Hello beautiful Souls,
Welcome to Somatic Balance.108, I am Caroline Hey, your mindfulness practitioner. In this Blog Post, I’d like to talk to you about happiness.
Happiness is genetic, believe it or not. Of late, scientists have discovered, people are indeed born more or less happy. We inherit a 50% happiness base level (or sadness for that matter), 40% is being happy by choice, and 10% is influenced by our environment and life experience thus far.
The definition of happiness:
Happiness is an emotional experience that philosophers historically call pleasure.
Happiness can be learned. Luckily we are not doomed from the get go. Trough out the years of human evolution our brain grew from roughly ¾ of a pound to full 3 pounds. That allows us a lot more room for growth and gaining knowledge, knowledge adjustments, and challenging the knowledge we have accumulated - but doesn’t seem to serve us anymore. We can learn to be happy by absorbing theories that serve our greater good.
To be 100% happy, things have to line up pretty straight. It’s not that hard to achieve, yet much harder to maintain. But wouldn’t be constantly being happy be boring?
Regardless to your state of happiness, you can always try to find joy!
Joy does NOT equal happiness, yet they are sort of related.
Happiness is an emotion in which one experiences feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure. Joy is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness. Witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice frequently triggers this emotion.
It is true that certain criteria need to be met first to be happy. There is no such thing of being happy with nothing. Yet, these “things” are not necessarily something people can buy. These “things” are either given freely, or earned by giving and receiving equally.
As with everything in life, a healthy balance is key.
Old, but still proven to be valid, is the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Physiological needs: Food, Air, Sleep, Sex… = Survival
Safety needs: Security, Order/ Certainty, Shelter/ Housing… = Survival
Social needs: Friendships, Love, Belonging, Community, Tribe… = Psyche
Esteem needs: Competent, Recognized, Valued (!not to be mistaken with appreciated!) = Psyche
Self- Actualization needs: Truth, Wisdom, Harmony, Compassion, Connection = Psyche
At least one of the above between 1 and 4 (bottom to top) needs to be met to understand how happiness can grow from within. From one to four, these are interchangeable in order to achieve happiness. Yet one cannot archive the top tear without having an alignment across all other four tears.
As an example where “need” becomes relative. Look at a monks life.
1 = a regulated sleep schedule, fresh air and food at 6am and before 12pm
2 = shelter in a monastery
3 = fellowship with other monks and know deeply inside they are exactly where they belong
4 = Monks are valued and respected by society, they are competent to teach their lifestyle to anyone who is willing to learn
5 = They carry the ultimate wisdom and unlimited happiness within
In reverse, as Maslow puts it, “If all needs are unsatisfied, and the organism is dominated by the physiological need, all other needs may become simply non-existent, or be pushed in the background”.
The most recent example, experienced by the entire globe, to demonstrate the effect of an unbalanced hierarchy was THE LOCKDOWN during the covid pandemic in 2020.
The majority of the humans effected had shelter, as the lockdown required to stay home. Yet the food supply and the connection to others lacked. Additionally the lack of certainty tilted a lot of minds into an unhappy, stressed, and constant survival strategic mindset. There was no indication of how long things will stay the way they were, when will anybody be allowed outside again, or to see and greet their neighbors, friends, family members.
People had to actually sit with themselves and face stuff bubbling up from the suppression they been cultivating by buying “things” they want(!), rather than tapping into their needs.
Being happy, and achieving life-goals are two different things. It is very true that one cannot buy happiness. One can become whole with money as that will enhance the opportunities to create happiness for self and others. Yet simply a big bank account doesn’t do anything to one’s happiness.
On that note, keep breathing, stay joyful,