How Can I Be Truly Happy?
The answer to this question remains elusive even to philosophers to this day. The problem is that we can’t find one universal thing that makes us all happy. Recent news channels from all around the world have been covering depressing and anxiety-provoking events. This, plus the normal day-to-day aspects of life, have increased the rate of depression and anxiety worldwide.
Depression, anxiety and other mental disorders have been established as an epidemic and that’s increasing the chance of a teenager suffering from depression. This is despite the seemingly boundless developments in technology, health, entertainment and other areas of modern life.
What are we missing? What’s really going on?
What is Happiness?
According to philosophical and clinical research, happiness defines a sense of personal “well-being”. The causes of happiness vary from one person to the next because we see it as a private affair, and in most individualistic societies, the pursuit of happiness is often a solitary journey. While happiness should probably be felt once basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety are met, these only give most people a short feeling of happiness. Because of the short nature of happiness, most individuals search the world for things and experiences they can add to their life to increase their happiness.
When we are having a good time – listening to good music, on a vacation in the Bahamas, or reward ourselves with a brand new car – our brain stimulates the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine and serotonin. The feeling of happiness hormones only lasts as long as our mental state is still excited. A true state of happiness, however, is not momentary. It transcends life’s adversities, including loss, disappointment, and defeat. In actuality, true happiness is a general attitude towards life and this attitude is not entirely directed to oneself, but others. In fact, it is perhaps this focus on the individual needs, such as money and status, that keeps us from being happy.
Normally, we perceive the achievement of our personal goals, gaining riches, and finding the love of our life as the only things that give us joy. But at the core, we cannot acknowledge the social nature of happiness, and by focusing on the individual, we cannot recognize the importance of community in the quest for true happiness. The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.
Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.
Does being social make us happier?.
Being there for others during their time of need or sharing your time with them or lending them a shoulder to cry on is more satisfactory than the momentary happiness we receive from our individual achievements. Naturally, human beings crave love and it makes us happy to know that we are cared for. Helping others and receiving love are both fundamental to our happiness.
Communities that foster this kind of give-and-take dynamic produce happy individuals who are resilient.
We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.
What if I’m an introvert?
We have planted the concepts of being an introvert or an extrovert in our minds. However, like every other personality label, this too falls on a spectrum. There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend time alone and be around people only in small doses. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to spend as much time with others as possible. The concept of community is not at an individual level. Community is a foundation from where you can explore your own preference of being alone or with others and still having the support when the need arises.
With the help of the internet and social media, it is much easier to find other like-minded individuals and form a community. It is important to know that a weak community can be toxic.
What’s the difference between strong and weak communities?
Strong communities transform the world for the better.
- foster resiliency and support their members unconditionally.
- are aware of their core values and make decisions from these values.
- have members who show compassion to everyone, even those not in the community.
- help other communities grow and thrive
- are open to merging with other communities and adapting new and improved core values.
- respect the autonomy of its members.
Weak communities create hate.
- force members to stay in the community through fear and punishment
- make members depend on the community for every aspect of life.
- are negative towards other communities and will not adopt new and improved ideas.
- do not have well-defined core values and/or not true to them.
- have rigid rules that result in unfair punishment if broken.
Today’s society focuses on individual self-fulfillment, eliminating the sense of a community. It is our individual responsibility to create awareness about the things that bring true happiness in our lives and prioritize them. This will benefit us more than momentary highs that we keep chasing. Amid this so-called epidemic of despair, having a community to depend on can be beneficial. A connected community can help people who feel lost and unsatisfied with their lives to lead happier, more meaningful lives.
We would love for you to be part of our community.
Contact us here.