You Cant Find Happiness, You Have To Learn It


So here we are halfway through January and the New Year. I don’t make new years resolutions anymore. What is the point? We always seem to think that the beginning of the new year means a new start but I learned a long time ago you can have a new start anytime you want it. You just need to decide what the new start will be, set your start date and your off. I dont make New Years Resolutions, I take New Years Actions!!

But the end of the year can be a psychological break away from what happened in a particular year. I know there have been some years where I was glad to see the year end. Particularly if it was a year of sadness and pain. It’s like you are able to draw a line in the sand because a new year has begun and all that happened last year is now behind you. This is a healthy thing. It’s not a resolution to change, it’s a way to regain hope that this year will be better. It’s about putting the past in the past. It’s like having a heavy jacket that is weighing you down, taking it off, and feeling light again.

Reaction to the end of the year can be different for others. Sometimes it’s about another year struggling through and not moving forward. It can be about another year not finding our soul mate. It can be about having to move on without a loved one. And there are a million other scenarios as to why the arrival of a new year is depressing. You are the only person that can decide if you will focus on what is bringing you down and feel sad about the coming of a new year, or if you are going to be one of those people who takes off that heavy jacket and looks for the positives.

My new year came with a revelation. And I must say I was a little surprised with my own insight. My new motto is “your happiness is not my responsibility”. It comes from the fact that try as I might to make the lives of those around me happy, I can’t!! It is up to the individual to decide if they want to be happy.

Another little gem that came to mind the other day was “you cant find happiness, you have to learn it”. I must say I have been having some very Yoda moments lately. Perhaps it’s all the writing and journaling I do!! but this is just so true. happiness is not something that you just find, it is something that you have to work towards and learn how to be happy.

And this is not as easy for some as it is for others. And that is psychologically proven. We all have a built-in default set point for happiness that contributes to this. Set Point theory is supported by research such as Brickman et al. (1978) and the Big Five model (Costa and McCrea, 1980) which I have been learning about at Uni (I’m studying psychology at uni because it is fascinating.) but the interesting thing is that your set point is not just in your DNA. Quite some time back I read the book “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach To Getting the Life You Want” by Sonja Lyubomirsky, and the research in here states that only 40% of your happiness is linked to your predefined set point. 10% can be attributed to your life circumstances. That leaves 40% up to you.

This book really did give me some great information about how to become happy. And I have worked very hard to make that a reality. Life still throws challenges at me, don’t get me wrong. It’s not all wine and roses!! But it is up to me how I respond to each challenge thrown at me. I still vent every now and then to get rid of the emotion that builds up from these challenges but I use my logic rather than my emotions to move forward. It’s still a work in project but every little bit of a % of extra happiness I can get I will take!!

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