Discover Your Bliss: How Do I Find Out What Makes Me Happy?

how do i find out what makes me happy
Uncover your path to joy with our guide that answers the question: How do I find out what makes me happy? Start your journey towards a fulfilling, balanced life today!

Does happiness often feel like it’s permanently out of reach? Like it’s more of an idea, rather than something real or tangible?

But what if happiness could be part of your daily living experience?

You might be thinking, “That sounds great, but how do I find out what truly makes me happy? Where do I even start?” 

Well, that’s what we’re going to explore in this blog post. From exploring what happiness is, to practical steps for discovering your own happiness, we’ll uncover what it takes to find real happiness in day-to-day life.

What Is Happiness?

Happiness is a subjective concept that varies from person to person. What makes one individual happy might not bring joy to another.

Philosophers and psychologists have tried to define happiness for centuries. From Aristotle’s notion of eudaimonia – the condition of human flourishing or living well – to modern psychological theories like positive psychology, the understanding of happiness continues to evolve.

In essence, what constitutes happiness is deeply personal and unique to each individual. This diversity is because our experiences, values, and relationships all help shape our definition of joy and subjective well-being.

For some, a simple act like reading a book or spending time with loved ones could bring feelings of contentment, while others might find satisfaction in achieving their professional goals or engaging in more adventurous activities.

Can Happiness Be Measured?

Given its highly subjective nature, measuring happiness can prove challenging, but not impossible. Surveys such as the World Happiness Report, which ranks countries based on citizens’ self-reported well-being levels, attempt to make happiness quantifiable.

However, these surveys are reliant on people’s own perception and interpretation – they may provide insight into collective trends, but don’t define individual notions of joy.

We should also recognize that cultural differences play significant roles here – the way we express emotions varies widely across cultures and influences how we perceive and report our feelings, including happiness.

The Role of Positivity in Happiness

One important aspect of happiness is the presence of positive emotions, as well as having a positive attitude. Naturally, emotions and attitudes will change as you go through life’s ups and downs.

But if you can keep coming back to a positive outlook on life, you’re also well prepared to maintain a good degree of happiness. Some of the best ways to stay positive are to develop qualities like gratitude, optimism, and resilience.

Gratitude practice could be as simple as acknowledging the good aspects of your day or appreciating the people around you. Over time, this practice can shift your mindset to focus more on the positive – which supports your overall life satisfaction.

Similarly, resilience (the ability to bounce back from adversity) plays a significant role in maintaining happiness. Life will inevitably throw challenges your way, but your ability to adjust and adapt is key to sustaining true happiness.

By building resilience, you can learn to view these challenges not as insurmountable obstacles, but as opportunities for growth and self-improvement. Adopting such an optimistic approach can significantly enhance your sense of contentment in life.

Key Takeaway: 

Unraveling the idea of happiness isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. It’s deeply personal and varies for everyone. Happiness is influenced by individual experiences, values, relationships, and even cultural backgrounds. However, happiness is generally characterized by the presence of positive emotions and a positive outlook on life.

Practical Steps to Discover What Makes You Happy

The journey towards a happy life begins with self-awareness.

A greater awareness of your feelings, thoughts, and actions will help you understand what brings you true joy and fulfillment. This awareness is the first step towards discovering your personal happiness.

So let’s explore some practical steps you can take to find what makes you happy in life.

Step 1: Reflect on Your Past

The first step in discovering what truly makes you happy is to take a closer look at your past, including the experiences, activities, and people that have brought joy and fulfillment into your life.

Analyze Your Experiences

Start by recalling moments when you felt genuinely content or excited. What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you?

These questions will help uncover patterns of happiness-inducing circumstances. For example, if most of these instances involve outdoor activities, it’s possible that nature brings out the best in you.

Identify Key People

The company you keep can significantly impact your emotional state. Think about those individuals who consistently bring positivity into your life – family members, friends, or even professional mentors.

The characteristics they possess might be qualities that resonate with your inner self.

Evaluate Activities that Bring Joy

Identify which tasks or hobbies make time fly by for you. The activities where hours feel like minutes because they engage and fulfill you so deeply are usually tied closely to your innate passions.

