Many people believe that when you appreciate the small things in life, you are well on your way to being happy. But, what is happiness?
Most emotions are transitional. This means that you are never in one emotional state for long periods. Emotions are fluid. People who are considered upbeat will have moments of sadness or depression. Even depressed people are not depressed all the time. They have moments of happiness, too.
Think about a major event such as a war. When two countries are fighting, both sides lose lives. War is a horrible example of our human condition and can last for several years. But, when the war is over, the countries are euphoric and citizens celebrate. The bloodshed of battle has ended and people return to their homes and begin to repair their infrastructure and heal their family units.
As I travel, I often visit military museums and seek out personal stories of triumph and overcoming adversity.
It is common to discover in the museums that the euphoria from the war ending didn’t last long. The pain of the war lingers in the hearts of those directly impacted.
In a broad view, nothing has changed in the world…the sun still rises each day.
Everyone must still manage their lives. In time, the state of happiness drifts away.
The same is true in a smaller way with temporary illnesses, for example. Suppose you have a migraine headache that leaves you uncomfortable and in pain. When you are better, you feel a wonderful sense of relief.
However, you don’t feel any better than you did when you weren’t experiencing the mental anguish and pain. It’s relative to the earlier situation. That’s how emotional states work. They go from one to the other constantly.
The Path to Happiness Begins with Contentment
Appreciating the little things in life may lead to happiness. But, it’s likely you are content more than you are happy. Contentment can almost be thought of as a neutral state, leaning on the side of happy. There isn’t anything wrong when you are content.
But, there also isn’t anything that is making you overly happy or creating that sense of euphoria.
There may be too much pressure striving for happiness when contentment is the goal. Appreciating the little aspects of your life will lead to contentment. There is no need to worry about trying to make yourself happy all the time. Those happy times will occur naturally.
If you spend most of your life content, you are doing something right. Here are some tips for affirming your gratitude, enforcing contentment, and using the little things in life to inspire your happiness.
Tips for Contented Living
Think about the people you love and what you enjoy about having them in your life.
Think about yourself. Give thanks for everything you like about yourself. Love your self and cherish your flaws as those are integral to your entire being.
Appreciate nature. Go for a walk and increase your appreciation of the grass, sky, trees, and small creatures.
Find thankfulness in the services that you enjoy – whether a morning cup of coffee at your favorite bakery or the benefits of a local library – there are little things to offer gratitude and joy.
Bonus – Every Day Joy – The book of short and relevant essays about finding joy in the little things of life. My contribution is included and I share how outdoor moments and photography bring simple joys to light in my life. This is the book that, as a contributing author, I became an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author. (Yes, there were moments of euphoric happiness!)
If you enjoy the book, a review on the Amazon site would be much appreciated.
Here’s the background story and order details for Everyday Joy.