Do you know what it is that makes you happy? A lot of people who have struggled with happiness have already spent time looking at self-help articles about how to be happier to have more happiness in their life. But knowing what it is that makes you happy is something different.
How to find what makes you happy when you just don’t know what it is? A lot of people will have some vague idea what makes them happy or maybe they know what makes other people happy, but they haven’t figured out how to get real happiness for themselves.
The problem is, everyone seems to think they know what should make other people happy. Let’s start with this and address this common misconception.
Forget about What’s Supposed to Make You Happy
If you spend much time following social media or looking at magazines or watching TV, you’ll get all sorts of ideas about what should make you happy. Some of them will tell you that you need to get into a relationship or get married to be happy. A lot of them will tell you that you need to look skinnier or prettier or have the right clothes or right makeup. Many of them will say if you just buy this new product, you’ll find happiness.
We are inundated with advertising that tells us all sorts of different ways to be happy, but you have to see through that and see it for what it is. It’s purely marketing that is meant to sell you something. The manufacturers aren’t trying to make you happier. They are simply trying to make some money.
The magazines and social media accounts that promote beauty, fitness, and possessions as happiness are often all trying to sell you something too. If you’re incredibly unhappy with how you look, what you have, or what type of body you have right now, you probably won’t be as happy as you think you will when you get those things that you believe will make you happy. What happens is that when you obtain whatever it is that supposed to make you happy, you start to see flaws with it and feel that there is still more that you want in order to become happy.
Everyone seems to have their own ideas about what should make people happy, but you have to find your own happiness, and that’s going to mean experimenting and searching out in your own life.
Be Careful Turning Hobbies into Work
How to find out what makes you happy? A lot of people believe that what they have their dream job, they will be happy. For many people, the dream job is taking your hobby and making it a full-time occupation. What you may not realize, though, is that the hobby might not be as fun if you have to do it all the time. In fact, working full time at something that used to be a hobby can be draining and rob that hobby of all its fun. Suddenly, it’s not the thing that you want to spend your free time on.
You might be surprised at the kind of jobs that you can enjoy and that will make you happy what many people don’t realize is that they can really enjoy jobs because of the actions they go through for that job. They can learn to enjoy the ins and outs in the day-to-day tasks because of the pace they get to work at or how competent they feel at that job.
There are plenty of people who work desk jobs and office jobs who are very happy with their work because they’ve learned to appreciate the basics of the job. They feel accomplished in what they do and appreciate it at their work, and that’s what gives them satisfaction and what spurs happiness in their life. If you’ve been chasing a dream job for a long time and not managed to find success there, it may be time to just explore some options and try some different jobs to see if there’s something unexpected that appeals to you.
Finding the right job is important, because that’s how most people will be spending the majority of their life. A job takes up not just your working hours, but you’ll be thinking about it when you’re not working. It needs to be something you enjoy that’s not overly stressful and that you can do well. It may surprise you which jobs fulfill those requirements for happiness.
Note Your Happy Moments
If you’re looking for how to find what makes you happy and how to stop losing it, you may not have a real grasp yet on the things that make you happy. Your happiness may be fleeting, and then you may not be sure what it is that made you happy. Here’s an idea that may help. Keep a notepad and pen on you or take notes in your phone. Whenever you feel very happy, write down what it is you’re doing and what it is you think that makes you happy. You may realize that it’s the experiences or the environment that’s bringing you happiness rather than the action.
In other words, you may think it is sports that bring you happiness, but once you analyze your moments of happiness, you may see that it’s really time with friends and the social aspect of sports that is really what makes you happy. In that way, you can find more happiness outside of sports by being more social and spending more time with friends.
This is just one example, and there are many ways you can discover the things that make you happy. Writing notes and paying attention to those happy moments can really make a difference in helping you discover your sources of happiness. Once you find them, of course, you can work to replicate them over and over again.
Relive Some of Your Childhood
A lot of people draw happiness from their childhood. This is known as nostalgia, where people have a longing for the things they used to know and used to do. Now, you can’t actually relive your childhood, but you can relive some of those experiences.
What a lot of people do is search for the toys they used to have, or perhaps the puzzles, lunchboxes, and coloring books. It’s surprisingly easy to find a lot of these older items online for cheap. You might be amazed at how happy it makes you feel to have these items back in your possession and arranged on a shelf or somewhere in your house where you can see them throughout the day. Just looking at these things and not necessarily even playing with them or using them can bring back happy thoughts from your childhood.
For some people, simply having pictures on the wall of happy times can bring back memories of happiness. You may not have pictures preserved from your childhood, but you can talk to relatives who may have taken pictures and collected albums that have snapshots of your childhood in them. Get some of those and create your own album or place pictures around the house help bring back thoughts of different times in your life when you were happy.
Know That a Lot of Happiness Is Temporary
There’s a saying that goes something like: “happiness is the result of happenings”. There’s a lot of truth in that, the fact that happiness can come and go. A lot of the little things and experiences that make us happy the temporary things. Once we finish that cup of coffee or how to party with friends or watch the funny movie, the happiness may fade after a little while. How to find out what makes you happy work for the long term?
If you go from one happy moment to another, chasing experiences, you will find a lot of short-lived happiness. But if you want to be happy throughout your day and throughout your life, you have to find those things that can bring you happiness even when things aren’t going well. These are the big things, like having a job you really enjoy, or being in a relationship that is good to you and fulfilling for you. Having trusted friends that you can talk to about the important stuff is another big one. Having these anchors or sources of stability in your life can help you be happy even in moments when not everything is going right.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://awellnessbody.com.