Does Happiness Come From Within?

Does happiness come from within?

Many people that you meet in life will answer ‘yes’ to this question.

Often times, these people will say things like “Just be happy” “Happiness is a choice” and “Happiness comes from within.”

To an extent, happiness does comes from within, but happiness also very largely comes from outside circumstances.

It turns out that there are a lot of outside conditions that can significantly increase or decrease your happiness, particularly in your relationships, noise, and the degree of control you have over your work.

1) Having a sense of control

Having a sense of control, especially when it comes to your work, is a major factor when it comes to life satisfaction and longevity.

This is why entrepreneurs are significantly more happier than employees.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Global Report, entrepreneurs are the happiest people on the planet.

Whether they run a startup or an established business, entrepreneurs in all regions of the world enjoyed a significantly higher well being than those who didn’t own a business.

On the other hand, surveys show that 88% of people who are employees are unhappy with what they do for a living.

One of the main reasons why this is, is because entrepreneurs have more day to day control over the timing and rate of their workload compared to employees who have no control.

Creating the outward working conditions in your life where you feel you have control is a necessity if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life.

2) Noise

If you ever have the option of living in a big beautiful home next to a busy street or a not as beautiful and smaller home, but in a quiet neighborhood, choose the smaller home.

Research shows that people who must deal with chronic sources of noise never fully get used to it.

This is important to understand because most people think they can just overcome this situation simply by changing their thoughts to be more positive towards the circumstances.

Studies show however that even when individuals do get used to the chronic sources of noise, they still find evidence of impairment on cognitive tasks.

Noise, especially noise that is variable or intermittent, interferes with concentration, increases stress and reduces happiness.

This means in order to be happy, it’s worth striving to remove any chronic sources of noise from your life.

3) Relationships

Love is without a doubt life’s greatest experience and is the condition that is usually said to trump all others in importance when it comes to people’s happiness.

A good relationship makes people happy and it makes happy people even happier.

Much of the apparent benefit of being in a good relationship is that it provides real companionship, which is a basic need for all human beings.

On the other hand, a bad relationship has the ability to make happy people feel miserable.

In the book “The Happiness Hypothesis,” Jonathan Haidt, who is a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, says,

“Conflict in relationships, such as having chronic conflict with your spouse is one of the surest ways to reduce your happiness. You never adapt to interpersonal conflict. It damages everyday, even days when you don’t see the other person but ruminate about the conflict nonetheless.”

Science shows that if you get the relationship part of your life wrong, you will experience pain that is as identical in the brain as breaking a bone, meaning it is unavoidable to feel this pain.

You will not be able to become some “enlightened” being who rises above the situation.

You won’t be able to meditate your way out of this.

If you get the love part of your life wrong, you will find it very difficult to be happy.

These three examples are outside circumstances that can have a great negative or positive effect on your happiness, despite whatever your inner thoughts may be.  

Of course, Buddha would just fully adapt to noise, traffic, having a lack of control and interpersonal conflict, but it has always been difficult, even in Ancient India, for real people to become like Buddha.

In the modern world, it is even harder to follow Buddha’s path of finding happiness despite one’s circumstances.

Some of the world’s best poets and writers in fact urge us to forgo that path and embrace action full on.

Instead of finding happiness within, they urge us to take action by finding happiness outside.

As Charlotte Bronte once said, “It is vain to say that human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: They must take action and they will make it if they cannot find it.”


24 thoughts on “Does Happiness Come From Within?

  1. I’m one of those many people!! 😋😋
    I strongly believe if at heart you can find happiness nothing outside can truly make you unhappy, yea some times they do add pressure and love plays a major part, but as long as we fully let go of things out of our control and concentrate on changing ourselves into a happier self the miniscule of things will start making you happy and perception is what makes that happen!!😊
    I apologize for such a longer than expected comment!! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The reason I don’t fully agree with the idea that “happiness comes from within” is because it isn’t based on science. It’s based on a philosophy. Let me re-quote what I said in relation to noise: “Research shows that people who must deal with chronic sources of noise never fully get used to it. This is important to understand because most people think they can just overcome this situation simply by changing their thoughts to be more positive towards the circumstances.”

      You’re saying that you can just let go of this outward condition and still find happiness within and that things will still be good. but like I continued to say, “Studies show however that even when individuals do get used to the chronic sources of noise, they still find evidence of impairment on cognitive tasks. Noise, especially noise that is variable or intermittent, interferes with concentration, increases stress and reduces happiness.” This isn’t a matter of perspective or how happy you are in the inside. There are a lot of conditions that will negatively affect your happiness, despite whatever your inner thoughts may be.