Man taking selfie while hiking

Step 2: Identify Your Values and Passions

The next step in your self-discovery involves identifying your core values and passions. Determining your interests and what motivates you will give you more clarity on what brings you joy.

Unearth Your Core Values

Your values are like a compass guiding your decisions and behaviours. To get clear about what makes you tick, assessing your core values is crucial.

Your fundamental beliefs can be seen as the basis of how you view the world – they are what dictate your actions and decisions. To identify them, ask yourself questions like: What do I stand for? What qualities do I admire in others?

These can give clues about your underlying beliefs.

You might also reflect on times when you felt fulfilled or frustrated. Usually, these feelings are tied to your values being met or violated, respectively.

Find Your Passion

Think back on experiences that have left a lasting impression or inspired a sense of awe within – this may be an indication of something worth pursuing further.

And as I mentioned earlier, also consider activities that make your time fly past. These can often point to what motivates and drives you.

Tie It All Together

Understanding both your core values and passions can provide clarity into why certain things bring joy while others don’t seem as satisfying.

And once you know this, you can start making life choices accordingly. For example:

  • If honesty is important to you, it could lead to a profession focused on truth-seeking, such as journalism.
  • A passion for music might be satisfied by attending concerts or learning to play an instrument.
  • If you value family, happiness may come from spending quality time with loved ones.

Recognizing these aspects of yourself helps guide you towards actions and decisions that align with who you truly are – leading to a deeper sense of fulfillment and, ultimately, increased happiness.

Key Takeaway: 

Uncovering your happiness starts by recognizing your core values and passions. Ask yourself key questions, reflect on experiences that left an impression, and identify activities that fully engage you. This understanding helps guide decisions in line with who you truly are for deeper fulfillment.

Step 3: Experiment With New Experiences

A fulfilling life often comes from trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to – now’s the time. This could be anything from learning a new skill to traveling solo.

Also make a point of pursuing interests that excite you. Whether it’s a new hobby or anything else, you might be surprised how much joy participating in a new activity brings.

This includes being open to meeting new people or exploring new social situations. For example, try joining a group related to a hobby you enjoy, or go to a professional networking function.

Studies show that strong social connections contribute to happiness. So spend time with like minded people who share similar interests, or who challenge your perspective in positive ways.

Step 4: Prioritize Self-Care

It’s easy to get focused on your daily responsibilities and forget to carve out time for yourself. But neglecting self-care can be a big mistake.

Self-care is not just about pampering yourself – it’s about making time for your mental, emotional, and physical health. And these will all support a happier life.

Finding out what truly brings joy into your life requires a clear mind that’s free from stressors. This clarity comes from adopting healthy habits like exercising regularly, eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, or practicing mindfulness through meditation.

To make self-care a habit, start small. Choose one aspect that resonates with you most – be it meditation or exercise – and incorporate it into your daily routine gradually. The American Psychological Association offers tips on making lifestyle changes stick by starting slow.

Incorporating these habits into your life will not only improve your health but also open up avenues to discover greater happiness.

Step 5: Practice Gratitude

It’s essential not to overlook the power of gratitude. You often find happiness in appreciating what you already have rather than constantly seeking something new or different.

Research has shown that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by making positive emotions more frequent and intense. It helps you savor good experiences, improve your health, deal with adversity, and build strong, supportive relationships.

Sometimes the things that bring you joy are right under your nose – they’re often so familiar that you take them for granted. By actively acknowledging these everyday blessings through a practice of gratitude, you can start seeing your life from a fresh perspective.

Cultivating this attitude requires some effort, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. These are some simple ways to start:

  • Maintain a gratitude journal: Write down three things each day for which you’re grateful.
  • Show appreciation: Regularly express thanks to those around you – whether at home or work – for their efforts and kindness towards you.
  • Mindful meditation: Incorporate mindfulness into your routine and shift your focus onto thankfulness in the present moment.

how do i find out what makes me happy

Step 6: Start Journaling

Journaling can be another effective tool for self-discovery and finding personal happiness. It allows you to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and aspirations.

