There are these days when you wake up in the morning and for no reason, you feel light and full of energy. Happy. On other days just the thought of leaving the comfort zone which is created under the blanket seems like self- punishment. And then the whole days seems like a long hide and run, not a really how we would describe a happy day.
But what creates happiness? What makes us happy? Psychologists believe that happiness is an emotion, similar to anger, fear, love and pride. Emotions are controlled and creating inside of you (in your brain!). Emotions can cause confusion, even the definition if them has been rewritten over and over again. To simplify things we can say that emotions are a state of feelings involving thoughts, physiological and psychological changes and an outward expression. Very wage, right?
Where does happiness start?
Many people say I will be happy if... I get the new job. I will be happy when I start working out, I will be happy when I find the love of my life and so on... But waiting for an external cause of happiness does not not work on longterm happiness. You will feel excited for achieving goals, that's a great emotion we all know, but it will only last for the sake of a short time. Do you remember when you got a new toy as a child and you played with it all day long because it was new and after a week it wasn't that special anymore, after a month you wanted a new toy which makes you feel excited. That's the same concept with external causes of happiness. They don't last.
Because Happiness is a state of mind, it can and must be created in your mind. When asking people what makes them happy, they start to feel happy, because they mind shifts perspective and sees the present. Future achievements and goals can give great motivation to achieve things, but they cannot give you happiness in the present. Happiness is like time: It is only available in the present and you can't save it. And that makes it so universal to any situation.
In Jamaica I started to wonder how people define their happiness here.
And because I didn’t want to assume something that I could never know I just went on the street and started asking some people at the transportation center and at the Mandela Park in Kingston.
Here is what they said…
Do you thing that causes of happiness vary through culture? Research shows that the society we are growing up and living in, influences our world view and values dramatically. So even when we think that our happiness and goals are mostly choosen by us, culture and society plays a big part about how we feel about out live choices.
What makes you happy? Do you thing your culture influences what you are thriving for and what makes you happy?