Is that stressing you out?
In the last ten years there has been a stream of books and cultural awareness on the topic of Happiness, why we have it, why we don't and what makes people generally happy (connections seems to be an important one).
And as Americans, it's our god-given right to be in pursuit of it. And how dare we NOT be happy. Well many of us are becoming more comfy confessing to non-happy states of being.
The point being--whether you scoff at the idea of happiness, feel like you're in constant pursuit of it, "Happiness" is not going away.
And so, I propose this:
Define what Happiness means to you.
One of the best definitions of happiness I've heard goes something like this: "Being at peace with yourself among people in the world."
Maybe the "at peace" was really "content"--either way, that was broad and human enough for me to go Sign Me Up!
Here's a book about one writer's year-long experiment with daily life practices to up her happiness:
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.
I like it because it's filled with practical, real-world anecdotes, and anchors itself in a philosophy that Happiness isn't something you passively wait for to float out of the clouds once you achieve a state of grace. Happiness, Rubin asserts and shows us, comes from intentional daily life efforts.
I have often defined happiness as a gaseous by-product, like a steaming lake on a cold morning, of gratitude. However, I like the idea of creating a more constant definition of happiness for oneself, rather than a fits-and-starts one.
At any rate--some food for happiness thoughts. And remember, we all have a right to our blue times because life, let's face it, can be a bitch at times. Don't fight it. The hero's journey teaches us that that the deep dark times are rich and fruitful--and what goes down also comes up!
And Happiness, however you define it, will be waiting for you when you're good and ready!