It’s interesting, we talk about happiness all the time, but really, what is happiness? The positive psychology definition, which is probably the best place to start, describes Happiness as ‘Subjective wellbeing.’ To be honest, this term never really meant much to me until recently when I stopped to think about it.
Subjective wellbeing means; how well you think you’re doing. It’s subjective because it’s only your opinion, and wellbeing covers everything to are you feeling fit, happy and healthy today to are you living your highest values and achieving your goals.
To me happiness is a culmination of feeling good moment by moment and being on the path to leading a meaningful and fulfilling life. Much of my happiness is about noticing the positives in life around me.
Here are some examples of times I feel not only happy but connected to the world around me:
- When I hear a little finch flitting from tree to tree, chirping contentedly
- When I see an old couple holding hands walking along the street
- When I hear a friend talk about their kids with joy and wonder
- When I think about my best memories, either distant or recent
- When I hear little kids laughing and giggling over a game
- When I see a father lovingly teaching a child to ride a bike
- When I see a kid messily devouring an ice cream on a hot summers day
- When I feel the sunshine on my shoulders and the ocean breeze in my hair
One of the things you might notice is that none of the above things take any time or money. You can notice them when you’re driving to work, or walking down the street. True happiness doesn’t come from having things; it comes from being the best you that you can be. When you start looking at happiness through this lens it becomes increasingly available.
What does happiness mean to you and how can you remind yourself to notice and savor the happiness all around you each and every day?