      Don’t worry about the longer comment, those are the best ones:)

      I would love to hear your response in relation to noise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Outward conditions do effect our happiness, living in a more silent environment makes us more productive! But if you take the same silent and calm environment with a brain of it’s own noise from within, you can’t really be happy even with outward comfort and positive environment!!
        No matter how horrible outward conditions are, they are temporary so at some point they change, now if you can internally keep yourself happy, something temporary might trouble you a little but can never make you unhappy. Where as if it’s other way around, you can never truly be happy, coz the noise inside you is something more effectively permanent! So that is the one you need to concentrate on to find happiness!!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not sure if you’re emphasizing or yelling by using a lot of “!”?

        Psychology says that happiness is when a lot of things are going right in your life. Only in fields like personal development will they say “happiness comes from within.” (I’m a huge believer in personal development, I read a lot of books in that field as well)

        Fields like psychology, neuroscience and biology however will say that happiness is when you get the outward conditions of your life right. Science says that concentrating on the inside in order to find happiness won’t work because not everyone will be like Buddha and be able to transcend over their environment and find happiness.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Haha. I’m so sorry. I definitely wasn’t yelling. It’s a habit, I use exclamation a lot!! There I go again .😁😁
        Not everyone will be like Buddha, yes, but who is pushing you or anyone to be like him. It’s not like to find happiness you have to be like someone!
        It’s not about following someone or being a particular way, it’s about you being more you. Like Master Shifu tells Po in Kung fu panda 2
        Now you have a great knowledge in personal development books, I know coz I took a lot of your recommended books into my to read list!
        I’m sure you might have come across a reading where they tell you how your response can be better in some specific situations and how reacting differently will change the entire scenario.
        The outward situation is still the same, it’s you from within trying to make a different perspective for better response to the situation.
        Now couldn’t that be applied to happiness??
        I truly apologize if it felt like yelling, I had no intention and never will have any to be rude. You are one of the bloggers I look forward to reading and really admire your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. okay I was worried I said something
        that made you mad so I’m glad I

        I really do agree with you that happiness comes from within.

        But I also agree that there are things worth striving for outside.

        yes you may be happy if you’re single, struggling financially and living near a freeway, but my point is that you will be more happy being in a good relationship, being financially well off and living in a quiet neighborhood.

        There are things worth pursuing in life that will make you lastingly happier and fulfilled than changing your thoughts may ever do

        Nice kung fu panda reference:) You saying that you took some of my book recommendations is such a huge compliment, thank you:))

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Pursuit of happiness should never stop. Being content with what you have now and then pursuing for something better always yields better results. Glad to know we agree somewhere 😋😋
        And yea, I love animated movies, they teach more life lessons than any other😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Grace Anne. Outside can impact us. However , if we stable internally, accept things, let go etc we can be happy . Buddha and spirituality is all about finding inner calm and strenght and perspective. Granted difficult job , bad relationships impact us. But it is the two wolves story … what you feed. Great post both sides available to discuss.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. not everyone will be like Buddha though and be able to rise above their circumstances and find happiness within. I like the wolf story and I agree with it, but it’s much better and easier to strive toward certain outward conditions in your life instead of trying to find happiness in miserable circumstances. I know we won’t agree on this, but I always recommend doing what works for you. what works for you may not work for me and vice versa and that’s alright:)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually i agree it is better to find a better alternative where u can. Eg a job. But it not as easy to do in a close family relationship , where a dear one is married to a game player. It becomes difficult …you dont want to lose the dear one so the only answer for me is to rise above and be calm inside cause the lose of dear one aint worth it just because of a game player.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We really shouldn’t expect to be happy all the time. We have many emotions built inside of us and we feel them all. Sometimes all in one day, as a woman I know this is true. I think we have to feel pain and sadness, it teaches us a lot about ourselves and how we will handle those times. We get over sadness and pain, we are made that way.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. sometimes it seems like happy is the time out, a time to refresh our souls. The hard times are the growing times and when we find out our priorities. Life is about change and it isn’t always change for the better. Life changes day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute.. as it should be…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s not just outside conditions that affect our happiness, but also inner conditions ie heath. To tell a depressed person that it is their choice or just be happy is very cruel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with that. happiness comes from within as well as from outside. I guess I was just trying to say that there are things definitely worth pursuing in life that if you get wrong, will make being happy just a little bit harder

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You bring out a good point about happiness. I think the concept of happiness coming from within is to say we should not look outside ourselves or for others are things to determine our happiness. Actually happiness is a state of being. Very thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to psychologists, happiness is when a lot of things are going right in your life. This means that there are a lot of things that are worth striving for that will make people lastingly happier. I only gave 3 examples in the post, but there is a lot more so I hope that helped, I’m glad you liked it:))

      Liked by 1 person

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