You may start seeing patterns in your behaviour and emotions that might otherwise go unnoticed. Or you might discover passions or interests that have been overshadowed by work-related stress or other commitments.

Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never found time for it. But reflective writing can help bring these hidden desires into light.

Journals aren’t only meant for looking back – they also serve as a canvas for future planning and goal setting. Try writing down what would make you happier professionally or personally, then set tangible steps towards achieving those goals.

Beyond discovering what brings joy, journaling aids emotional balance too – an essential aspect of overall well-being. Emotional balance isn’t about suppressing negative emotions, but rather understanding and managing them.

By expressing your feelings in a journal, you create an outlet for emotional release which contributes to mental clarity and potential happiness.

Step 7: Foster Healthy Relationships

Another important way to figure out what makes you happy is to build a strong support network – both personally and professionally.

Surrounding yourself with optimistic people who inspire, support, and challenge you can greatly enhance your self-confidence and sense of well-being. Studies show that strong social connections can improve mental health, increase longevity, and lead to greater life satisfaction.

In the professional realm, too, building solid relationships is key to finding joy in work. Positive interactions with colleagues create a supportive environment where creativity thrives. According to Gallup’s research, having close friendships at work boosts employee engagement by up to 50%.

A few strategies for nurturing your relationships include:

  • Prioritize communication: Clear dialogue helps avoid misunderstandings while strengthening trust between those involved.
  • Show appreciation: Regularly expressing gratitude encourages positivity within any relationship.
  • Nurture empathy: Understanding others’ perspectives promotes mutual respect – which is a cornerstone for any healthy relationship.

Whether it’s personal or professional, these connections provide the support and inspiration necessary to enjoy life more fully.

A Closer Look at How Different Areas of Your Life Influence Your Perception of Happiness

Our happiness isn’t confined to a single aspect of our lives – it’s a complex, multi-faceted entity shaped by various factors.

In this section, we’ll examine how different areas of your life, such as relationships, career, physical health and wellness, and mental health, influence your perception of happiness.

The aim is to help you create a holistic picture of what truly brings you joy and satisfaction.

1. How Relationships Affect Happiness

Relationships can often serve as a significant source of joy and fulfillment. They help you experience happiness in a variety of ways:

  • Foster emotional support: Strong bonds with friends, family, or even colleagues provide emotional support. A study by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) confirms that people who have strong social ties are happier than those who don’t.
  • Promote personal growth: Healthy relationships help you gain a fresh outlook on life and motivate you to go beyond your customary boundaries. In turn, this will help you grow as a person, enhancing happiness levels over time.
  • Create shared experiences: We often find joy when sharing experiences with others – be it laughter over an inside joke or shared excitement at a concert. These moments build memories that can bring lasting contentment.
  • Enhance self-esteem: The feeling that you matter to others, or your presence brings joy, can significantly enhance self-esteem – which plays a vital role in your overall happiness.

Investing time and energy into nurturing your relationships can have a profound impact on how much you enjoy life. So make sure you include other people on your journey towards happiness.

2. How Career Satisfaction Affects Happiness

Given the amount of time spent at work, it is essential to consider how job satisfaction influences your happiness.

Ever noticed that work stress doesn’t stay at work? A study from the American Psychological Association shows that unsatisfied employees often bring home negative feelings associated with their jobs.

This proves that being unhappy in your professional life can seep into your personal one.

Finding the right career is not always easy, but taking the following steps towards identifying where passion meets profession could pave the way to increased happiness:

  • Self-Reflection: Understand your strengths, interests, and values. What tasks do you enjoy, or hate doing? These insights can guide you towards an appropriate career.
  • Experimentation: Don’t be afraid to try new things. Job shadowing or internships in different fields may reveal unexpected paths.
  • Patience: It’s okay if the process takes time. Career is often a big part of life, so it’s worth taking your time to find one that brings you joy.

