Happiness – How do we acquire it?

Jumping

Make it your focus to be happy, and to bring happiness to others.

There has been much talk recently in the UK about “happiness”.  What does constitute happiness?  What makes people happy?  Can we make happiness a UK characteristic?

I have no definitive answers myself, but the discussions that I have heard recently have included some of the following are required to be happy.

  • Strong relationships
  • Good health
  • Being Active
  • Faith/beliefs

There has even been the launch of  “Action for Happiness” here in the UK.

Notice, that I have not included money in this list.  Doing the research, no-one can quite decide about it’s contribution.

For me, happiness is an attitude of mind.  Therefore, it is essential that I know how to deal with my thoughts.  Recognising when negativity slips in and then, consciously, seeking to change that though to a positive by choosing to see the good in a situation.  And there are many “good” things to see in any circumstance.  I’ve just got to open your eyes.  However, I know it is not that simple, nor as black and white as I have made it out to be.

So, happiness then.  What do you make of it?

What do you believe contributes to happiness?

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About katehobbs

Mother to two who are now independant and living away from home. Wife to Steve, for the last 26yrs and looking forward to many more years. I have enjoyed 18 months in the Okanagan, something that I have longed to have the opportunity to do for a while. Living a dream, you could say. Now, I am interning with Living Waters Canada based in Vancouver until end of April 2013. I love to grow my own food - it tastes so much better. I also build up, train and encourage others to achieve more than they thought possible.
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11 Responses to Happiness – How do we acquire it?

  1. I am currently reading Seligman’s newest book “Flourish” in which he expresses a preference for well-being over “happiness” because he feels it is a concept like “freedom” that is made up of many things; specifically he focuses on Positive Emotion, Engagement (Flow), Positive Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. I also like it better because of the breadth of the term; positive emotion is what many people think of as happiness and that is the part of PERMA that sometimes is harder for me than all the others. I also like that you added Health; I suppose being as physically and psychologically healthy as possible is important for well-being.

    Thanks for the discussion and the post.

    • katehobbs says:

      Hi Chris
      Thank you for your comment. I tend to agree with you, and Seligman, that “happiness” can’t be tied down! It is a gambit of things. I’ll add the book recommendation to my reading “wish” list.

      Great to connect.

  2. Anita Mac says:

    I agree – it can’t be tied down! Happiness is also different for everyone! Some days, happiness is a good book, a fresh pot of tea, and the sun shining in the window – others it is getting out and riding my bike for 100 kms, working hard and legs burning…..I am sure that is not the picture of happiness for everyone! (Some of my friends tell me it is the picture of craziness, but whatever!!! 🙂

    I have been fortunate enough to travel to many places, including poverty stricken places. Sometimes, the people living with nothing appear far happier than the people who live in big houses with nice cars and all the goodies – money can bring about misery as well as happyiness (although I would tend towards misery these days – if you have money, you want/need more!!! It doesn’t necessarily make you happy!

    Long live the simple things in life that make us smile and bring us joy!

  3. fgassette says:

    WELCOME KATE! Thank you for subscribing to my blog and choosing to follow it. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and enjoy the photos I take of my life through the retirement years.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  4. elspethc says:

    There is a lot of wisdom here, especially when you look at how multi-faceted any ideas can be. Maybe we do not ACQUIRE happiness? It arrives – wondering about this, I wrote a poem
    http://triformy.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/happiness/ which started out because I was happy, but wandered around a lot of other moods and feelings.
    So that’s my answer to your question – won’t go down very well with the happiness minister whoever that might be

    • katehobbs says:

      He He. ‘Happiness minister’ is a lovely term. Read your poem and liked it. It has a simple form and style which I found easy to read.
      I think you are right in saying that there is a point in our lives where we recognise happiness has ‘arrived’. Can we lose it again? Probably, but then we have to challenge our mindset and know that it isn’t that far away.
      Take care Elspeth.
      Kate

  5. Jude says:

    Happiness for me is where I am now. Living isolated with my hubby and having time to write, illustrate, think, watch the flowers. It’s a certain contentment, which includes sharing, caring, creating, and never having to rush. I think different people gain happiness from different things.

    • katehobbs says:

      I agree. We are all wired differently and appreciate and seek different things to bring us happiness. Ultimately, it is not what we obtain, it is an attitude of mind. Steve and I are now so much happier than we have been. Rushing around London did not really help us, but being in Canada with very little in the way of possessions has really balanced us and we are so much more content.
      Enjoy the woods. I’ll enjoy the lakes and mountains!!!
      Kate

  6. We’ve had to watch our finances over the past year for the first time ever. When we looked at them, it was amazing how much we spent on ‘stuff’. The kids were unhappy at first, but neither of them have missed anything – and are quite happy discovering unused ‘stuff’. Money doesn’t buy happiness. It’s state of mind, appreciating what you have – whether that be love, health, life or family etc, and the confidence to live your life without trying to cave to the demands of how others think you should be living your life.

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