Happiness Is Easier Than You Think
by Dr. Georgianna Donadio
If you ask most people what they want in their lives and what is most important, they will likely tell you that they “want to be happy.” The desire for happiness is a universal want; and it transcends culture, geography, age and social status. An example of its pervasiveness: It even finds its way into the academia.
The most popular course at Harvard Medical School was a course on happiness. Taught by Harvard psychology professor Tal D. Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., the course was so popular that students waited a year or longer to get in.
Happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment, joy, a pleasurable or satisfying experience; yet many people report that happiness is elusive or too often fleeting at best.
Modern happiness gurus like Ben-Shahar offer an altered take on what happiness is or can be. They invite us to walk us around the subject and take a different look at the almost mystical feeling called happiness, not from an “I’ll be happy when” perspective, but allowing ourselves to see how happiness can be enjoyed anytime we choose to have gratitude and joy about the daily, simple blessings in our life.
The lesson is that there are things we can be happy about right now and continue to be happy about throughout the day, no matter what else has happened or is going on. These things and experiences are already built into our lives, and it is just a matter of focusing on the simple pleasures and joys these opportunities can prove:
- The peace and tranquility of rising early in the morning.
- The first taste of food and drink in the morning.
- Listening to birds singing.
- Watching strangers laugh and smile.
- Enjoying natural beauty.
- Working cooperatively with others.
- Curling up with a good book on a rainy day.
- The pleasure of lying down on clean, soft bedding.
- Time with your best friend.
- Being kissed.
- The smell of apple pie baking.
- A moment of love shared with family.
- A home-cooked meal.
- A freshly cleaned bathroom.
- A long, hot bath or shower.
- Music that moves you.
- Sharing stories and memories.
- Being hugged.
- Breathing deeply.
- Completing a task or project.
- Time in a garden.
Think of all the things in your day that can bring joy or happiness when you allow yourself to be in the moments of your life, and share your hours and days with others and with yourself. Happiness is all around us. It is often just allowing ourselves to embrace it. It is
part and central to your whole health!