From the moment you were born, you were doomed to chase this thing called happiness. In psychology, this theory of a constant reach for happiness is called the hedonic treadmill. According to the theory, regardless of any accomplishments you achieve, you will never really reach a permanence of happiness.
But what is happiness really? And why do you want more of it in your life?
When it comes right down to the basics of it, happiness is an emotion, a state of feeling. No wonder the hedonic treadmill theory is plausible since feelings fade and transition as you evolve and grow.
When I was a kid (in the 80s) my mother had a 20"x30" poster of, what would look like today, a series of sterile emojis (it wasn't identical to the one pictured, but it's a similar idea). It was a slick trick my mom had -- for me to point to a face that best matched my own feelings. Happiness was of course on there along with angry, sad and many others.
Besides this being a good parenting tool, my point here is that happiness was not separated or noted as different than any of the other emotions. So why is our culture so obsessed with feeling one emotion? Well, simply because it feels good to be happy.
But to chase happiness constantly or to feel bummed that you don't feel happy all the time is nearly unrealistic. Note that I said nearly unrealistic, and not completely unrealistic. While you most likely won't feel a sense of happiness at all times, you can however add more happiness into your life by:
Recognizing that other emotions are fluidly connected with and can lead to happiness.
Understanding that you have to feel more than just happiness to reach more happiness.
Creating and refining goals often (which can lead to a sense of accomplishment, pride and happiness).
Overall, it is possible to add more happiness in your life. But the real question is How Are You Feeling Today? Want to dive deeper into this topic? Join me in my spring workshop: Recharge Your Happiness on Sunday, April 15. Click here to register and learn more.
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