The question has been asked of you many times. Are you happy? This word is contained in many goals, resolutions, vision states and so much more. Ultimately, what does happiness mean? Happiness– A state of well-being and contentment (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Okay, with that being said, are you happy? When I have asked the question all have paused and seem to ponder their answer. Psychologists state that in most industrialize nations, happiness is equated with money. Studies find that we need a certain amount to thrive but in excess of that money does not contribute to one’s happiness.
Innately, humans have feelings which serve to feed the identified pillars of happiness; those being pleasure, engagement, and meaning. Those of us touched by or living with cancer can certainly concur that happiness is subjective, ever-hanging, and work in progress. We need to develop a new norm of which we live and take inventory of which we are grateful. At any given time we can be upset, annoyed, sad, frustrated or scared. Does that mean we are not happy?
For those of us in the cancer community, I ask each of you to take a moment daily to focus on the “good things” as it readjusts our overall feeling and how we pursue happiness. Make an effort to capture these in some way. We should look within ourselves to adjust our paths as needed and life evolves.
The perception of others’ happiness can be flawed when viewing their outside persona. All of us need to engage ourselves and give back to be happy. We also need the highs and lows emotionally to set our norm. Experiencing joy (positive) the sadness (negative) helps us to obtain self-acceptance. Remember, only YOU can control your own happiness. Actively engage your surroundings and of course others. You will find that everyone has issues that mar their happiness. Those who work daily toward activities and decisions that will contribute to the aforementioned pillars will experience happiness.
Again, the subjectivity of the elusive term happiness evolves with the journey we call life. I challenge every one of you to say ‘’Happiness is an inside job!” when negative thoughts or feeling arise. You may find out through gratification inventory that your path needs to be adjusted to obtain your individual happiness. Stand up, engage others and focus on the positive. You may be pleasantly surprised that you really are happy or start celebrating HAPPINESS!