Our definitions of happiness seem to change over time. Perhaps you can recall a moment in time when you were a child dreaming about a particular toy. You believed at that time that if your parents would only buy you that toy, you would be the happiest child in the world. At that particular moment in time, receiving the toy you’ve been dreaming about would have fulfilled your happiness definition. Now that you have grown up, your definition of happiness might have changed to be landing that job you always dreamed of or getting that promotion you think you deserve. As we change, so are our worries and, as a result, our priorities.
Nowadays, there has been a worldwide escalation of sadness, anger, depression, and many other negative emotions, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those feelings are expected and normal when facing so much uncertainty.
This makes many people re-evaluate what is important in their life and shift their priorities.
Pre-COVID-19, the world we lived in, many of us equated happiness with achieving a tangible goal, but now, there is an increasing desire for achieving less tangible goals like focusing on improving our relationships and finding inner peace. There is a reason why we are called “human beings” and not “human doings.” By examining what it means to be happy, we can achieve real happiness and cope better with life stressors life throws at us.
Shifts In Core Values Are Normal
What you value in life does not stay consistent forever. While some aspects of your life are non-negotiable when it comes to core values, new values can arise as time goes by. Age is the most significant factor in what changes our values because of our life experience, the people we meet and influence us, and hopefully, the wisdom we earn.
While we may value love, freedom, aesthetics, and expression in our earlier years, adulthood can often change things, like valuing health, security, etc. Sometimes, the desire to learn becomes more profound, and we value more the knowledge we gain. The point is that time, experiences, and events in our lives can shift our core values and how we define happiness.
Stop and Reflect: 3 Questions To Ask Yourself
Happiness is based on your ability to achieve the things you value the most. A general rule of thumb is that the more you live your life in alignment with what matters to you and your values, the happier you will be. There are three things to ask yourself as you self reflect.
Have Your Life Goals Changed?
Reflecting on your life goals will show you the direction your life is going through and help you figure out which goals to hang on and which one to discard. Perhaps you will notice an increase in happiness through helping others now more than ever, or you notice a change in your adaptability to situations, or even on how reliable you are to others.
What Do You Want To Get Out Of What You Do?
This reflection will help you find the direction in life that will genuinely make you happy. Perhaps you have been hanging on to a job that treats you unjustly or is not interested in the field you are in anymore. Making the shifts to find better opportunities to grow, meet better people, and hone the skills you have always wanted to have. All these will make you happier because it will give your life a purpose and meaning.
Are There Values That Are Strengthening Or Receding?
Taking stock of what values have shifted in your life this will help you make better decisions that are healthier. Sometimes, our values conflict with our line of work or other values, so when a value is strengthening while the other recedes, getting rid of the weaker ones gives room for more growth and self-development.
Changing values is not a bad thing per se if the newly acquired values bring a positive and healthy change. You should, therefore, try to avoid resisting them. If you have trouble aligning your life with your values, do not worry so much. The trick is to take every bit of happiness you experience in life and live one day at a time, to remember to worry less about the past or the future and remember that change is an ongoing process.
At Therapy24x7, we offer our clients quality psychotherapy in New York and assist with the modern world’s day-to-day struggles. We will work with you to provide the best support system, enhance your coping strategies for challenging days, and help you manage stress and emotions with results-based therapy. Visit our clinic so we can understand more about how we can help you.