What is happiness?

Updated: May 7

It's all well and good wanting to be happy, but how are we supposed to be happy if we don't even know what it is?


Luckily for you lovely folks, the Happy Book Company has a fail-safe, all encompassing, simple and beautiful defintition of happiness waiting for you, right here in this article! Read on.


The Oxford English Dictionary defines happiness as:

1 the state of feeling or showing pleasure

2 the state of being satisfied that something is good or right


I'm not sure about this though, shouldn't we be able to be happy all the time?


There are often things that are not "good" or "right" in our lives, but surely we should still be able to be happy? And what if we're not feeling pleasure, but instead are feeling pain, shouldn't we be able to be happy then too?


Also, I've often found that I can be pleased or satisfied, and still not be truly happy. I remember climbing up the most beautiful 5000m mountain in Peru, getting close to the top, looking at the view feeling very pleased and satisfied...but I wasn't quite truly happy. What was missing?


Working on the assumption that happiness is the most important thing for our children (if your priority for them is to become an investment banker you've definitely come to the wrong place), it's about time we had a definition of what true happiness is. One that applies in all situations. One that means we can be truly happy every single day.


Well you're in luck, I have a gift for you...the definition of happiness!


To help you realise what happiness is, I want you to think of a time that you were truly happy. Think of a moment or a period in your life when you felt happiness. Let youself drift back and really feel what it was like.


Would you have changed anything? Would you add anything? Or take anything away?


Or was everything exactly, and deliciously, as it should be?


This, is what happiness is.


The feeling that EVERYTHING is exactly as it should be.


The more we can help our children (and ourselves) to realise how things are exactly as they should be, the more happy they will become.


But what if something is not as it should be?


Well, you have two options. Option number 1: do everything in your power to change whatever is not as it should be. Your child has fallen out with their friend...help them to make ammends. Your child is sad because your dog died...get another dog!


And if it is not within your power to change then...Option number 2: learn to accept things as they are. Your child is upset the dog died...teach them about death being an important and beautiful part of life. Your child is sad they're not as good at sports as other children...show them all the other wonderful things they are great at.


With these two simple rules, we can always choose to be happy, simple.


So I dare you, today, and every single day from now, to choose happiness. Choose to feel that everything is exactly, deliciously as it should be.


Next time: But what about all the awful things in the world? How can I help my children to be happy about that?


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The Happy Book Company is based in the magical city of Bath, UK.