What does happiness look like to you? Is it vibrant, full of life, bouncing off the walls? Maybe it's quiet, content, peaceful. Perhaps it's a combination of these traits. Whatever happiness looks like to you is true. It doesn't have to look a particular way and you don't have to behave a certain way to be happy.
I'm lucky enough to be friends with a variety of people of all ages and from all walks of life. I know happy people who are so vivacious and full of energy that you wonder who spiked their coffee with extra caffeine. I know other happy people who usually have a quiet, content look on their face. And I know plenty of happy people who fluctuate between the two states. It doesn't mean that one person is happier than the other, or that one happiness is more valid than the other.
I think a lot of people feel that happiness has to look a certain way to be really, truly, authentically happy, and that's just not the case. We must be careful to respect others as they live in happiness - whether that's loud and proud or quiet and meek - understanding that they're expressing their emotions in the way that makes sense to them.
Happiness really boils down to living in the moment, knowing what your true desires are, and finding joy in moments large and small.
But what if you're not happy?
I'm here to tell you that you are not broken. Your brain has fallen into a very natural and evolutionarily-based pattern after a large event or a series of small disappointments. The brain is built and functions in such a way that neural pathways are created every time we learn something. When we repeat those "lessons" - especially if the lesson is that we're unhappy, an idea that we're not good enough, that we're stupid, whatever - we're solidifying those patterns. You just need to learn how to solidify new patterns. It's simple but takes some work.
If you have trouble finding your joy, let's talk. You deserve to live a happy, full life.