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Hilal Her

The Pursuit of Happiness

April 2023

Do you want to be happy? Since time immemorial, happiness has been pursued as a goal in our lives but the question is: what does happiness mean? Happiness is generally considered a positive feeling. It is a sense of wellbeing involving satisfaction with the life’s pleasant, good, and meaningful aspects. A person in this state usually enjoys daily pleasures of life, using their skills to enrich their lives and serve the greater good based on their values and beliefs. It is, however, a concept that is unique to each individual, and the path to happiness can be different for everyone. 
The pursuit of happiness is an abstract concept that has been around for centuries. It is the idea that everyone has the right to pursue happiness and live a fulfilling life. However, pursuing happiness is not always easy, and finding joy in today’s world can be challenging and frustrating. According to various research studies, happiness can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, environment, and personal choices.
Pursuing happiness can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it is important to remember that happiness can be found in small moments. Among one of the major hindrances to achieving happiness is saying and thinking, “I will be happy when …” It is like holding your happiness by tethering it to something that you do not have at present. This approach to happiness will keep you waiting for good and a person starts to think pessimistically.
How Can You Feel Happy?
Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to achieve happiness. It involves focusing on the innumerable reasons to be thankful for in our lives. By practicing gratitude regularly, you can train your mind to see the good in every situation, no matter how diminutive it is. This can also help you feel more content and satisfied with your life. Are you grateful for the cup of warm tea, the breath of fresh air, your body that helps you move, your ability to give and receive love, and much more? We can consciously ask ourselves every day: “What am I grateful for?” It will help us in being thankful about the blessings of God that are showered upon us instead of only ruminating in a negative manner. 
Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on the here and now. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to appreciate the simple things in life and find joy in the present moment. Mindfulness can also help you reduce stress, improve your mental health, and increase your overall sense of wellbeing.
Exercise
Exercise is a compelling way to improve your physical and mental health. It releases endorphins, which are chemicals that trigger feelings of happiness and euphoria. Regular exercise can also help you reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your self-esteem. You can go for a run, take a yoga class, or lift weights. Finding an exercise routine that works for you the best can be a powerful way to achieve happiness.
Social Interactions
Human beings are social creatures, and we thrive when we have strong relationships with others. Building and maintaining social connections in a healthy manner is an essential component of achieving happiness. You can choose to spend time with your family, go out with friends, join a club, or volunteer in your community. The more connected you feel, the better your chances of wellbeing will be. 
Pursue a Passion
Living for what you love is the way to go. Finding and pursuing a passion can be a powerful way to achieve happiness. Whether painting, writing, playing music or practicing a sport, pursuing a passion can give you a sense of purpose. It can also help you develop new skills, meet new people, and explore innovative ideas.
Help Others
Helping others without conditions attached can be advantageous in the pursuit of happiness. By volunteering your time or resources to help those in need, you can make a positive impact on your surroundings. It can also help you feel more connected to your community and give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Learn Something New
Learning something new can be a powerful way to achieve happiness. You can take a class, read a book, or attend a workshop. Learning actually makes you happier. Researchers found that one of the things that people need to be happy is to be engaged in difficult-but-doable activities. This is an opportunity for them to become so absorbed in their tasks that time seems to stand still. Learning can help you expand your mind and hone your skills. It can also help you find new interests and give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Practice Self-care
Practicing self-care is an essential component of achieving happiness. No one can live a happy and healthy life without self-care or self-love. It involves taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. When you believe in self-care and practice it, you produce positive feelings that boost motivation, confidence and self-esteem in you. It gives you the energy and creates the aura around you that help you to support yourself as well as others around you. It is even clinically proven that practicing self-care eliminates depression, stress and anxiety. This can include things like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, practicing mindfulness, taking time for yourself, etc. By prioritizing your own wellbeing, you can achieve a sense of balance and contentment in your life.
Embrace Positivity
Positivity is a powerful force that can help you achieve happiness. By focusing on the good in your life and looking for the positive in every situation, you can train your mind to see the world in a more optimistic light. This can help you feel more energized, hopeful, and content. Also, remember energy flows where the focus is. 
Practice Forgiveness
Holding on to grievances may feel like the right thing to do, but this outlook is detrimental for one’s health and ultimately damages the prospects of healing and freedom. Forgiveness is a powerful way to achieve happiness. By letting go of grudges and resentments, you can release yourself from overwhelming emotions and find a sense of peace. Forgiveness can also help you repair damaged relationships and cultivate a more optimistic outlook on life.
Cultivate a Growth Mindset
Having a fixed mindset can limit your journey toward happiness. A growth mindset is a belief that you can grow and develop as a person. By cultivating a growth mindset, you can develop a sense of resilience and optimism to help you achieve happiness. Individuals with a growth mindset do not shy away from new opportunities and challenges. Instead, they embrace change and focus on incremental improvement rather than the result. Unsurprisingly, people with a growth mindset tend to be happier, more satisfied, and seem to be more at peace.
Find Your Balance
Achieving happiness requires finding balance in your life. A balanced life requires self-discipline. You have to divvy up your time so you are not neglecting family, friends, or self. Since you cannot be in all the places at once, you limit your time in one area to squeeze more time out somewhere else. If you neglect one area for too long, it becomes a problem. This involves prioritizing the things that matter most to you while also making time for self-care, relaxation, and enjoyment. By finding balance, you can achieve a sense of harmony and fulfillment in your life.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is advantageous in the pursuance of happiness and it also improves your overall health. By focusing on the taste, texture, and experience of your food, you can learn to savor each moment and develop a healthier relationship with food. Mindful eating can also help you reduce stress, improve digestion, and feel more satisfied with your meals.
Connect with Nature
Connecting with nature helps to achieve happiness. Spending time in nature can help you feel more relaxed, calm, and connected to the world around you, whether it is taking a hike, swimming, or simply sitting outside and enjoying the beauty of nature. It could be looking at a bird and noticing its melodious voice, autumn that turns the leaves into magnificent colors, or clouds that are floating freely in the air. 
Practice Graciousness
Practicing graciousness involves showing kindness, gratitude, and appreciation to others. By focusing on the good in others and showing appreciation for the things they do, you can cultivate a sense of positivity and happiness in your life.
Meaningful work 
Work can be a significant source of happiness as long as it is purposeful and fulfilling. When you feel that your work has meaning and contributes to something greater, you feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Finding work that aligns with your values and passions is important to achieve that sense of wholesomeness. 
Achieving happiness is a complex and ongoing process that requires effort and endeavor. By practicing the measures mentioned above, a person can cultivate a sense of contentment, satisfaction, and joy in their lives. HH


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