What is happiness?
Just like Gretchen Rubin in her book, 'The Happiness Project', I find the same problems in trying to find one set definition of happiness. There are so many perspectives, from religious to spiritual to biological and not all of them would even be helpful to my circumstances.
I've decided to keep it simple and just remember a time I felt happy and seek out more of that feeling. I know for me I feel it primarily in my heart and it spreads through my body like a warm light. I wonder what your happiness feels like? I suspect it could be different for everyone, like most things are.
I came across research on what is true happiness, the one that lasts and is apparently more fulfilling, but in line with keeping it simple for now I am concentrating on whatever gives me the above feeling.
Personally, I've noticed I have two types of unhappiness, that I plan to tackle in different ways.
1. Recognising more happy moments
'Happy moments' is a theory of happiness my sister introduced me to a while back. I think the theory comes from all different people, but Nataly Logan put it together and came up with a website where you can track your own happy moments. The website link is www.happier.com (You can follow me under 'Happy Me'). The theory is basically that everyone has happy and unhappy moments and by concentrating on the happy ones, you will feel more happy. You can watch a more detailed description here.
I feel this will help me recognise that I don't feel unhappy every single moment and that people who are fully healthy don't feel happy every moment. I suspect my happy moments may be quite different from most people's, as when you are lying in the same bed day in day out, you obviously don't have the same experiences. My Mum once said to me that I will be happy in a different way than before. I think that's true.
2. Becoming more happy overall
However, even when well I haven't always been happy. This leads me to my second type of unhappiness and highlights my problem with the happy moment theory. I often find I have a strange undercurrent of unhappiness, or dissatisfaction with how things are. It is not depression and like I say, I had it in a milder form when healthy and had everything I wanted. Immediately after a happy moment, I feel this again. I have a feeling this may be more complex to resolve than tracking a few happy moments.....