The Key to Happiness

Dr. Laura PIehl
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking:

  • If I could make just a little bit more money, I would be happy.
  • If I could find that special someone and get married than I would be happy.
  • If I could lose weight then I would be happy.
  • If I could buy a house then I would be happy.

I am sure the list goes on and on and you could probably insert your thing that would make you more happy, however, if you truly received that “thing” how long would your happiness last? Psychologist, Henry Nouwen, teaches true happiness is not sustainable and while individuals strive towards “things” that make them happy, they are missing on the key to true happiness. Nouwen states, “True happiness comes from the things that are under your direct control, your thoughts, behaviors, intentions, and practices.” 

Here are a few controllable that bring true happy individual people pursue:

  1. Happy People are Givers

Research over the years has proven people who give and serve others are much happier than those who don’t. How have you given to the world around you? Financially? Through showing compassion and empathy? How have you given to yourself? Through grace? Time?

  1. Happy people are not Lazy About Happiness

Happy people are active, not passive, about pursuing true happiness. They participate in relationships, activites,  health and wellness, self-investment, and conflict resolution. How are you actively pursuing happiness today?

  1. Happy People do not Wait for Someday

Research shows people who are able to focus on and appreciate what they are experiencing in the moment makes them happier and lowers levels of stress and depression. Rather than focusing on the “what” will make you happy and the “when” of when it will come, focus on what is going on around you.

  1. Happy People Pursue Goals

Setting and reaching goals is good for the human soul. There is a common phrase, “Find a happy personal and you will find a project.” What are you pursuing today?

  1. Happy People do not Compare themselves 

A happy person naturally thinks less about what other people are doing around them. Comparison is the thief of joy. How are you focusing on yourself rather than those around you?

  1. Happy People Think Well

Happy people do not base their happiness on their circumstances but on the thought process that surrounds them. Happiness and positivity does not happen overnight, but rather, is achieved through the discipline or retraining of the mind to think well. 

  1. Happy People are Grateful

People who are grateful and practice gratitude regularly have significantly different levels of happiness than those who don’t. No matter the circumstance, gratitude fills the gap of what is and what could be. 

  1. Happy People have Boundaries

Happy people possess an “inner locus of control” enabling them to acknowledge what controls them and what does not. Who or what has been in charge of your well-being?

  1. Happy People Forgive

Forgiveness sets you free from past burdens, setting you free to love and trust again.