Jamaica Gleaner / True happiness is …

Have you ever stopped to consider what happiness means? Many may believe that happiness is sunny days at the beach, having fun at a party, the excitement of new experiences or the thrill and passion of sex. Though these are all wonderful experiences to be cherished, they are not happiness.

Tshani Jaja, Marketing Manager of Communications at Yello Media Group and Inspirational Speaker defines happiness as a peace of mind. Knowing that you are living on purpose, knowing that you are worthy and that you are more than enough. “I’m happy knowing that I’m using my God given talents to positively impact lives,” she explains. Jaja agrees that happiness is not easily defined as it is often mistaken for pleasure in events and situations but explains that happiness is that inner joy that is independent of your physical circumstances, events or situations. It is a mindset that says ‘no matter what the situation, I choose to preserve my peace and joy’.

Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easier to identify as you know it when you see it and you definitely know when it has taken a hold of you. Happiness has little to do with life’s circumstances but is controlled by you and the product of your habits and your outlook on life. With that, there are some habits that must be monitored closely to avoid them from dragging you into the abyss. Jaja shares with Outlook 10 habits she believes can affect your journey towards happiness and should be avoided once you are aware of them.

1. Having a grateful mindset. Try to be happy in your position. Accept where you are and work towards where you want to be. Appreciate the small wins as much as the big wins.

2. Comparing yourself with the facade that is depicted on social media.

3. Trying to make yourself into who you were not called to be. Take time out to learn your passion and purpose so that you invest your energy in your calling.

4. Thinking that every negative experience you’ve gone through is your punishment instead of a learning and growth opportunity.

5. Trying to fill a void in you life with material things, status and prestige that only a relationship with God can fill.

6. Compromising your self worth and identity in order to seek acceptance from others.

7. Hateful, negative speeches: Constantly criticizing and speaking badly about others and even about yourself.

8. Waiting for the future, telling yourself “I’ll be happy when..” instead of enjoying the journey.

9. Fear: Failing to pursue your dreams because of what persons may think, say and feel about you.

10. Lack of Faith: Faith is the substance of things hoped for evidence of things not seen. Without it persons tend to be limited by their current situation and circumstances leading to unhappiness.

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