Overcoming the Elusive Nature of Happiness

the pursuit of happiness

If there’s one element of our lives we all strive to see more of, it must be happiness. This elusive feeling presents itself in a number of guises, from the satisfaction we feel from doing a great job to the joy at seeing our children grow and thrive. Happiness can be fleeting or it can be a more general state but one thing’s for sure, it’s hard to pin down.

Let’s take a look at seven questions you can ask yourself in order to try and create a more happy existence. Be sure to answer truthfully and consider some changes you can make in your life in the quest for happiness.

1. What Would I Do if I Knew No One Would Judge Me?

By this we mean what behaviour would you introduce into your life if you could carry it out from free from the opinions of others. Perhaps you would change the way you dress, perhaps you would move country and start a whole new life, or perhaps you would simply start saying no to people when they ask you for favours time and time again.

2. What Do I Need to Change in Order to be Happy?

A big question, this one. Perhaps it’s something on the inside, like how you feel about an aspect of your looks or personality or maybe it’s some behaviour that you do that does you no favours and is inherently self-destructive. According to the psychology writer Andreas Sanchez:

You might need to change an aspect of your physical surroundings in order to feel happy, perhaps you live in a home that’s far from peaceful or you feel lonely and isolated.

3. When Was the Last Time I Felt Most Excited or Alive?

Take some time to think about a recent experience where you knew you were having an adventure. It might be a travel experience, a night out with friends or something that took you out of your comfort zone, such as extra responsibility at work or speaking in front of a crowd of people.

If you’re struggling to think of something, think about how you could find a way of incorporating this kind of excitement and adrenaline into your life.

4. Am I Spending My Time on What I Value Most?

What do you do? How do you spend your days? We all have to do activities we don’t necessarily love such as work or chores but if the vast majority of our waking time is spent doing things we actively hate then we need to make some changes. Janine Holt, a lifestyle blogger, says:

Think about the things you love doing, such as walking on the beach, working out or spending time with your family. Have you made time to do these things that bring you joy or are you held captive to the areas of your life you take the least joy from?

5. What Am I Grateful For?

Sometimes it’s the little things, such as running water and food that make us profoundly grateful. Other times we are thankful for a good friend, a great book or the money to buy a cup of coffee. Whatever it is that brings you joy, happiness and security in your life, spend a few minutes thinking about how lucky you are to have them and appreciate them just that little bit more.

6. What Do I Wish I Had More Courage For?

If you’ve answered question two honestly, it might be any number of the issues that you’ve identified. It might be a big area such as revealing your real sexual identity or cutting yourself loose from a toxic relationship, or it might be something less dramatic but equally as relevant such as taking the courage to stick up for yourself more.

7. How Am I Making the World Better?

Sometimes it’s important to look outside ourselves for real happiness. If you’re making a difference in someone else’s life, it’s often then that you can feel a real sense of purpose and ultimately live a more positive existence.

Whatever you’re searching for on the route to finding genuine happiness, ask yourself these big questions and have the courage to make some real changes.


Freddie Tubbs is a personal development writer and editor.

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