I depended on them. He basically said, if having a drink with friends or playing your favourite game brings you happiness...that’s great. Also, if you feel happy spending time with a certain person, that's great as well. He said, “You determine your happiness” and that's probably one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received honestly. I feel like I’ve been doing that as of lately, I enjoy doing my skincare...I enjoy watching funny videos on youtube...I enjoy listening to music...working on my blog…..all of those are a few things that bring me happiness.
Hopefully, this didn’t come off too “ranty” but I wanted to write about it and not try to sound like an expert as I’m still learning to maintain my happiness. I’m starting to reach a point in my life where I want to do what makes me feel good. As I grow older, I’ve become better at dealing with my emotions. I would have my off days but I learn to accept them. If you're a common visitor to my posts, you probably know that I leave a little message at the end relating to happiness. I started adding that at the end as it's something I apply to myself and I hope others would as well. After ranting a bit on this post, the little message I created feels more meaningful. Also, if you have been struggling with understanding happiness and how to feel it....trust me...you're not alone. Now, these are just my thoughts on happiness with a bit of help from my Dad..so as usual, I have questions for you. What is happiness to you, what helps you gain happiness and how do you maintain it? As I said above, I'll be leaving some useful links:
Save for later!
I hope you're at your happiest if not, it's okay...I hope you're starting or working on reaching the highest peak of happiness.
- Anissa (TheQuietGirl)