There are many things out there that can tell you if you’re truly happy, but did you know that there are literally scientists out there looking at how happiness can be measured? Usually, the formula goes reality/expectation = happiness and yet so many of us question what happiness really means. 

There are many factors that can influence how we feel in our day to day. We base our moods on our expectations and if we expect a day to be a terrible one, we are set up with a terrible mood from the moment the alarm clock rings. Struggles at work and in our personal lives lead us to believe that we’re unhappy people and one of the best things that can be done is to explore whether you are truly happy in the first place. A good start is to read the signs of happiness below and then determine whether you are happy. If you realize that you’re not, it’s time to make some positive changes to embrace that happiness you deserve.

  1. You want other people to share in it. Whether you pay people in the street a compliment, or you start performing random acts of kindness, you are ready for everyone around you to be ecstatically happy. Often, when we feel sad and low, we want everyone else to suffer, too. It’s not a nice thing to admit, but the saying goes that misery loves company and for the most part, this is true. 
  2. You want to embrace ways to enhance your happiness. Joining the gym for endorphins? That’s a great way to feel happy. Starting an online Buddhist course? That’ll give you peace, which equates to better happiness. You want to enhance the current happiness you feel and whether it’s exercise or the prospect of a chocolate sundae, embracing all of those ways to make yourself feel happier is a good decision to make.
  3. You really don’t worry about the small stuff. Stressed and unhappy people spend a lot of time sweating the small stuff and panicking over the tiniest thing, but not you. You’re too happy, too full of light and too bouncy to panic about all of that stuff anymore. You don’t deny yourself anything, and it’s this that will give you the chance to understand that life’s peaks and troughs are normal. 
  4. You really appreciate even the little things. It’s a good sign that you’re happy if you can appreciate small things. Knowing it’s going to be a nice day. Hearing birds tweeting from their nests. Waking up smiling despite the early alarm. You appreciate the fact that you can do all of these things; you appreciate being alive.
  5. You feel pride in others. When you feel proud of the success of other people, you truly are happy. You don’t wallow in jealousy or compare your life to others. You don’t panic, you’re behind; you just feel proud and happy for them. This is a good sign that you are happy and you are embracing life in all its glory.
  6. You aren’t ready to give up. When we feel overly stressed, it’s easy to feel like we’re supposed to give up and down tools. The thing is, happy people don’t feel that way. Happy people understand that life will push roadblocks in front of them but that doesn’t mean that they cannot overcome them. Happiness allows us to feel hopeful and that hope is what carries us. We don’t feel upset about roadblocks, we feel empowered by the challenge. If that’s you, then you are winning at life!
  7. You don’t use yourself as a yardstick. When you measure yourself up against other people, you’re going to constantly compare, and comparison – as you know – is a thief of joy. Instead of comparing yourself and using yourself as the measuring stick for others, you’re busy making lists and making plans, plans that will give you the happiness you want. If you feel this way about your life, you can say that you are a happy person.

Can happiness be measured? Apparently, it can. But can you measure your own by yourself? Yes. By understanding what makes you feel good about your life, you can step into every day with a feeling of hope and contentment. You don’t shy away from the challenges of life and you don’t feel like life is going to overtake you. You are happy, healthy and ready to embrace whatever lemons life can give you. After all, you make great lemonade.