16 Signs You’re Happier Than You Think

Our personal happiness is always at the whim of our own self-sabotage if, at any given moment, we don’t feel completely overjoyed. We mistake this for genuine dissatisfaction or unhappiness. I think we are so far from accepting that happiness is not a sustained sensation of joy that sometimes, we’re happier than we think we are. Happiness means interest, it means honing in on the art of learning to just be. Sometimes we’re doing this and we don’t even realize it, and we let our minds talk us out of our own contentment with petty complaints and minor issues that we irrationally expound upon. Part of getting over this is coming to terms with the little ways our lives show us we’re happy even if we’re not conscious of it.

1. It’s not like it was– you can look back and feel gratitude and pride for getting through a rough period. Sometimes we get into defense mode and remain there even after something traumatic happens as we’re waiting for the next terrible thing to occur. It is a naturally effective coping mechanism, if, you know, we were still dealing with legitimate issues of fight-or-flight survival, but in modern life, it doesn’t do much more than sabotage the time you have to spend not being miserable.

2. Your default is “content” but because you’re not thrilled you think you’re not happy. As I’ve said a hundred times before, if you are waiting for a sustained high to overcome you to dub yourself happy, you’ll be waiting forever. Happy really means that you’re accepting of whatever comes your way, you experience things, you let the universe give and take what it needs to. At the end of anything, you’re still okay.

3. Even when it’s frustrating, you’re doing the work you know you love, even if it’s just once in a while and even if it’s just as a hobby. If you can make time for the things that you know make you happy, and more importantly, you know what those things are, you’ve uncovered what people spend years seeking: meaning.

4. These are the days you were waiting to get to months or years ago. You’re just forgetting to enjoy being where you were waiting to go.

5. You have a healthy relationship in your life. I do not mean romantically necessarily. But if you have one or two beautiful, unconditional friendships or other relationships in your life, you are more fortunate than you even realize. All it takes is imagining your life without these people to realize how little attention you give to all the times you enjoy being with them.

6. Once in a while you look around and feel bad for not being grateful for everything you have. We’re all guilty of this of course, but if you can honestly say you frequently have to remind yourself how good you have it, you’re much happier than you’re letting yourself believe.

7. You offer guidance to those who are in the shoes you were in. It means you have the knowledge to share. It means you have actually gotten through something and now retain some kind of clarity or wisdom from it. It means you are able to see in retrospect, and to be far enough away from it that you want to help others who are still there.

8. You’ve found yourself smiling while you’re alone. You’re not putting on a front for anybody. If you want to see how you really feel about something, start noticing your facial and other physical expressions when nobody’s there to watch or judge you.

9. You’re looking forward to the future, but not more than you’re enjoying where you are right now. This is a fine line to walk, but really, what we all need is both an appreciation for the current moment as well as hope that there are things worth hanging in there for. You can’t have happiness without a sense of both, and more people do than they realize.

10. The little things genuinely bring you joy. Your morning coffee made you feel so peaceful and happy, but you brushed it off, because it’s silly for a cup of coffee to make you happy, right? Learning to just feel that, and not let your logic combat it, is what will immerse you in the happiness you unknowingly experience.

11. You have a passion. Sometimes I think that’s all you need to lead a fulfilling life. It’s the one thing that nobody can change in you, the thing that you can keep reaching for even if nothing else works out. The thing that lifts your heart.

12. You feel a sense of purpose beyond just your own existence. There is something unbelievably gratifying about giving your life and energy to someone else. It branches you out from your core, selfish need for survival, and gives you a purpose to hold onto other than your own appeasement.

13. You laugh easily; you want to talk to people. I’ve found that people who are happy tend to be more talkative, it’s almost as though they want to share their happiness with people, or to connect with them on another level. It’s a sign that your heart and mind are open.

14. There is no legitimate crisis in your life, so you spend your time concerned with petty things so you think you’re upset but really, things are mostly going swimmingly. This is what it all boils down to: we like to inject meaning into our experiences to feel as though we are more than just existing amoebas, but this doesn’t always benefit us in the way we want it to.

15. You’re ready to apologize and move on. When it’s okay, it’s over.

16. There’s nothing keeping you up at night. If, at the end of the day, no matter what happened in the hours before, you have the coveted ability to let it all go, close your eyes, and have faith in tomorrow, you are unknowingly embracing the most important element of happiness: unconditional acceptance.

By Brianna Wiest

Thought Catalog

Our personal happiness is always at the whim of our own self-sabotage if, at any given moment, we don’t feel completely overjoyed. We mistake this for genuine dissatisfaction or unhappiness. I think we are so far from accepting that happiness is not a sustained sensation of joy that sometimes, we’re happier than we think we are. Happiness means interest, it means honing in on the art of learning to just be. Sometimes we’re doing this and we don’t even realize it, and we let our minds talk us out of our own contentment with petty complaints and minor issues that we irrationally expound upon. Part of getting over this is coming to terms with the little ways our lives show us we’re happy even if we’re not conscious of it.

