So I finally figured out how to define happiness.
We all want to be happy, but do we really know what happiness is?
When you are happy, you can feel it, but when you are not happy, it's hard to grasp.
Happiness is liking things the way they are.
It's as simple as that. This defines happiness consistently in any situation. Whether you are unhappy because of who you are, or how things are going in your life, or because of things that are happening to other people, this definition remains true.
When you aren't thinking about negative stuff, you may like the way things are, even if you really don't like those things you aren't thinking about.
On the other hand, you could also change how you think about those negative things, and turn them into either neutral or positive things. Doing this would mean whether you are thinking about them or not, those things are not controlling your emotions.
For instance, if things in your life are hard, you may be unhappy because you look at them as negatives, but if you think of them as challenges for you to overcome your opinion may change. If you consider that without those challenges you wouldn't have the opportunity to accomplish as much, then all of a sudden a negative in your mind becomes a positive.
We can take this definition of happiness, and use it to help us find happiness for ourselves.
Let's start with analyzing our likes and dislikes.
What controls what we like and dislike, or the way we perceive things?
Whatever we believe to be true will effect how we look at any situation.
For example, most people believe death is a bad thing. Then when someone close to them dies, they perceive it as a bad thing.
But why is death bad? It is going to happen to everyone. Death is a part of life. It's how things are meant to be.
By looking at it logically, we can change our beliefs and turn a negative perception into a neutral perception (unemotional).
Now let's look at things on a more day-to-day basis.
What is the perception that effects our emotions the most?
Our perceptions of ourselves.
We have learned to believe many things that hinder our perception of self.
We grow up learning to be ashamed of our bodies, to criticize human errors, to be generally intolerant of perfectly human things. These beliefs carry over into our perceptions of others and certainly our perception of self.
There is not ONE logical reason for having a negative perception about ANYTHING; not yourself, not another person, not an event, nothing. So how do we fix the most emotionally influential perception we have, the perception of self?
What controls our perceptions? Our beliefs.
What controls our beliefs?
For the most part, our environment.
We are born without any knowledge, and we look to our environment for answers. We don't know what to think about anything, but we see these people, living things not much different than ourselves, and figure we can learn from them.
Instead of looking inside ourselves for answers, we look to other human beings. This is why our beliefs are all screwed up, and this is why so many people have to "find" themselves. It's because for so long they've been looking to their environment for answers, they don't know what they really think anymore.
I don't know if this will be of help to anyone, but it's something to think about, and hopefully make you look at yourself a little more realistically (and positively).