Is there a formula for happiness? Here's what life taught me

Happiness: (ˈhapɪnəs/) noun the state of being happy.

This is how Google (aka the Millennial’s dictionary) defines happiness. Here’s something I noticed- the example they’ve used to define happiness is: “She struggled to find happiness in her life“.  Need I explain the irony?

We’re living in times where the dictionary struggles to define happiness. What is true happiness? Is there a formula to it? 50mg peace + 70mg money + 17mg love = happiness? How can you tell if you are truly happy?

Some say happiness is a feeling of contentment and that life is perfect and should remain the way it is. This implies that your wants and needs should be fulfilled in order to be happy. Now human needs and wants, as we all know, are never satiated. Doesn’t that sort of prove the whole ‘feeling of being satisfied and fulfilled’ thing wrong?

So what is the definition of happiness? I don’t have one. Yes, I know you came here looking for answers, but here’s the reality: I never will have a definition for happiness and neither will you! See, there is no definition of happiness. Happiness was never meant to be defined. All I know is that happiness is more than just chugging alcohol in clubs or sunny days at the beach. Here are some things I’ve learnt about happiness:

It’s OKAY to not be happy sometimes:

You don’t need to be a chirpy little bird who sings songs of happiness and glee all the time. Don’t smile if you don’t want to. Don’t force yourself into doing things you don’t want to, just because you want to look happy on the outside.

Happiness is immeasurable, undefinable:

If you go by Maslow’s Hierarchy,  the things you need to be happy (read: content,fulfilled) are money, friends, love, family, self-actualization or finding a ‘life purpose’. Here’s the deal: To be happy is a state of mind. You could be sitting in a sports car parked outside your mansion and still not be happy.

It’s subjective:

Some people like to be in groups, go to clubs..some find happiness sitting alone on their roof at 3 am.

Pursuit of happiness is crap that should remain in movies:

Struggling to find happiness in everything, trying to be a positive Polly and literally trying to picture unicorns and rainbows everywhere is absolutely unnecessary and will probably ruin your inner peace, one forced smile at a time.  The more you pursue happiness, the harder it’s to obtain.

We read about all of these things every day and try to find faults in our own happiness. ‘Am I happy enough’ or ‘They’re happier than me’ is something every other person thinks at least once a week -STOP sabotaging your happiness!

Here’s what we really need to know: Yes, happiness is a great state of mind to be in, but the absence of happiness is NOT depression. Everyone wants to be happy but we’re looking at happiness all wrong. Happiness is a complex set of emotions and not what you see on TV or movies. Stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself ‘Are you happy?’ If the person in the mirror smiles back, you know what the answer is.