Do People Really Make Us Happy?
It appears that people can make us feel a range of emotions; happy, sad, angry, frustrated, euphoric, disappointed, depressed and the list goes on. The truth is this is an illusion. We live in a society that has convinced us that happiness lies outside of us, within our environment and through the things we accumulate. Here is a perfect example of how we have learned this way of understanding life’s happiness. A mother sees her young child crying. The mother enthusiastically offers the child a cookie. The child then seeing his/her mother smiling (happy) makes the association with the cookie as an object that possesses happiness. We could take it a bit further and look at how the cookie has an effect on the child’s brain reinforcing the idea of where happiness lies. Let’s look at the effect of the sugar in the cookie. Sugar is known to light up the reward pathways and cause a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released. As a result, we feel good and “happy”. The child easily confuses the cookie, or any other thing the child learns to associate with happiness, as where happiness lies.
People’s Energy DOES Have an Effect On Us
True. We are all energy. We transmit energy. We receive energy. Yet, energy changes all the time so if someone’s happy and we feel the effects of it we begin to associate thatthat is where happiness lies. We begin to confuse, once again, where happiness lives. “That person makes me happy!” or “That person makes me upset”. It may not be that we consciously want to blame or hold someone accountable for our state of being. It could be that we simply are confused as to where happiness truly is.
Taking responsibility for how we feel is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn in life. Choosing how we feel is a conscious action. We must be fully aware to make this choice. Noticing how we feel is the first step. To choose how we want to feel in a way that is authentic and actually works is to first allow what is so to be. To simply allow it to exist. Allowing is not agreeing. Allowing is allowing. Once we allow what is, then we can make a conscious choice to choose how we want to feel. Once you choose an empowering emotion, take a moment to connect to what that feels like. Experience it fully. Maybe think of a happy memory and relive it. Embrace the feeling and let it wash over you and sink in. Then proceed with your life. It is quite simple but where people go wrong in choosing their emotions is leaving out the acceptance, allowing something to be as it is. What is surprising is that whatever undesirable emotion was being experienced will simply take care of itself and disappear.
Happiness is our birthright. Happiness is a skill. Like all skills, it must be practiced. When you have true happiness within, you are totally fulfilled and the things you engage in are not perceived as a pathway to lead you to happiness but an adventure you can embrace fearlessly with joy and out of the sheer excitement of being alive!
To discover more about happiness, I recommend a current documentary on NetFlix simply titled: “Happiness”. Filmmaker Roko Belic travels to more than a dozen countries, searching for the meaning of happiness.
Sterling is a celebrated professional life coach and a nationally published author. She works with clients all over the world. Her practice is located in Beverly Hills. For more information, please www.getyourlifenow.com