What is Happiness?

Happiness is a state of being.  It is a state that every human being seeks.  

Happiness is an emotion that we have when we feel good and our life experiences are good.

Family walk on Butterfly Beach – makes me so happy
Embracing my role as a wife and mother, fully engaged and present – gives meaning and purpose

It is normal to try to orchestrate our lives around keeping a sense of happiness at all times.

No one enjoys feeling unhappy and no one would willingly let go of their happiness.

This all sound good, right?  The desire to be happy is what drives most of our thinking, our actions, and behaviors  Shouldn’t this be the driving force of our lives? 

Does revolving our life around happiness really improve our lives, help us to grow, or cause us to feel more content?

Let’s Consider This:

Happiness is the good feeling we have when we get something good that we like or want or when our circumstances are pleasant.  Good experiences and good circumstances are wonderful gifts and give us necessary boosts in our journey of life.  But let me ask you this. 

If happiness is based on circumstances, is it really a sustainable substance?  

Is happiness something on which we can rely along the roller coaster of life?

The answer is quite obviously no. Happiness is temporary because It is based on wether or not our life is going well.  Difficult circumstances or life challenges can drown out happiness instinatiously, and shift our internal state into quite a negative one.  

So, if an emotional state that is so vulnerable to external cicumstances is what we are constantly trying to achieve and maintain, it seems like we would be in a constant battle of fighting to avoid pain and unhappiness and expending all of our energy and focus striving to get back to happiness. 

Furthermore, when you did feel happy for a while, you would start to worry about loosing that happy feeling at some point. 

“Ugg, as I am writing this, I am feeling exhausted just thinking about it.”

Living this way seems like a continuous struggle that only gets you what you want temporarily and comes and goes whenever your cicumstances change.

If there was something else out there, some greater substances that were stronger and deeper, that transcended our life cicumstances, that remained and sustained you through any and every kind of experience and cicumstance, would you want to know about it?  

Do You Really Just Want To Be Happy?

As you see, happiness is only temporary and quite shallow.  Happiness does not have substance because it is not realistically sustainable. 

If you do not believe me, think of a little baby.  Babies cry when they are unhappy and they learn very quickly that when they cry, someone will come to their rescue and change their situation for them.  This system works quite well when they are newborns and need someone to care for them and help them. 

However, would it make sense, to continue this as the baby got older? 

Would it be beneficial to continuously cater to every unhappy moment, or to rush around fixing every situation where the baby was not happy, and to give the child anything and everything they wanted in order to keep the them happy? 

Just living every moment to keep the baby happy, goodness that would be impossible.  What would happen if the baby never experienced displeasure, discomfort, or unhappiness and the parent just spent every second of their day trying to keep the baby in a state of happiness?  How do you think that baby would turn out later?  Would they be able to handle life, relationships, work, disappointment, challenges, etc…. ?

That baby would be so spoiled and sadly live a very shallow existence and feel discontent most of the time.

There is Something Better, Stronger, and More Enduring!

 I want to share some alternatives to mere happiness:

I do not want this first post on the happiness topic to be too long and I do not want anyone to disengage or loose focus before I get to the best part.

So, I will be sharing the substances that are greater, deeper, and more lasting than happiness in my next few posts.

I am so excited to share this info with as many people as possibe and shed more light on happiness.

Look for my post next week and subscribe if you would like it in you inbox immediately when I post it.


Holly Malmsten, mental and emotional wellness specialist