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Finding Our Happiness Mindset

Kari is a compassionate and empathetic individual. She loves the earth and all its life. She is a believer in the dignity of each of us.

Finding Our Happiness Mindset

Finding Our Happiness Mindset

“Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object.”

— Herman Hesse

What Is Happiness?

What is happiness? Is it a mood or an emotion? Happiness is a mood, joy is the emotion caused by happiness. Emotions are temporary, transient states of mind. Moods are a state of mind, also temporary, but longer lasting than an emotion. This means that happiness is a state of mind. In the article, Psychology of Happiness, the author states, "Psychologists often refer to happiness as positive affect - a mood or emotional state which is brought about by generally positive thoughts and feelings."

“Being happy is something that each of us determines, it is not something that we find outside of ourselves, it is within us and our choice.”

— Catherine Pulsifer

People are always searching for happiness. They think there are many paths to happiness, but most are illusions. Love, money, and power are some of these illusions. Many feel that if they can get this ONE thing, they will find happiness. This is a misconception. Lasting happiness does not happen in response to something else. Lasting happiness involves a certain mindset.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

— Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is not something to search for, it is within our control. If we want happiness, we should change our mindset. Happiness is not the by-product of a goal. Yes, we are happy when we complete a goal, but, were we happy doing the tasks? Probably not. Not unless we realize that happiness is a daily attitude.

“Being happy doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”

— Dale Carnegie

How do we find our happiness mentality? Understanding ourselves, practicing gratefulness, living in the “now”, and finding beauty are all good ways to find and maintain our mindset of happiness. Here are ten tips on how to find happiness by maintaining this mindset in our lives.

"Know thyself"

— Ancient Greek Adage

1. Understand Ourselves

Use self-reflection. We need to reflect on our actions and think about what in our character gave us motivation to do a thing. Most often we tend to reflect on instances of unhappiness. We try to understand what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

Self-reflection helps us avoid previous mistakes by understanding what individual small actions led to these. Repeatedly making the same mistakes in life decreases our ability to be happy.

"Emotionally, self-regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you're upset and cheer yourself up when you're down."

— Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

2. Emotional Self-Regulation

Emotional self-regulation is important in maintaining our happiness mentality. Usually, emotional self-regulation involves managing and controlling destructive impulses. This skill is very important to keep us from feeling embarrassed. It also helps us control our anger. Emotional self-regulation assists in keeping our actions socially acceptable.

We use emotional self-regulation to cut down on our reactivity. Reactivity occurs when we feel an emotion, such as anger, and we immediately react with anger. It is much better to process our emotions and control them or let them out as we wish. Emotional self-regulation increases the ability to use emotions instead of being used by our emotions.

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”

— Henry Ward Beecher

Dogs are happy.

Dogs are happy.

3. Gratefulness

The practice of gratefulness is a requirement to staying in the happiness mode. When we are feeling resentment or jealousy about what we do not have, it is best to remember all we have that is right. This is not to say that, when we are happy, bad things won’t happen, they do. But to get back on the happiness track we need to fill our minds with all we love, all that is good, everything we have to be grateful for.

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.”

— Groucho Marx

4. Live Now

Live now, not yesterday, not tomorrow. We need to focus on what is happening to us now. The here and now is the only time we can affect.

  • Stop replaying past mistakes in our minds. Things in the past have no power over us, unless we decide to learn from them. We can use self-reflection to learn what led us to this mistake. But, other than learning what not to do in the future, the past has no place in our daily lives.
  • We need to stop worrying about the future. Accept that there is only so much we can do to get ready for the future, and then let it go. Today is the day we live in. Now is our only time.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only saps today of its joy.”

— Leo Buscaglia

5. Find Beauty

Find beauty every place we go. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I think that for us to keep happy we need to appreciate the beauty of small, random things and events. We can find happiness appreciating a smile, a flower, even a good smell. There is beauty all around us although sometimes we have to look harder for it than at other times.

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

— Anne Frank

6. Stop Being A Victim

It is hard to be happy when we think we are victims. We must believe we have control over our lives. I understand that there are times in childhood that we were the victim, but as adults we need to take control of our own lives. We need to see how our decisions affect our lives.

Doing this involves self-reflection, mind training and determination. It is hard to change how we think, but we need to do this. Victims are never happy.

