Happiness is Homemade

Photo credit: National Today

Photo credit: National Today

Hannah Branon, Contributor

According to Study Finds, “2 in 3 people believe that money can buy happiness.” What about the other third of people? The question of “are you really happy?” oftentimes has people hesitating on their answer. How do we define happiness? Happiness is defined as internal peace and contentment. Meaning, it is not what we have or we want, it is something we create. For a long time, people would say if I had more money, a nice house and a better job, I would be happy. Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist, said “Our brain recognises these things as being ‘biologically significant,’ so if we obtain them, we experience a sense of reward.” These “things” are shelter, food, water and safety. 

Happiness is not the things we have or the advantages we possess. Happiness is homemade. It comes from within and taking the first steps to finding internal peace, something money cannot do. Happiness, in fact, is all around us. It can be in things such as nature, a person or an emotion. Creating an atmosphere of happiness is a decision, not something that will be easily handed over. Happiness is in fact homemade- and something we have full control over. 

Happiness can have several different meanings. Some personal, others psychological. Medium says, “ True happiness is enjoying your own company and living in peace and harmony with your body, mind and soul.” There are several ways to achieve this, but it must be done personally. It can be done by whichever works best for the individual. Medium added, “for being truly happy you neither need other people nor materialistic things.” Meaning, money, fame and wishful thinking will not be a solution to happiness. Happiness must come from within, something we create- something we can create together for one another. 

On the other hand, some people may argue that money can buy happiness because buying new things can provide satisfaction. Buying new things may provide temporary satisfaction and a surge of dopamine. True happiness, however, is a constant internal peace that is not temporary or requires a splurge. Sure, every human is going to feel different emotions at any given moment, and being happy all of the time would be unrealistic, but finding happiness and being able to maintain a healthy balance is crucial to finding peace. This is something that even the more financially prominent people struggle with. 

Recent studies that shed light on mental health have shown that celebrities are amongst the most unhappy of the population. Sure, they have more money than ordinary people, maybe a nicer house, and a more stable life. However, some celebrities’ claims to fame have come with social pressures, obsession of “wanting more”  and the pesters of being in the public eye constantly. Bronnie Ware, shared with The Healthy Journal that, “[she]  wishes [she] had the courage to live a life true to [herself], not the life others expected of [her].”

Another remark shared on The Healthy Journal said, “[celebrities] develop a kind of character-splitting between the ‘celebrity self’ and the ‘authentic self,’ as a survival technique in the hyperkinetic and heady atmosphere associated with celebrity life.” Celebrities may have more money and more materialistic items in life, but the battle between self and fame can cause one to be unhappy. The constant struggle and social pressures can make it challenging to find happiness. Prioritizing self, and finding happiness in the smaller things, can create constant peace. For me, these things can be meeting someone new, the smell after a thunderstorm or the green landscape of my backyard in the summer. 

Homemade happiness is more crucial than ever in our changing world. Feeling happiness is something more people are lacking. Is it the will to want or the will of peace? The will of peace will provide you with a steady internal peace and happiness, whereas the will to want “more” of something is a sudden, inconsistent dopamine rush. 

How will your road to happiness begin? Happiness is tangible for everyone. Start by making it homemade, in your heart.