Happiness from Within vs. Pursuits of Happiness

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Advices

Finding the Lasting Bliss

Happiness can be described as a sense of well-being and fulfillment in one’s life. It elicits positive emotions ranging from contentment to ecstasy. Being happy means that you are content with where you are in life instead of constantly thinking about the life you could have had.

However, our experience of pleasure is deeply interconnected with our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is common for us to link our happiness to things outside of ourselves. Too often, our happiness and joy depend on other people, material objects, events, or situations.

But you know what? To feel lasting happiness, you must look within yourself. Because that’s where it all begins.

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Finding Happiness Within vs. Pursuing Happiness: What’s the Difference?

The distinction between happiness from within and the pursuit of happiness lies in the various paths people take to find joy and satisfaction.

Pursuing happiness means looking for accomplishments, things, or experiences outside oneself that, for most people, bring joy and fulfillment. Whether it is successful relationships, love, career goals, wealth, or adventures, people who pursue happiness believe these external sources will make them happy.

While external sources contribute to happiness, they may not provide long-lasting satisfaction. Furthermore, external pursuits could be unreliable and fleeting, leading to a constant search for new sources of joy and never bringing you peace and contentment.

On the other hand, finding happiness within means looking inward to find and cultivate pleasure. It is all about finding the profound joy inside ourselves rather than from external sources.

If you seek happiness within, it means you understand that genuine happiness is derived from your inner peace, attitudes, and mindset.

Those who seek pleasure inside themselves tend to have a growth-oriented mindset, place importance on self-awareness and self-acceptance, express gratitude, and make life choices guided by their inner wisdom.

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How to Cultivate Lasting Happiness

To cultivate genuine happiness, it is essential to focus on yourself and begin practicing a few simple habits that promote happiness.

Count Your Blessings

Studies by Dr. Robert Emmons, the leading researcher on gratitude, suggest gratitude can help you experience more positive emotions, have more effective relationships, boost your optimism, and increase resilience.

You can express gratitude for so many things: your health, the things you’re good at, the beauty of nature, or the people who mean a lot to you. If you develop the habit of filling your subconscious mind with thoughts of gratitude, you will wire your brain to become happier.

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion involves feeling that you are deserving of the same compassion as others. It is about always treating yourself with respect and acceptance. Self-compassion helps you understand that humans are bound to make mistakes, promoting self-love, self-forgiveness and forgiveness.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

We frequently compare ourselves to others on social media and in real life. Unfortunately, comparing yourself to others can make you feel insecure and unhappy.

So, set boundaries for social media use and stop judging your success, happiness, and well-being by how others see you. Instead, why not compare yourself today to who you were in the past and set some realistic goals for the future?

Avoid Overthinking

Overthinking destroys happiness, making everything seem more complicated than it is. Too often, our unhappiness starts with negative self-talk. Self-judgment limits self-compassion, harms self-esteem, and may keep you from taking chances.

Try deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation to quiet your mind, reduce anxiety, and combat negative thoughts.

Positive affirmations, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you become aware of your negative self-talk, change your negative thoughts into more positive ones, accept yourself, and cultivate happiness.


To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Looking for a therapist? Get matched with a therapist today.


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