1. It’s not like it was– you can look back and feel gratitude and pride for getting through a rough…

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The Truth About Love That Most People Don’t Realize

The truth about love is that its less romantic than we like to think. Sexual attraction is not love. It is a biological desire and it is innate. The two tend to be lumped together because they are so often experienced together. But the sensation of love is nothing more than attachment, much like we attached ourselves to our mothers in infancy. We see them as a provider and protector, or whatever it is we believe love will give us.

Society has assisted in constructing our minds so we associate love with activating and stimulating reward and pleasure centers of our brains. This experience is subjective for each individual, but really, the sensation of love is nothing more than our own desire to be rewarded and pleasured and “doing what’s right” for our species and society.

What happens when we fall out of love is we detach ourselves. And what happens when we are left is that we’re attached and believe that we’ll never be able to get by on our own. So we obsess and cling to someone as though they are a drug, when really we don’t actually need them to survive.

It’s why we’re taught that we have to “love ourselves first,” because that way, our attachment to someone else doesn’t derive from a need for validation or survival, but simply because we really do love them and enjoy their presence.

I know it seems trivializing for something as grandiose and life-long as love, but its the reality behind it, and its something I think we need to consider whilst we’re all amid heartbreak and loss: realizing why we’re broken is half of the solution.

In the grand scale of things, I think these facts put love into a different perspective: maybe relationships aren’t supposed to necessarily make us happy forever. Maybe they’re just supposed to help us grow and learn and provide us comfort and warmth. The physical emotions that come along with love are mostly physically-induced, and therefore they can ebb and flow. We must attach ourselves to something deeper than the high that people can provide us. We have to be best friends and lovers at the same time.

Relationships, as we’ve seen time and time again, do something incredible, and that’s that without fail, whether they’re good or bad, they always seem to bring us closer to who we are, familiarize us with happiness and goodness, further us along our spiritual paths, open new realizations, and help us grow. Your intimate relationships show you every unloving part of yourself. They reach inside you and lift up everything you are and once knew. So this, my friends, is what we should be looking for. Happiness will not be steady, but growth can be. Find someone who makes you better, and who challenges what you think and feel. Be with the person who truly makes you better, not just makes you feel good. Realize the triviality of the latter and the depth of the former. Let it make you someone who is ready to love and give back.

 

By BRIANNA WIEST 

Listen To Your Problems, Don’t Run Away From Them

I never believed much in “signs”. Maybe it’s because I never received one, or looked for one to be honest. But I got one last night, at least that’s what I think it was. It was either that or a wicked slap in the face.

A distant, acquaintance I guess you could call him, who I haven’t spoken to in months, somehow got me to listen. He made a point that my closest friends have tried to make for so long. I don’t know if I needed to hear it from someone else, someone who didn’t know everything about my life, but for whatever reason, he got through to me.

It’s a simple lesson: listen to your problems instead of running away from them. Stop pretending like you don’t care and start taking responsibility for your emotions. Respect them and pay attention to them before they lead you into a downward spiral.

I don’t know why I have always thought that I needed to appear tough, make it seem like things don’t phase me. People know me as someone who can handle a lot and someone who manages to laugh through it all. I think once people knew me as that type of person, I didn’t want to let them down. I didn’t see a reason to change the way I handled things. At least not until last night when I realized how bad it could get.

I’ve been told many times that I’m cold and blank. I rarely show emotion and when things happen, I don’t take the time to deal with them. I either pretend things are not a big deal or pretend they aren’t happening. It’s a vicious cycle of denial.

A vicious cycle that I’m determined to end.

I’ve come to realize that standing emotionless after a slap in the face is not true strength. Strong people don’t ignore every negative experience and let it eat at them from the inside out. Running from your emotions and hiding them behind the 10 foot walls you’ve built around yourself is not strong. It is a defense for the weak. And it is a defense that can only last for so long until your walls come crumbling down on you.

Strong people don’t build walls. They don’t deny their feelings. They embrace them and then tackle their problems head on.

All this time I thought I was strong for handling all that’s been thrown at me. I realize now that I’ve been weaker than most. I understand what my friends have been trying to get me to understand for so long. They don’t want to break down walls. They don’t want a cold friend who is incapable of showing emotion. They want to see that I’m human that I can react like everyone else.

Here I am thinking I need to keep my feelings bottled up so I don’t let people down. What I see now is that I’ve let a lot of people down. I’ve ruined relationships because I never seemed like I cared enough. I look back and see that I did care but I just couldn’t show it.

I think we all need to hear this lesson. Maybe we need an experience, maybe just an encounter with someone who has experienced first hand what its like for all those walls to come crashing down. Whatever it may be, whoever it may be, listen. We’ve all got a lot to learn and if we don’t learn to embrace how we feel, we may stop feeling all together.