I have been doing a lot of thinking about happiness lately. What is happiness? And where does happiness come from?

It is not uncommon to get caught up in the “I will be happy when…” game. I’m sure I am not alone in buying into that thinking –if only I could lose weight, if only I was smarter, if only I had a better car–if only I could achieve/have X,Y or Z, then I will be happy.

Truth be told, it doesn’t work like that. I am not saying that once I get those things that I desire, I don’t feel better about myself or have a sense of accomplishment. What I am saying is that those things outside of myself don’t make me happy.

It is important to find happiness from within. Something that has staying power. If I base my happiness on my weight and my weight fluctuates, them my mood fluctuates. That seems so ridiculous. I think having the ability to accept things as they are is a good place to be. And when I reach the destination I will allow myself to feel happy; that also means that I will allow myself to experience all of my emotions just as fully. And don’t confuse ‘experience’ with wallowing. If I’m sad, I’ll have a good cry and get on with it. I don’t need to stay in that place. I think it is the same for happiness, I want to enjoy it and experience it, but not get to attached.

I tell my husband that being with him brings more happiness to my life. We both acknowledge that we can’t make each other happy, but we can do things that add that dimension to our lives. Just the other day I asked him to do something quite mundane; although he didn’t want to do it, he did because he new it would “make” me happy. I think it is a grand gesture when we can put aside our egos and do things for others.

So what brings me happiness? Here is my short list:

  • The ocean on a warm summer day
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Appreciating the here and now
  • My dog
  • My relationships with my friends, family and husband

So what about you? What brings you happiness? What things do you do for others that make them happy??


Janine Gilarde, RN has over 10 years of experience in holistic and traditional approaches to health and wellness. She is a Licensed Registered Nurse, Certified Health and Wellness Coach and a Certified Reiki Master Teacher trained in Buddho- Enersense, a complete system of healing. She is committed to helping others using a holistic approach for weight loss, stress reduction and overall well-being.



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