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Creating Identity

Finding Happiness

By Leah EllaPublished 6 months ago 3 min read

When is the last time you had a moment that felt like warmth, or, comfort envelope your body, relieve your tension and create a sense of ease? What about a feeling of safety, that everything is going to be ok and not just ok, but, everything you need it to be? Are all moments of pleasure fleeting? When will I ever be happy?

By Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Today, I want to explore the role that happiness plays in finding your identity, knowing who you are based on what makes you happy, and what has always made you happy despite that being different today. Is happiness a state of mind? How can you embody happiness in your day to day existence? If you're anything like me, feeling happy is a marker of success. There are levels to this...

I've heard it expressed that the American dream is to ride the hedonic treadmill! Hedonic happiness is rooted in seeking external happiness, so, think people, places, things and shoes in my case. When I get to 1 million dollars, I'll be happy, or, when I get married, or, graduate with my masters... The things we tell ourselves that we need before happiness is even a possibility. This is referred to as the hedonic mirage, or, "when I get there, I'll be happy." To put it lightly, hedonic happiness is a huge emotional rollercoaster because we are constantly in search of or in need of a hit of happiness.

Feeling happy adds to our existence and tells us who we are and also tells other people who we are. It's hard to be happy when you are not doing things that you believe in, or, when your internal harmony does not match your choices. This leads me to finding contentment, or, inner satisfaction with eudamonic happiness. This happiness is experienced internally as opposed to externally. Are you able to improve your own mood with a positive mindset? Are you able to bounce back from something difficult by deploying resiliency and being there for yourself? How good are you at motivating yourself to keep going? Aristotle named eudamonic as the, "nature of a good spirit."

What about inviting happiness into your life? This makes me think of chaironic happiness. You can experience this level of happiness by connecting to something outside of yourself, so think meditation, mindfulness, prayer, transcendence, being out in nature. Our connectedness to what we experience outside of our control. Do we express gratitude for another day of life, food to eat, people who love us, the air we breathe, the planet we occupy? Moments of bliss and feelings of joy also come from chaironic happiness. Playing with a pet, laughing really hard with a friend, receiving or giving a hug, the birth of a child... Sit in these moments and remember how they feel.

My ideal is a balance of these 3 types of happiness. For many years, I have lived an unbalanced pursuit of hedonic happiness with no knowledge of there being any other ways of experiencing happiness. I'm so grateful to be on this journey of healing and to know that there is so much more to life in discovering what speaks to your spirit and nourishes your soul. This too is happiness. This year, I have explored more deeply eudamonic and chaironic happiness and am enjoying the journey of inner contentment. I know that no matter what comes my way, as long as I know how to be happy, I will be okay.

In the words of Dr. Aymee Coget - Happiness for Humankind, "happiness ain't for the lazy."

At this stage of my life, entering what feels like a new era of existence... I feel forced to examine my happiness in connection with my identity. What used to give me fulfillment was very superficial, it only skimmed the surface but now, I thirst for the depths of meaning to allow myself to feel alive and experience life at a new level of consciousness. If I am not the most authentic version of myself, I cannot be happy and that is where I have decided to start.


About the Creator

Leah Ella

Caribbean-American(she/her)+Actor+Life Coach student.

Welcome! Get to know me here:

Peer Support Facilitator-

Hear my words, Authenticity Podcast-

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