What Does Happiness Feel Like?
Happiness has many different flavors. It can be contentment, excitement, joy, or awe. But true happiness is about more than our emotions. True happiness is more about having a sense that we matter in some way. This can emerge from building stronger connections with others, from doing work that we value, or from making an impact in the world.
To explore what happiness feels like for you, try this activity.
Activity: What Does Happiness Feel Like?
When we imagine events, our brains process these events as if they were real. Our brains have a difficult time telling the difference. This means that if we imagine ourselves as happy, we discover what happiness feels like. If we do this often, we can actually feel happier in the future.
To give you a sense of how this works and feels, let's do a guided happiness visualization exercise. During this exercise, you will mentally travel in time to a future when you are experiencing happiness. Before we begin, think about what you want to focus on. Maybe you want to imagine having stronger relationships with your family, or maybe you want to imagine being more accepting of your negative feelings, or maybe you want to imagine gaining the confidence to live more authentically.
Try to think of what it would be like to experience what it would be like it this happened.
1. Think about the people, smells, and sounds around you while you experience happiness.
2. Focus on the good feelings that you are having. How would it feel? Who would be around? Where would you be?
3. Imagine how this experience will make you feel even better in the future.
4. Imagine anything else that helps you fully experience true happiness.
5. Make sure you do not focus on aspects of your current life that are not making you happy. Just imagine that you are a happy, future version of yourself.
For the next 2 minutes, close your eyes and imagine being the future happy you. After completing the exercise, reflect on the experience using the text box below.