We all have those occasional days when we don’t feel happy. But when faced with chronic situations whether it is health-related or something you must face on a regular basis, you can begin to ask the question, “will I ever feel happy again?”
What is happiness?
By definition, happiness is one’s mental or emotional state which could include positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happiness gives a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.
A few common theories on happiness are work hard now and happiness will come later, or happiness comes as you overcome life’s struggle and challenges. And let’s not forget the belief that one’s self-esteem is measured by their level of happiness.
Happiness is a choice
Happiness does not happen automatically. It is a choice that you make at the beginning of each day as to your state of mind and a decision as to what will be your driving attitude for the day. Even though happiness is 100% your choice, there is a factor that influences your decision. That factor is the Seven Basic Human Needs.
(Now I wish to acknowledge that there are physical conditions that will hinder the ability to feel happy for some individuals. In these cases please seek medical help. My thoughts are never to take the place of medical direction.)
What do I mean by the Seven Basic Needs?
Happiness is a choice made in the morning
Many times, I have felt overwhelmed with the stress and worry of a life situation or the concerns of a child. The prolonged concern and worry have depleted my level of resilience gradually stripping away my feeling of happiness. Each day I would awake and immediately my mind would start thinking about my worries. I ignored the gift of a new beautiful day or the sparkle of sunshine that would shine through my window. I was beginning to feel hopeless, lost, and wanting to control the situation so that I could feel peace.
I realized that I had created a routine of starting the day with a habit of chronic worry. I was helping no one by my misery and suffering. It was then that I decided I was ready for a change. I decided that each morning, the moment I opened my eyes I would declare to myself these words, “It is going to be a great day!” At first, I would repeat them over several times before I ever got out of bed. I realized that if I wanted to feel happy, then I needed to choose to be happy and declare it for myself each and every day. As the day wore on and I found myself slipping back into a state of grief or worry, I would remind myself that I choose happiness over worry by repeating the statement all over again in my mind.
The mind is never a space of void, meaning you never stop thinking consciously or subconsciously. Thoughts are constantly flowing through. You can remove a negative thought, but it will return if that space is not filled with something that is positive and healthier for you
Every single human being has all of these basic human needs and they influence our decisions and reactions. In the center of the mind is the Pleasure Center. The pleasure center, also known as part of the reward system is only concerned with what will bring you pleasure and instant satisfaction. As the p
Unmet human needs will impact your self-confidence, self-efficacy, and self-esteem, all of which influence your happiness.
First let’s define the difference between Self-Confidence, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Esteem
As I have already mentioned, all three contribute to your mental state of mind, and ultimately influencing your happiness. Personally, I did not know that these were three separate things. I always thought that these words all meant the same thing. Until I did some reading and found out that each is very different and plays a different role in a person’s mental health.
Let’s start with Self-confidence. Self-confidence is built from doing something over and over until you feel comfortable with it. Your level of confidence in yourself begins to grow and you feel confident in what you are doing.
The thought process begins with “I can__________” (fill in the blank with something you can do. Something you know you can do well.)
Have you ever heard of self-efficacy? I had not until
And finally, Self-Esteem. Self-Esteem is our self-worth… a sense of value that you have for yourself. Self-esteem is not created from the things that you do. For example, winning a contest, losing those extra pounds, or achieving that much-desired goal. These actions come from motivation outside of ourselves and produce a level of acceptance. No matter how satisfying these actions may be, unfortunately, none of these builds positive self-esteem.
Self-Esteem is an inward awareness that God created you unique and wonderful. It’s a knowing that you’re amazing just the way you are and not because of something that you have accomplished. Positive self-esteem is a feeling of gratitude for your own personal gifts and talents.
Self-esteem opens the door for your own growth without the need to be something for someone else.
I would venture to say that out of the three, self-esteem is most misunderstood and causes the greatest ripple in the smooth and balanced flow of life.
Just like the Three Muskateers – “All for one and one for all”
Self-confidence, self-efficacy, and self-esteem can work hand-in-hand like the Three Musketeers to monitor the seven needs, your mind’s driving force.
When you find you are struggling throughout your day, check if one of the seven needs has slipped over into a negative state of mind. You will find that pulling from the strengths of each of these three you can take care of what need is lacking.
Your self-esteem will help you recognize and put into action your own talents and gifts. Your self-efficacy will provide the mental attitude of feeling that you can move forward and fulfill that need yourself, thus neutralizing the negativity of the situation. And last, but not least, your self-confidence will provide the determination to keep trying until you have that need back in alignment and working to renew your state of wellness
By monitoring and addressing these seven needs your level of resilience will increase and so will that feeling of being happy. So, next time you feel like throwing in the towel, take a closer look at your own seven personal needs.
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