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  DO YOU WANT    TO KNOW WHAT      HAPPINESS IS

What does it mean to be truly happy? Happiness is the result of our choices. After 40 years of research, social scientists attribute happiness to three major sources: genes, events, and values. Armed with this knowledge and a few simple rules, we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us. We can even construct a system that fulfills our founders’ promises and empowers all Americans to pursue happiness. (21)

What Happiness Is – Everyone wants to be happy. Many do not know how to accomplish being happy. To achieve lasting personal happiness, most caregivers will need to work at helping their loved ones achieve their own personal happiness. In order to accomplish both, the relationship will need to be climaxed with an attitude of harmony and co-operation. To accomplish both, it will require a commitment on the part of both caregiver and patient to make each other happy. In some cases the commitment may rest exclusively with the caregiver. That should not retard the caregivers who seek a harmonious relationship – they must keep working at it.

Love Leads To Happy Feelings - Why do so many people fail to achieve them? Have you ever met a person who doesn’t want to be happy? No, right? Happiness is like the wholly grain of life – the ultimate goal and desire of every human being. Why is that? Because happiness and feeling good spiritually and being active physically are interconnected by our feelings. We want those feelings to be real and uplifting. And humans are wired to love feeling good.

 

Everyone Wants Happiness - Happiness creates a desirable match between our spiritual journey and our human experience – it means we are on the right track. Happiness is also related to certain hormones in the body that make us feel good. All people want to find happiness, but not all of us find it. We either don’t know where to look, for what to look for, or how to find it.

 

Importance of Disposition - I found this quote from the extraordinary Martha Washington. It captured the spirit of what I wanted to say about how important is our disposition. Living in the most perilous of times, this exemplary woman said:

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” 

 

When we were young we wouldn’t have thought that joy or happiness would be dependent on our disposition, or our attitude. What seemed easier to believe was that good feelings come from being successful or from accomplishing something important. The revelation that our disposition is key to our happiness (and also key to our unhappiness) is an important, if not spectacular one. It deserves every caregiver’s consideration.

Happiness Really Is Important – What would it be worth to know that happiness is available for everyone? It is, in fact, available to anyone who is willing to put in a little effort. In addition to making us feel good, studies have found that happiness actually improves other aspects of our lives. Here is an overview of some of the good stuff repeated from a previous short-book that research has linked to happiness:

Happiness is good for our relationships.

Happy people are more likely to get married and have fulfilling marriages.

Happy people have more friends.

Happy people make more money and are more productive at work.

Happy people are more generous.

Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.

Happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.

Happy people are more grateful and in tune with their spiritual self.

Happy people are kind to others and make a difference everywhere they go.

Happiness Is Many Things - Happiness is different for almost everyone. Some people don’t know they are happy. Others don’t know they are not. It can be allusive, undefined and unrecognized. Happiness is sought by the lonely and those who are not lonely. It is exhilarating and uplifting. For some, it changes personalities and attitudes. For others, those who know not happiness, it is almost like losing a loved one. Happiness is like a companion - you know when it is present and miss it when it is gone.

 

Importance of Happiness – How we feel about our life is extremely important, but regardless of how satisfied we are or how good we feel, happiness should be, and often is, the by-product of how we treat each other. I have come to believe that the more we do for each other the happier we will both be. Is it possible that the happier our loved one becomes, the happier we will become? I think so! Happiness comes with effort, and it is an inestimable prize worth working hard to achieve. And happiness is nearly always a companion to a loving relationship.

 

Benefits of Being Happy – There's some research to suggest that people who have a more positive outlook are less likely to get sick after being exposed to flu and cold viruses. A recent study suggested getting a hug from a loved one can also fight off viruses such as the common cold. While that concept, spouting a very unlikely concept, may be hard to believe, it might be worth a try. Those who rate higher on certain positive personality traits have lower rates of certain illnesses. For instance, one study found that people who were more agreeable, extraverted, candidly open, and conscientious all had lower risks of developing illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. The researchers found that conscientiousness, in particular, could have a protective effect against health problems. (48)

 

How Hard Will You Work For Happiness – It is necessary that caregivers decide what they want from life. When that decision is made it will usually include what makes for happiness and how joy may be found. And for many, including a large number of caregivers, joy and happiness seem too elusive to consider. However, there is something you can effectively do. In fact, in every situation, there is something you can do. You can decide what you really want and what you are willing to sacrifice to obtain it. Presumeably, that will include happiness. How bad do you want it? Do you want it so bad it hurts and do you want the hurt to go away for you and your loved one?

 

Final Comments - If so, decide today you will do something about it. Determine what you are willing to do to accomplish your goal. Be certain that nothing will stop you, or prevent you from being happy. That will probably include relationships, feelings, actions, and the elimination of conduct or emotions standing in your way. Happiness can be had, but it must be worked for. Happiness is worth fighting for. Love is all the armament you need to fight that battle.