The key to happiness is, unlike beauty, not in the eye of the beholder. You can’t fool your mind into being happy, but it’s also not a one-size-fits-all solution. Happiness, for many people, is as elusive as the fountain of youth or the philosopher’s stone. Why is it so hard to find, and what is it? People have searched the globe and even the spiritual realms in search of the answer, gathering keepsakes of ancient Buddhist cultures or buying strange herbs that promise total clarity of mind, body and soul, but which often end up being like the magic bean Jack brought home. What is the answer?
The key to happiness is not a state of being, but rather a state of mind. How you see the world doesn’t change the way it is, but it does change how you deal with it. Take, for example, the metaphor of the glass half full/half empty. Two different people are seeing it in different ways. The glass remains unchanged no matter who is viewing it, but one of those people is distinctly more positive. Pessimists have an imbalance of reality where the only side they see is the negative side. Although others’ view of the optimist is that they see only the good, optimists do, in fact, see both sides; they just balance the negative with the positive and make the best of each and every situation.
Being an optimist seems to be the key to happiness, but it’s not as simple as viewing the glass half full. There’s a key characteristic that optimists have, and it’s not any particular outlook. It’s gratitude. The happiest people in the world are the ones that are grateful for what they have. That optimist doesn’t just see the glass as half full; they’re also grateful that they have any water at all. Were the glass half full, a quarter full or entirely full, they would still have the same attitude of humility and gratitude that they have it. A grateful heart and a grateful mind can make you the person you want to be. Aside from being happier, gratitude can also have a multitude of physical and mental benefits:
- People who live a life of gratitude are healthier than those with a negative state of mind. They experience less illness and disease, and their stress levels are significantly less than those of their peers.
- Gratitude can even alleviate symptoms of mental illness, such as anxiety and depression. People with a grateful attitude see a decrease blood pressure and muscle tension, and they have a better night’s rest.
- Gratitude increases your self-esteem and makes you more social, letting you feel better about yourself and help others do the same.
The key to happiness isn’t your perspective; it’s the way you let yourself feel. By being grateful and searching for the positive side of every situation, you’ll not only be happier, but healthier as well.
And don’t forget to share: It does not cost for you anything but it can change someone’s life…