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Where Does Happiness Come From?

By Elma B.

Where does happiness come from?

This question has been repeatedly asked throughout centuries. Without discussing scientific facts, I want to tell you what life has taught me that happiness means. Through my friends, family and myself, I have observed that many think that in order for me to be happy XYZ have to happen. In another words, we depend on an event that is often completely out of our control to occur for us to feel ecstatic joy. However, what we do not realize is that the source of happiness ultimately comes from within you. 

Here are five key steps to forming a healthier & a happier you: 

1. Understand your needs, fill them. There are a myriad of activities that make us feel internally satisfied. The key is to understand that we are multidimensional and that not one but various activities make us feel internally content. Write down a set of activities that make you smile, e.g., going on a long run during a warm spring/summer day, practicing yoga to stretch every single muscle in your body, or cleaning-up your workspace/home and disposing of the junk.  Whatever set of activities make you happy, find the time to incorporate them into your daily life so your level of energy will increase when performing tasks that do not, if you will, wet your appetite. 

2. Change your focus, perception is reality. Most of us focus on what is missing in our life, the so called "missing tile syndrome." What if you thought about all the factors that you are grateful for in your life as many times during the day as when you focus on what you lack? The question always remains is the glass half-empty or half-full? How do you see life? Do you see a mistake as an opportunity to learn or an opportunity to complain (yet again)? Whatever you focus on, you will find. Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy; however, you think your life will turn out is exactly how it will turn out because you will find every single opportunity to reaffirm your thinking. So, think about it, into which direction will you steer your focus?

3. Don't put all of your eggs into one basket. We are often too invested into making X come true that when it does not we fall flat on our faces and feel disappointed and in pain. What if you invested your time (and money) into many different facets so when X does not come true you still have Y and Z to nurture and grow? So, do not devote all of your energy into just one of the following: your career, friends, family, significant other, spirituality, etc., diversify your portfolio so to speak. Like I said, we are multidimensional beings with many needs. 

4. Find your spiritual outlet. Did you know that one of the "secrets" to a long life is having a healthy spiritual life? So, you are not religious (as I am not), meditate! Our brain needs to relax from the worries and the busy lives we lead. Our brain needs to let go. Having an outlet that helps your brain relax and let go and understand that some circumstances are out of your control is a powerful release of stress. 

5. Find a positive addiction/s. We have all heard of bad habits, e.g., drinking, smoking, eating junk food, but what about positive addictions? One of my recent positive addictions is working out; it is a release energy and makes me feel physically healthy. There are countless of other positive addictions, find yours. 

Keep in mind that life is a marathon and not a sprint, i.e., the happiness project cannot be completed overnight. Happiness is about creating healthy habits and implementing them into your life on a daily basis. Until next time fashionistas, stay healthy and happy! Xoxo.

(For the fashionistas, my outfit dissected: top & bottoms from Zara, bag by Gucci, sunglasses by Ralph Lauren and sandals by Tod's.) 


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