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

— Albert Ellis

7. Train Our Minds

Changing our thought patterns is another way to obtain a happiness mindset. We need to train our minds to recognize when bad thoughts are running through it. Often we allow depressing and/or degrading thoughts go through our minds. We need to recognize these thoughts and change them to more accepting thoughts. Changing damaging thoughts to thoughts of self affirmation will help us to be happier.

We should train our minds to think about happy things, things that bring us pleasure, not about all the bad of the world. We need to stop thinking about all the bad things and start focusing on good things. If we fill our minds with bad stuff, we will never be happy.

Training our minds takes conscious effort. It is not something we can just do in a day. Mind training takes time. It should be an ongoing task throughout our lives.

“You can never be really happy if you keep holding on to those bad memories which makes you sad.”

— Anurag Prakash

8. Help Others

We always feel better about ourselves when we help others. Helping others is a great way to assist us in finding our happiness mindset. There is something hard-wired in the human race that allows us to like ourselves better when we give to others.

Helping others also can give us a comparison to judge our lives by. Most often we will find many good things in our life that less fortunate individuals may not have. It is interesting to find that many people with less than us are happy.

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

— Booker T. Washington

9. Want What We Have

So often we get caught up in wanting what we do not have. In doing this we often lose sight of all we do have. We need to be grateful for what we have while we are attending to our goals. We must not think that we need a certain thing to be happy. Having this thing may make you happier, but being happy is not reliant on a thing, a person, or an experience. If we cannot be happy while achieving a goal, chances are we will not be happy once we obtain it.

So much about happiness is in managing our expectations. When we decide to be happy with what we have, we will be. It is extremely hard in this world of "pins" and Facebook posts. People are always posting pictures that make their life look better than ours. However, those pictures are staged, not real life. Their real lives are probably just as filled with uncertainty and chaos as ours.

”The ‘good life’ begins when you stop wanting a better one”

— Nkosiphambili E. Molapis

10. Smile

If happiness had one expression it would be a smile. When we smile, people are nicer to us and like us better. It is hard to think damaging thoughts with our mouths smiling. Things look better when we smile. At least it does in my world.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Finding Happiness

These tips will help us find our happiness mindset. Just remember, happiness takes a little daily work on our part. I know happiness is hard to find when we are depressed, but practicing these tips will enable us to find some. If your happiness does not improve immediately, keep practicing, keep training your mind and keep your mind filled with good. It may take time, but it will come.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.

— Marcus Aurelius

More Quotes About Finding Happiness

Here are a few more quotes on happiness to ponder:

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. - Epictetus

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” - Roy T. Bennett

“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” - Dale Carnegie

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” - Elizabeth Gilbert

“Stop comparing yourself to other people, just choose to be happy and live your own life.” - Roy T. Bennett

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” - Martha Washington

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” - James Matthew Barrie

© 2019 Kari Poulsen

Comments

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on March 20, 2020:

Thank you, Brenda! Keeping busy is key in these times. Learn a new hobby. I hope you are well! Being happy with what you have is hard. I'm glad you are!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 18, 2020:

Kari,

This is a good write.

I am trying to be happy for what I have, I do have all I need.

But kinda hard right now being stuck here with no contact with others.

I actually fell asleep earlier today from boredom I guess.

Take care of yourself in this stressful craziness.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on March 16, 2020:

Donna, I am thrilled to hear that. Blessings to you!

Donna Rayne from Greenwood, In on March 16, 2020:

Beautifully written, I loved all the happy quotes and I agree with what you are writing her. I found myself smiling more than I normally do when I was reading this and I thank you!

Blessings,

Donna Rayne

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on March 16, 2020:

I am so glad Mitara N! Thanks for reading!

