I’m Deborah Lister of @fearlessfiftiesfitness, based in the highlands of Scotland. I’m 58 and on a mission to prove that it’s never too late to live your best life. I want to show women, especially those entering midlife, that it’s absolutely possible to remain fit, strong and healthy into their 50’s, 60’s and beyond. My background is in the health and beauty industry and I now run online health and fitness groups from my Instagram and Facebook pages.
I look at health from a holistic point of view so I was recently researching happiness and happiness from within. I came across some interesting articles by Leo Babauta and adapted some of his work here.
What Makes Us Happy?
It’s worth taking a moment to consider where happiness comes from. Is it from things like having someone love you, eating a fantastic meal, having a great body, relaxing on the beach or drinking a good cup of coffee?
No, actually. Those things all are phenomena that happen outside of us, but they don’t cause happiness. They might be correlated with happiness — they happen & then we are happy at the same time — but it’s not a cause-and-effect relationship. There’s another event happening at the same time.
That event is what happens in our brain between the external event (a good cup of coffee) and our state of happiness.
This ‘event’ is a process:
- We drink a cup of good coffee.
- We notice the coffee, pay attention to it. If we don’t pay attention and are browsing on the Internet as we drink the coffee, we don’t get the happiness from the coffee.
- We appreciate the goodness in the coffee that we noticed. It’s not just the noticing and paying attention — we have to accept it for what it is, and appreciate the good things about it.
- ️This goodness we’ve noticed causes us to be happy about life. We are now happy about the experience of living, about life itself, because this experience is filled with goodness — even if it’s just the goodness of a cup of coffee.
So that’s it: noticing and appreciating the goodness in a cup of coffee causes us to be happy about living. And the more we notice and appreciate about our lives (and ourselves), the happier we are.
So does this mean that happiness is really about external things. No, it’s about the process that happens within. And this process can happen no matter what’s going on outside of us. It can happen even if there are no external stimuli — because there are things inside of us that we can appreciate as well.
Let me emphasize this – all the raw material we need for happiness is inside of us. We can appreciate the good things to be happy. They are always with us, already there. And the tools for turning these raw materials into happiness are within us as well. We just need to develop them.
‘We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.’ ~Frederick Keonig