Defining Happiness

Happiness. By definition, it is the state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy (Source). While happiness is a human right that belongs to everyone, it does not mean that we each experience pleasure every moment of each day. In fact happiness can co-exist with any emotion. It is very possible to be happy and sad at the same time in situations including and similar to commencement. As promising as one’s future may be upon graduating, leaving behind friends and a known part of one’s life is undoubtedly emotional.

Yesterday was a day filled with happiness. I completed my first colour run, got to visit with a close friend whom I haven’t seen for over one year, swam in my own pool, spent time with my family and concluded the evening with a lovely dinner.

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Gluten Free Carrot Muffins that I made for race fuel. One of the girls on my team has a gluten intolerance.

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Left to Right: Leah, Larissa, ME, Will, Maude

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These sunglasses were so handy. No coloured corn starch got into my eyes. I’ll be reusing them as they really block out the sun.

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Slice of Tomato, Couscous/Red Onion/Red Pepper, Barbecued Salmon, Onion Tomato Relish, Cesar Salad! I haven’t had Cesar salad in so long!

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Look at that smile. She is learning how to “shriek’ it is oh so adorable!

Sometimes happiness isn’t necessarily about what we do, but instead comes from the people whom we do things with. Whether or not we feel comfortable in our environment is also a key factor into the outcome of an event. I don’t love to run (and definitely did not train for this race) but running 5km was invigorating as I was motivated by laughter, music, fellow runners and of course “Colour Bombs”.

We can put a conscious effort into finding happiness through activities such as meditation or painting, but happiness can also arise in unexpected moments. It is fundamental in relationships and friendships and definitely makes tasks more manageable. I can’t imagine being employed in the wrong company or even the wrong field.

Part of the reason happiness is so sweet, is because it isn’t always present. In Gretchen Rubin’s novel “The Happiness Project”, some of the controversial arguments about happiness are mentioned.

 “The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It’s more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.”

This reminds me to be thankful for what I have because although others may appear to have their life more put together than myself, appearance can be deceiving. It resonates with one of my favourite quotes that I have mentioned before “Comparison is the thief of Joy” first said by Theodore Roosevelt.

I want to leave you with one last personal thought before I conclude this post about happiness. Happiness is something that is different for each and every one of us. What brings glee into my life is completely different than the things that create pleasure for my family members and friends. We are each entitled to our own opinion and while it is fair to respect the input of others, it is necessary to take your own to heart. Just because others might question your values does not mean that they are wrong. You cannot sacrifice your own joys in fear of rejection. ♥ Molly

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” – Iris Murdoch

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