Are You Genuinely Happy? 10 Signs Of Happiness

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What is true happiness

Happiness. Something we all seek, but never seem to find. While we may think certain “things” make us happy, we have been conditioned to have a distorted perception of happiness. True happiness is never found without, it’s always found within.  

In our pursuit of happiness, we keep checking a series of boxes –

A high paying job – Check.

A swanky car – Check.

A new house – Check.

An attractive partner – Check.

Being socially popular – Check

Being healthy, stylish and positive – Check.

True happiness – Uncheck

But why? If we have all the “things” we are supposed to have, then why does our happiness last only momentarily? We work hard to be successful and socially accepted, yet we keep wondering what it will take to be truly happy. Like genuinely happiness from inside. The problem lies in our misconstrued understanding of happiness. 

Happiness is a state of being. It’s a state of mind. It is not about receiving your latest Amazon delivery. It is about being content and satisfied with yourself.

Related: The 7 Myths About Happiness That Stop You From Being Truly Happy

Let’s explore the art of happiness – what is happiness, the signs that you are truly, genuinely happy and what can lead to authentic happiness.

happiness is a choice

What is true happiness?

Definition of happiness: Happiness is a sense of contentment, fulfillment, joy, well-being & satisfaction. It is an emotional state marked by positive emotions. According to researchers, “Happiness encompasses several constructs, including affective well-being (feelings of joy and pleasure), eudaimonic well-being (sense of meaning and purpose in life), and evaluative well-being (life satisfaction).”

While the above definition may explain the psychology of happiness, true happiness is a combination of the following:

1. Purpose: 

When your goals and efforts are dedicated to what you believe in and has meaning to you.

2. Pleasure: 

When you invest your time, energy and attention in doing activities that you enjoy.

3. Engagement: 

When you are genuinely interested in the activities you are engaged in and share positive connections with the people around you.

While happiness relies on the perfect balance of pleasure and satisfaction, focusing solely on enjoyable activities and pleasurable experiences will not lead to true happiness. Purpose and engagement play a crucial role in experiencing genuine happiness. You need to get into a flow state to pursue your goals, be grateful for what you already have, enjoy the little things, and live in the present moment. This will help you to find more meaning in your life and connect deeper with yourself.

Related: What Is Eudaimonia? Why It Is Much Better Than Happiness

Do you chase happiness? 

True happiness is not a destination that you will reach when you achieve a certain goal or do something pleasurable. It is a state of mind that you can create for yourself. And it is absolutely okay if you are not in this mental state every moment of your life. 

This state or emotion has to come from within and should not be forced. While you may feel happy while partying with friends or watching a comedy movie, that is not necessarily genuine happiness. It is when you feel satisfied and fulfilled in different aspects of your life. When you are truly happy, you feel content even if you are not having a great day.

pursuit of happiness

10 Signs of happiness

So, are you truly happy? Here are some of the most common signs you are genuinely happy even if you may not realize it –

1. You live in the present moment

You are not bogged down by painful memories of the past nor do you fear the uncertainty that lies in the future. You are aware of the blessings in the present and enjoy everything you have NOW! You live mindfully and understand the value of enjoying the moment you are living in. 

In fact, studies have found that individuals who are mindful tend to be happier, have less anxiety and depression, have a sense of purpose in life and are engaged in activities.

Mindfulness is one of the most basic signs of true happiness. “Mindfulness brings about various positive psychological effects, including increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and improved behavioral regulation,” explain researchers.

Related: Sohwakhaeng: The Korean Philosophy Of Small But Certain Happiness

2. You are honest and truthful 

Having integrity is one of the most subtle signs of true happiness. You have strong moral principles, act with honesty and behave ethically even when no one is watching. Your goals, lifestyle and life is in sync with your belief system and values. You say and do things that you believe in and do not act against your personal moral code.

3. You are satisfied with your job or work 

No matter what you do for a living, you are fully satisfied with the work you do. You find meaning in your work which makes you more engaged in it, leading to satisfaction and happiness. Whether it is the nature of your work, your interest and willingness to do it, or the work environment, the money you make and the people you work with – you are happy with every aspect of your work and feel motivated to work harder. 

Your work adds meaning to your life and adds to your self-identity. However, the work you do doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your career for you to feel true happiness.

Related: 3 Behaviors Blocking Your Happiness (And Tips to Unblock)

4. You are grateful for what you have 

A person who is genuinely happy is always thankful for all the blessings they have in life, whether it’s their job, relationships, material possessions, physical and mental health or happiness. If you never shy away from sharing your gratitude then it means you are satisfied and content with your life. 

Studies have shown that being appreciative and thankful of what is valuable and meaningful to you is closely associated with a sense of overall well being. Gratitude is linked to positive emotions, like greater happiness, ability to enjoy good experience, mental resilience, better health and stronger relationships.

Gratitude helps to “increase positive affect, subjective happiness and life satisfaction, and reduce negative affect and depression symptoms,” explains a 2019 study. No wonder people who experience true happiness are grateful.

5. You enjoy the little things in life

Good things come in small packages and the little things make the biggest difference. One of the fundamental signs of true happiness is that you value the small things more than major accomplishments. 