Remember, job satisfaction isn’t only about having a good salary or prestigious title – it’s about finding meaning and joy in what you do each day.

how do i find out what makes me happy

3. How Physical Health and Wellness Affects Happiness

When you’re considering what brings you happiness, your physical health may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But your physical well-being is strongly linked to your happiness.

For instance, regular exercise releases endorphins – nature’s feel-good hormones. It’s no wonder that people who work out regularly report higher levels of happiness than those who don’t.

And it’s not only exercise that boosts happiness hormones. The food you consume directly affects how your brain functions – including its production and regulation of mood-boosting chemicals like serotonin.

Sleep is also vital to your health and happiness. A good night’s rest plays an integral part in maintaining emotional balance, while sleep deprivation can lead you towards irritability and stress.

Physical health, wellness, and happiness are not standalone concepts, but deeply interconnected aspects of human well-being. Taking care of one tends to benefit the others.

4. How Mental Health Affects Happiness

Mental health involves your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences how you think about yourself and others, as well as your reactions to everyday situations.

A balanced state of mind lets you handle stress more effectively and maintain good relationships – both key factors for being happy.

We all face stressful situations now and then. However, managing these challenges effectively helps protect your peace-of-mind. Research suggests that simple activities such as practicing mindfulness or taking up yoga can be surprisingly effective at reducing stress levels and boosting happiness.

So instead of seeing stress as something negative, try viewing it as an opportunity for personal growth. The resulting resilience can boost not only your mental fortitude but also promote a happy life.

Note: It’s important to remember that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather an act of strength. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, or facing serious mental health issues like depression or anxiety, reach out to a counselor, therapist, or other professional for help.

FAQs in Relation to How Do I Find Out What Makes Me Happy?

1. How do you find what things make you happy?

To uncover your joy triggers, start by observing moments when you feel truly content. Reflect on these instances and identify common themes or activities.

These moments might occur when you’re engaged in a hobby, spending time with friends, or perhaps while being immersed in nature. Make a note of these experiences and gradually you’ll start to see patterns that reveal what truly makes you happy.

The key is in observation, reflection, and gradual change.

2. What to do when you don’t know what makes you happy?

If you’re unsure about what makes you feel happy, experiment with new experiences. Explore different hobbies, make more friends, or visit novel places to broaden your horizon.

There’s no absolute right or wrong here – it is about discovering your personal preferences. Keep an open mind and don’t judge yourself too harshly if something you thought you’d enjoy doesn’t turn out to bring you happiness.

The journey of self-discovery is all about trial and error, and each experience, whether positive or negative, brings you one step closer to finding your unique sources of joy.

3. How do I find out why I am not happy?

Digging deep into unhappiness often means addressing emotional discomforts. Consider journaling your thoughts and feelings daily, or seek professional help to examine your individual situation more closely.

Unhappiness can also stem from living a life that’s not in alignment with your core values. Perhaps you’re in a job that doesn’t fulfill you, or your relationships don’t nourish your soul. In such cases, it’s essential to identify these misalignments and make conscious decisions to steer your life back towards authenticity and personal satisfaction.

4. How do I identify my happiness?

Happiness identification starts with self-awareness. Understanding the traits, activities, or people that bring you joy will help you identify your happiness.

Additionally, paying attention to your emotional reactions and bodily sensations can provide valuable insights. A sense of lightness, increased energy, or even a simple smile can indicate that you’re engaging in something that truly makes you happy.

Final Thoughts

Finding what makes you truly happy is a journey, not a destination. It involves mindful observation, willingness to experiment, and courage to address emotional discomfort.

Your happiness is unique to you – what brings joy to one person might not necessarily resonate with another. By understanding and nurturing your mental health, exploring new experiences, and remaining true to your core values, you can unlock a world of contentment and joy.

It’s essential to be patient with yourself throughout this process, as self-discovery takes time. Above all, remember that it’s perfectly okay to seek professional guidance along the way. Your happiness is worth every effort.

If finding what makes you happy feels like an uphill battle despite trying various strategies, consider working with a professional coach. They can provide you with the tools and guidance to delve deeper into your values, passions, and strengths – and help you uncover your unique path to happiness.



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