The power is in your hands.
It's amazing what we humans do in our endless quest to figure out how to be happy. We try different foods, jobs, friends, relationships, locations and even different families. And yet, the basic concept that happiness "is an inside job" still eludes people.
So here's the truth, folks: The only way you're EVER going to feel truly happy is if you make yourself happy.
No one can do it for you. No one.
Happiness found through another person is fleeting. It's here today, gone tomorrow.
And do you know why? Because a genuinely happy relationship requires two people being happy within themselves first. One fulfilled, happy person enhancing another. They positively feed off of and grow from each other's solid sense of self. To use a metaphor, the love they share is like great seasoning on a well-cooked meal. The trick is, the seasoning can only do its job on an already well-made meal.
Relationships and happiness are very much the same way.
When one partner waits for the other person to "complete" them, the relationship quickly becomes unbalanced. And no relationship can ultimately sustain one person doing all of the work. Give AND take is essential to keep love and happiness thriving.
So, if being happy within ourselves is important ... what do we even know about individual happiness?
Here are a few interesting facts to ponder:
- Research indicates that we're naturally happiest at ages 33, 55 and 70.
- The most stressed out generation is the Millennials.
- And that "happy people" are not happy every single day (it ebbs and flows).
To learn more about what it takes to create real and lasting happiness, host and YourTango VP of Experts sat down with John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and a panel of Experts including: psychotherapist and loving relationship expert Tamara J. Green; therapist and hypnotherapist Leslie Rouder; and life coach Lora Lucinda Andersen.
And they all agree — accepting responsibility for creating your OWN happiness is the secret to your own success.
Which means, on a sad day or during a bad week (which we ALL have), leaning into the fluid nature of happiness ... and trusting that better days (and feelings) are headed your way ... is a practice that takes time to master.
The trick is to identify reliable action steps you can take to shift your mood when your happiness pendulum swings too far off center.
Overall the panel is in favor of setting up rituals and habits that allow you to self-correct and re-frame your focus when you begin to feel your joy slump. To do this, pay attention to all the signals around you coming from your body, heart and mind.
For tips on what can you do today, right at this moment, to make your own happiness a priority, listen to the Experts in the short video above. And then ask yourself: How am I absent-mindedly making someone else responsible for my happiness? What can I do today to take back control so I'm in the driver's seat of my life again and not someone else?
Think about it: How would you feel if someone made you responsible for their happiness? Burdened? Overloaded? Taken advantage of? It's something to think about, for sure.
Make today a day that you stop this craziness and decide to jump on a healthier, happier path. All it takes is awareness and a few smart tips, all of which you'll find in the video above.
And if you need additional support from an Expert to help make this idea a regular habit in your life, click their names above to visit their profile and website.
Here's to a happier you!