You are more focused on the things that bring you joy and satisfaction even if they may not appear important to others. You are thankful for the daily moments that create memories for a lifetime, such as your favorite meal or a hearty smile from your partner, instead of taking them for granted. You understand what actually heals and nurtures your soul and show gratitude for them, no matter how minor it may appear. 

psychology of happiness

6. You embrace change

True happiness comes from the courage to adapt to change. You don’t give in to the anxiety and fear that comes with change and losing control over your current environment. Instead you welcome change as you realize that change will bring in new opportunities, not just challenges. 

You are brave enough to face new challenges as they appear and your mental flexibility allows you to adapt to change. You know no matter what situation you land up in, you can transform yourself from within to make the most of available resources.

Related: 7 Daily Reminders For A Happy Life And A More Positive You

7. You value healthy relationships

People who feel true happiness build healthy relationships in life and stay away from toxic ones. Studies have found that the quality of family relationships are crucial and consequential for our overall well-being in life. Instead of pursuing or chasing people, you attract positive people into your life. You focus on building relationships that are based on love, care, trust, mutual respect, joy and fun. 

Whether in intimate relationships or with family and friends, you sort through issues with understanding, patience, empathy and compassion, which leads to lasting relationships. Your ability to build healthy relationships helps to boost your self-esteem and keeps mental health issues like depression and loneliness away.

Research shows that “Social relationships—both quantity and quality—affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk.

8. You spread happiness

One of the best things that truly happy people do is spreading happiness to others. You understand that sharing joy and happiness with others boosts your positive feelings. So in life, you act with kindness and compassion. You never hesitate to compliment others, you feel happy when others succeed, you volunteer to give back to your community and perform random acts of kindness.

Your tendency to inspire others to live a happy life inspires you, in turn, to find true happiness. Studies show that happy people become happier through kindness. Researchers found that “Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one’s own acts of kindness for one week.

Related: 3 Essential Lessons Which Will Help You Achieve True Happiness

9. You know how to control your emotions

While you may be emotional, you don’t let your emotions dictate your life. Instead of reacting impulsively out of your emotions, you know how to pause, analyze and respond using logic and reasoning. In fact, studies have found that “individuals who can best suppress their emotional reaction to an acoustic startle are happiest with their lives.” As you are in control of your emotions, you are aware of your triggers and make the right decisions even in difficult situations.

You also know how to calm down and find inner peace when life circumstances become extremely stressful. You have found true happiness because of your ability to manage your feelings in times of stress. Not only does this help to improve your mental health, but it also allows you to be happy in everyday life. 

As the capacity of understanding and regulation of emotional intelligence increases, happiness also increases,” explain researchers

10. You know when to let go

Letting go is an art that only people with true happiness have mastered because they know how to accept pain instead of running from it. Genuine inner happiness and peace can never exist without emotional pain. But instead of being afraid of pain or holding on to it, you know that only by letting go of that pain can you learn, grow and be happy. Letting go allows you to detach from your expectations and accept what is. 

Letting go is simply not attempting to control what is uncontrollable. When we let go, we realize that while pain is an inherent part of life, suffering is optional. Holding on to what no longer serves you makes you stay trapped in a cycle of stress, anxiety, depression, anger and frustration. The moment you let go, you release all these negative emotions and welcome positivity and control back into your life. This is why truly happy people know when and how to let go of emotions, expectations and people. when needed.

These are just some of the signs you are genuinely happy that you may not have been aware of. But in case you cannot relate to some of these signs, you can still learn how to find true happiness and live your best life.

Related: How To Find Happiness By Living In The Present Moment

 signs you are genuinely happy

How to be genuinely happy

Wondering how to open that sparkling jar of happiness? Here are a few ways you can cultivate feelings of true happiness and bring in more love, positivity and light into your life –

  • Identify what true happiness means to you
  • Put in the necessary effort to attain happiness
  • Do what makes you happy and follow your heart while using logical reasoning
  • Have realistic expectations and seek stability
  • Be self-reliant and don’t depend on others to feel happy
  • Don’t get bothered by the opinions of others
  • Focus on being physically and mentally healthy
  • Learn to control negative emotions like anger, bitterness, hatred, jealousy etc
  • Accept what you cannot change and focus on what you can change
  • Spend more time with people who are positive and those who inspire you
  • Feel happy when others succeed
  • Accept yourself as you are and show yourself love, kindness and compassion
  • Help those in need in any way you can
  • Avoid overthinking about the past or the future
  • NEVER compare yourself to others
  • Learn to say “NO” politely and always do what you feel is right for you
  • Conquer your mind and emotions, listen to your intuition and be aware of your needs
  • Learn to take breaks when you feel tired instead of quitting

Related: 50+ Quotes On Happiness To Make You Feel Good About Life

Can money buy happiness? 

Maybe. Momentarily. But money can’t buy happiness that you can feel from within. No matter what you buy, it can’t make you genuinely happy. That doesn’t mean money is not important. 

Money can be a crucial factor in seeking true happiness when you invest in seeking experiences that feed your soul, when you meet your innermost needs and when you use that money to help those who truly need it. Anything and everything can lead to happiness, if you just know how.

signs of happiness

All we need are peace love and happiness

Chasing happiness is something most of us do instinctually. But instead of chasing it, you need to start attracting true happiness. Instead of seeking happiness outside, look for it within yourself. You need to realize that happiness is a choice. A state of mind. The moment you understand this, you will become genuinely happy. 

Related: 8 Buddhist Beliefs To Heal Your Soul and Find Happiness


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