What is happiness?
For some it may be a marital status , material and financial gain, travelling or starting a family or perhaps even just something as simple as a eating a meal.
Surely its uniquely different for each individual , yet there is a universal understanding of what it can mean and perhaps that is only because we have all experienced the state of the opposite: unhappiness. Let’s take a look at the dictionary meaning:
“Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”
Base on this definition we can conclude that happiness and the health of it is dependent on your emotional and mental state. Whatever we feed and nurture in our daily existence affects our whole being, as well as our ability to handle the present, the past and even the future.
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat “and I believe that this also can be said for whatever your mind feeds on effects your emotional health and thus your interpretation of such status as Happiness.
Now before you think I’m getting all too Rubix cube on you, let’s take it back to relationships. The picture I’ve included the blog is a profound saying I came across when I was going through a hard time of understanding why certain parts of one of my relationships was so unhappy and unfulfilling.
In essence it suggests that we accept the behaviours’ and relationship in our lives based off what we believe we are deserving of. As an individual that always struggled with self esteem issues, it was more familiar to me to accept being treated badly then expectant of being valued and respected as a woman.
Without the right outside influences and intervention we can lose perspective on what real Love is and what it actually looks like in action. As humans we tend to gravitate to certain people and situations that are familiar to us, this familiarity usually comes from our childhood and what we have experienced or witnessed in a repetitive pattern throughout it.
Needless to say that for some women who have grown up being abused it is more familiar for them to enter into an abusive relationship then not, as they have already built the coping mechanisms to handle it. I know I look at some people and wonder why they keep going back to the same horrible situation and perhaps I have had some people think the same of me in the past.
For some people the unknown proves more of challenge then the present pain; purely because it is just that, a risk with no sure outcome.
So how do we give our idea of happiness a mental health check to make sure we aren’t short changing ourselves of what we really deserve in a relationship?
Here are a few key things to look out for:
• You are joyful and at peace most of the time
• Your relationship grows you in a positive way
• Any sort of abuse , whether it be physical, mental , sexual or emotional is absent
• You have clarity on decisions and do not live in confusion , anxiety or constant worry
• You have a balance between friends, family , work and your relationship
• Both you and your partner have common goals to work towards
• You are a whole person and your partner does not complete you, they are not your sole focus or the reason for your every decision.
• You still have your own interests and goals.
• Your give and take in the relationship is equal to your partners; you do not feel depleted or drained.
• You trust your partner and you trust yourself. There is no jealousy or insecurity because you have an open and honest relationship and are secure in yourself and each other’s love.
• There is always progression in your relationship; stagnating and becoming overly familiar are not an option.
• You are able to handle difficult situations and change with emotional intelligence
• You are not emotionally or mentally dependent on your partner, you are a whole happy individual.
• There is no emotional blackmailing .Each person takes responsibility for their own actions
• Forgiveness always takes place over bitterness or resentment.
• You aren’t forced to change for someone or ask someone to change for you; you respect each other’s differences and are compatible.
• You have nothing to hide, your relationship is honest and transparent and full of grace and unconditional love
• Respect is mutual
• Your relationship is not perfect but it is not volatile, it is consistent and stable.
If you find that the majority of your answers are yes to the above checklist then you most likely have a healthy mindset of what love is and what you deserve and are therefore happy in your relationship. If instead you answered mostly no to this list then perhaps it’s time you stood back and reassessed the situation and see what you can do to turn it around.
Help doesn’t always come in the most convenient form we want or in the way we expect it to, but what’s important is that you have identified that something in your life or thoughts needs to change.
Choosing to reach out to professional individuals or groups is always a good place to start, after all a problem shared is a problem halved. Set yourself up for a lifetime of happiness by making sure your mind and heart are healthy.