themighty logo

Why It's Important to Find Your Own Definition of Happiness


A year ago I wrote my first post on The Mighty. It was titled “The Misconception About Depression and Happiness.

In it, I wrote about how I strive to be able to say I am “happy” with my life, and although that is still a long-standing wish of mine, I have realized how being happy all the time is ultimately unrealistic.

Happiness can manifest itself in many things, such as traveling, spending time with family and activities you like writing. For example, when I was told my blog post was going to be published, I remember feeling an extreme amount of pride and happiness. Of course, thanks to depression, that feeling only lasted a mere few minutes. But I chose to live through it, and so I have made it through another year. Anyone who passes through this should be happy. Every day that passes is a reminder you are strong enough to keep on fighting, even if it is the last thing you want to do. Your mind is a dangerous thing, but you can overcome it.

For those who battle with mental illness, happiness doesn’t come easy (nor does it for anyone). So by setting goals and dreams, I am fighting for it. One of my dreams is to travel all over America before I am too old to do so. I want to give acting another shot and I really want to be in a movie or TV show (even if just as an extra). My dreams are what motivate me to keep on living, and although I know life goals are hard to imagine for some people, never be scared to wish for better. You are all worth better.

I am currently in a very stressful period in my life: exams. My first year of studying Psychology at University has been tough. I go through phases where I say this is not what I’m supposed to be studying, but then I remember being a Clinical Psychologist is another dream of mine. So just because this year has been incredibly boring and tedious, I will keep on pushing because the end goal is worth it. Honestly, most times all I want to do is crawl up in my bed and hide for a little while. That’s perfectly fine. Sometimes I just need a break from life, and if spending all day in bed is how I can cope with it, then so be it. I say this very often because I truly believe it.

For me, happiness is spending time with my loved ones. Happiness is laughing with my mother, and seeing my brother grow up. It is writing poetry (ironically, sad poetry) and these posts. It is watching stupid videos on the internet and cooking different meals for myself. Happiness is exploring different places, and belting out songs in the car with my girlfriend and tickling her relentlessly.

Happiness can be an infinite amount of things, you just have to find what your version of it is.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Dmitrijs Dmitrijevs