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Are You Really, Really Happy?

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You’ve probably had moments in your life that seemed to take minutes, hours, and weeks to feel as if they lasted a “lifetime,” when if fact they only really lasted seconds.

To some people, those little moments can either shape us, or shake us.

Think back to the first moment you laid eyes on the love of your life, if you had a baby, when you have experienced a near death experience, or when you got the job of your dreams. All those moments either shaped you in who you have become or shook your inner core to the point where you made significant changes in your life.

We always ask our self and each other the same question over and over again, hoping to finally answer the question, “Why do the bad things have to happen?”

Its when we experience a moment that shakes us to our inner core that we are reminded of really is important in life. Experiencing intense emotions opens us up to being completely ready to experience moments in the “now,” while they are happening and realizing them, instead of “after the fact.”

Think about it, what’s the difference between happiness and pure satisfaction? Can you honestly tell the difference? The difference is quite revealing. We are satisfied when we complete a task or get recognition. But we are happy when we allow ourselves to feel with using our hearts, not our minds. It’s nearly impossible to have real actual happiness when you are trying to control a situation to have a certain outcome or you are resisting an emotion.

We as a society are dangerously out of balance.

I say this because look at what most Americans think will make them eternally happy: money, popularity, fame, material possessions, and so forth. Wasn’t the American dream to “be happy”? Well, if that’s the case how come most Americans are miserable or let themselves be miserable by their surroundings?

When we spend our lives preparing for the future instead of enjoying the here and now, we end up always postponing happiness. Sure, we are thinking that “eventually” I’ll be happy, but why are we always waiting to happy?

We as a society are always waiting for something. Waiting for that big chance, waiting for that perfect job, waiting for that true love, and so forth. Everything has to be “just right” before we have whatever it is we are “waiting for” to finally happen. And how do we feel with we finally get what we were waiting for? Not happy, just satirized that it finally happened. See, we lost the real moment to be happy.

We as Americans have lost the American dream not only because of our economic woes, but the American Spirit has been equally injured because of the explosion of technology. Its ironic that something that has brought us not only entertainment and to some people, freedom and comfort, has not made our lives, is responsible for so much misery.

During World War II, our parents and even our grandparents we notified and received information through radio, newspaper, and film clips. Today, when major things happen in our world there are instant responses such as cable news, and social media. We just don’t “hear” about we happen anymore, we witness it happening. The human psyche is only capable of handling a certain amount of stress before it starts to malfunction. People start to become increasingly depressed, tired, and anxious. This is all due to being over stimulated.

Scientists studied that when we are exposed to too much mental, emotional, or sensory input all at once, our anxiety levels increase 100 percent and when they are increased, we need to express that somehow and this is when we become hostile and violent.

Maybe now this is how we can start to grasp why cyber bullying has such harsh effects on our teens and even some adults. This is why we let this epidemic continue. We as a society have become so numb to pain and distress that this ultimately prevents us from feeling empathy for those in pain, and that we actually “enjoy” watching others suffer.

When certain people are constantly exposed to so much human drama, it takes its toll, period. People often “joke” that if by me calling someone a meathead they are going to kill themselves, that they need medial attention. Well, its not so much what is said, but how it is said. And if a person has to deal with so much negativity, so much hatred, and so much disrespect, that they feel there is no one listening to their cries for help, they ultimately decide that the only way to end their misery is to end their life.

This is how too much socializing on the Internet has ruined not only the American dream of being “happy,” but has brought on unnecessary drama and hatred.

We need to remember that we don’t experience real happiness by what we gain or by what we do; we experience real happiness by how we live each moment to the fullest.

We have not only as a society lost the confidence in the American dream, but also we have lost our sense of security and our sense of privacy. And we won’t admit it, but we are feeling powerless to protect ourselves and others we love from harm.

If we can just stop for a minute and think about what is it that we really truly make us happy, we can gain some of that power back. We have to look beyond our limitations and we must turn into our hearts where we can finally feel truly happy in the moment.

We have to stop competing with others where happiness is concerned and start realizing that the only person who can make you truly happy is yourself.

Happiness starts from within. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”





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