Contrary To What You May Have Heard, There Are Multiple Forms Of Happiness, And You Will Find Yours

Contrary To What You May Have Heard, There Are Multiple Forms Of Happiness, And You Will Find Yours

No matter what obstacles you face, you have the power to enjoy your life and live each day purposefully and joyfully.

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There is only one thing that all people want, and that thing is happiness. Happiness — the great aspiration of mankind — should be easy to claim by now. We've desired it from the beginning of time and haven't stopped since, so why haven't we found the "secret formula," or the golden plan for how we can all cultivate it in our lives? The answer to that is because we have yet to abandon false and antiquated beliefs of what happiness is and how to get it. Here are six of the most popular myths the masses perpetuate about happiness.

1. "You have to strive for happiness."

When we speak about happiness, we make it out to be some unattainable, mystical prize that we can only receive after days, weeks, and months of actively seeking it out. When we speak about happiness, we make it seem like something we have to work for instead of something that we already have. Without a doubt, happiness is something that we can cultivate in our lives anywhere and at any time. We don't have to wait or go searching for it. Participating in a hobby, spending time with loved ones, or simply practicing gratitude can be simple ways to find happiness in your everyday life.

2. "Happiness is the same thing as inner peace."

Segwaying from the first point, this is probably the most commonly believed myth about happiness. The main reason people perceive happiness as this great, unattainable thing is because they're misunderstanding what it is. Happiness is defined as simply "the state of being happy." You can be happy at any point in time, regardless of the circumstances you're up against. And like most other emotions, happiness comes and goes, just as it should. People mess up when they think that happiness is a permanent state of being that will make them feel fulfilled, confident in themselves, and at peace with every circumstance in their life. That is not happiness. That is inner peace.

Inner peace is defined as "a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors." Unlike happiness, inner peace is something that takes a lifetime to achieve, and it can't be attained through any outside sources. But to make it more valuable, it doesn't fade away so easily, either. Going to see a comedy can make someone happy, but it can't help them feel at one with themselves, and that distinction is so important to note. People often sink into depression and feel unhappy because they're lacking inner peace, not happiness.

3. "You can find happiness in other people."

Romantic and platonic love absolutely exist, and being around people you love can definitely make you feel happy. But other people are never responsible for your happiness, and they can't provide it for you. The problem comes in when people rely on others to make them feel content or to bring light into their lives.

Imagine a person who only feels happy when they're with their significant other. What happens to them if the relationship ends? They become a person who loathes being single and uses relationships as a way to validate themselves. They think, "If I just find another partner, then I'll be happy." Happiness isn't defined by people you may or may not have around you. If you find yourself waiting on a specific person or situation to make you happy, then you're looking for the wrong thing.

4. "There is only one type of happiness" or "You can only be happy if your life is perfect."

While there is only one definition of happiness, there are many ways to express it in our own lives. We see images and videos online and in the media, that trick us into thinking that we have to be smiling from ear to ear, enjoying an idealistic and picturesque life, while we shout from the rooftops about how happy we are. While that may be one way to express our happiness, it doesn't mean that's the only way.

Just because you're not doing something adventurous every day or because you don't smile a lot doesn't mean you aren't happy. There is no archetype for a happy person. Happiness is personal for everyone, and we don't have to prove how happy we are or feel like we have to appear a certain way to convey that.

Consequently, what makes one person happy may not make another person happy, so we can't fall prey to societal conditioning that tells us we have to have X, Y, and Z before we become what people believe to be happy. We think that we can only experience true happiness if we attain everything we perceive as desirable: we'll be happy once we reach a certain follower count, or if we finally get that job we've always wanted, or if we lose twenty pounds, etc.

But happiness can't be found in material or superficial things. Sure, if your YouTube account blows up and you get a million followers, you will feel more confident and successful, but the end result will be that you have more money and more opportunities, not more happiness. A person that hasn't learned how to cultivate happiness in their life won't magically figure it out after they earn more money or lose some weight.

5. "Everyone else is happier than you."

In our digital age, it is easy to be bombarded with false images and messages. From the outside looking in, everyone else's life may seem perfect and full of happiness and success compared to yours but that is absolutely not true! People just want you to think that. Social media is an easy way to fool people into thinking your life is great and stress-free. I mean, who wants to share all of their secrets and failures with the world?

However, we must always remember that humans are creatures obsessed with their own self-image. We all like to look happy. The shining difference is that some actually are while others are putting up a facade. Don't compare your life and happiness to anyone else's. It's not a competition. Focus on cultivating happiness in your own life and the rest will fall into place.

6. "You will never find happiness."

No one wants to admit it, but a large population of people live their lives believing they'll never be happy. Some of it stems from the fact that they are chasing inner peace instead, while another part comes from the idea that their current circumstances aren't good enough. No matter what obstacles you face, you have the power to enjoy your life and live each day purposefully and joyfully. The only thing you must do is believe and take action. Happiness isn't hard to find. We only believe that it is. Stop waiting for a fairytale to come true and live your life as it is. Despite what you may think, there are so many things that you can be happy about.

With these 6 happiness myths debunked, cultivating happiness in our own lives should be a lot easier now. When you're feeling unhappy, analyze what is happening in your life and pinpoint whether your unhappiness is stemming from valid issues, or if you're perpetuating flawed beliefs.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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