I was recently having a conversation with someone who stated they rarely feel happy. That surprised me. I am in a period of adjusting to the loss of my husband of 34 years who passed just seven weeks ago, yet I do not consider myself unhappy. I feel I am just in a temporary state of numbness that goes with the loss of a loved one.
What, I wondered, creates happiness in a person? Why do some people go through life feeling satisfied with their life, while others are unable to pull themselves out of a state of depression, or rotating bouts of depression?
I believe that to a large degree happiness is created by attitude. Positive thinking, the ability to adjust to whatever life throws at you. This mind set contributes to a person’s ability to maintain happiness through life’s trials and tribulations.
But what is happiness? Happiness is created when a person has a deep sense of meaning and purpose in life. A persons satisfaction with their life, how they feel on a day-to-day basis affects their ability to feel happy. It is difficult for someone who does not struggle with the overall feeling of happiness to understand how others can lack a feeling of contentment that comes with being happy.
The best way I can determine for one to overcome their lack of happiness is to try to change their way of thinking. There is a saying “fake it till you make it” that I think would serve a good purpose here. Pretend to be happy. Convince yourself that you are happy, that you will be happy. Why? Because it is what everyone wants, what everyone desires. Convince yourself you are and it will come to be.
How do I know this? Because that is how I live my life. I have had numerous things thrown my way that can drag you to the bottom of an emotional pit, and yet I have succeeded in maintaining happiness.
What, you may ask, could I have dealt with that could be that bad. I have had a granddaughter suffer severe brain trauma, not at the hands of her parents or my husband and I. Child Protective Services removed her and her sister from the family and terminated parental rights. Even though my husband and I applied to adopt, they were separated and adopted out to two separate families that are not relatives and we have no contact. I have a son who let desperation get the best of him and is doing 6-22 years in prison for home invasion. I was riding my motorcycle when a young driver ran the stop signs and broadsided me, causing severe and permanent injury. Just when I thought I was healed my ankle began to deteriorate and I am facing more surgery at sometime in my future as a result. My husband developed esophageal cancer and after battling it for a year, including surgery after which we thought he was cancer free, lost that battle on December 7, 2015.
I have encountered numerous events in my life that could have taken me down the path of negative thinking and left me in sorrow, and yet I prevail. Why? Because I am determined that I will. I maintain a positive attitude. I am determined to be satisfied in life. It may be different. It may not be what I originally planned or thought it would be. I must accept those changes and look at them as my “new normal” in which I will succeed.
What Creates Happiness? Perseverance. Positive Thinking. Acceptance of Change. Determination. All of those things, combined, create an attitude in which you are happy because you have the ability to cope with whatever life throws at you. That state of satisfaction, contentment with life, gives you the confidence you need to move forward. That is what creates happiness.