Mitara N from South Africa on March 15, 2020:

An absolutely brilliant article! I am so inspired and moved by the read.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on January 01, 2020:

Thank you Bill! I hope the same for you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 01, 2020:

Just a quick visit to wish you a Happy New Year! May 2020 be your best year yet, filled with love.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 29, 2019:

Genna, that is one of my favorite sayings. "We can't always control what happens to us in our lives, but we can control how we react to these events." Deciding on and controlling our reactions gives us more power to affect our own lives. Have a lovely New Year's.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 29, 2019:

Audrey, I think you and I both know that those "feel-good" endorphins are pretty addictive. Once we start helping others, it is hard to stop. What you say is very true. I hope your New Year's is happy.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 29, 2019:

Donna, I think a life with Christ helps with happiness. He teaches these same concepts. Have a Happy New Year.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 29, 2019:

Thank you, Brenda. I am a strong believer that we can make ourselves happier. Emotional regulation is a hard one. I suggest teaching yourself to count to ten before responding emotionally. I was trained as a child (in a family of seven). But, I still need to work at it. I consider these to be lifelong tasks. Have a Happy New Year.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 29, 2019:

Wonderful article! We can't always control what happens to us in our lives, but we can control how we react to these events. And I loved the "Smile" and "Help Others". Words to live by. :-)

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 28, 2019:

Outstanding article on this topic. Gratitude, the quality of being thankful, overshadows want, jealousy, and even victimization. There is so much to be grateful for, regardless of our circumstances. Helping others can bring instant happiness and turn on those "feel good" endorphins.

Thank you for this rewarding reminder. Happy New Year!

Donna Rayne from Greenwood, In on December 27, 2019:

Happiness begins in the mind and travels to the heart and it can take many avenues that can make one's body feel complete bliss in living a wonderful life that converts the soul to completeness, happiness in such delights as a smile on your child's face as they delight in their smallest achievement that took long hurdles to get their happiness is becoming one with Christ and all His blessings on an entire family togetherness, happiness leads to love of all loves...

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 26, 2019:

Kari,

This is an awesome write.

It is so true that we are responsible for our own happiness.

Emotional regulation is a bit hard at times..but finding something in each day to be grateful for and thst adds beauty to life is easy.

I love the quotes you added.

Great write.

I hope you had a great Christmas...happy new year too!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 26, 2019:

FlourishAnyway, Thank you! I agree, the grass may look greener, but you don't know what the upkeep costs. To have more things is not the way to happiness. We need to remember all the good that is already present in our life. I hope your Christmas season continues with love and light into your New Year.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 26, 2019:

Thank you Dora! I do believe happiness is up to us, but it takes some mind training to achieve. I'm glad you liked the quotes. I hope your Christmas season is filled with love and hope.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 26, 2019:

Ioannis Arvanitis , Thank you so much! I agree, thinking on love, service and humor are great ways to keep in a happiness mindset. I hope your Christmas was lovely.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 26, 2019:

Great pointers. Happiness is a choice as no life situation is perfect. I especially liked the advice about wanting what you have. So many people have the grass is greener syndrome and spend too much valuable time pining away for what they do not have.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 25, 2019:

Great counsel on how to promote our happiness. It's entirely up to us. Very helpful quotes as well. Happy Christmas season to you.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on December 25, 2019:

Your hub is an excellent Christmas gift to all people! Thank you, my dear Kari! I believe that Love, Serving and Humour are the answer. I don't know about you, but these "three musketeers" keep me happy until now! I wish you the Light of the Star to illuminate your life!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Sean

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 24, 2019:

Eric, you are a mysterious man, that is true. Any time we find happiness in our hearts is a good time, and one to celebrate. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 24, 2019:

Charlie, I just read a little about rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). It seems to be a great way to train your mind into thinking the thoughts one wants. I would recommend this approach. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 24, 2019:

Pamela, thank you! May your Christmas be especially merry this year.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 24, 2019:

Maybe I should get more into gifts for Christmas. I spent sometime in a communist country for Christmas. As I walked the streets for Christmas I found it in my heart. If I understood I would tell you.

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on December 24, 2019:

Very good read. filled with positive motivation.

In my struggles with mental health and addiction problems I was introduced to R.E.B.T.

I have a book by Albert Ellis called (How to stubbornly refuse to make yourself miserable about anything) This is my go to reference when my negative thoughts and feelings start to try and take over.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 23, 2019:

These points you listed are right on target in my view. I have always heard that misery is but an option but not one we want. I think this is a very good article and I love all the quotes.

Have a very Merry Christmas, Kari.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 23, 2019:

Thank you Bill! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you also.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 23, 2019:

This article is like a road map to a long, happy, loving life. There are so many truths here, the perfect article two days before Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, my friend.

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