Happiness is more than a moment to me, happiness is more of a dream sometimes. I can see myself in happiness and in blissfulness, but it is hard to get there. Happiness is built off of habits and most times resources. So far in my first two years of college I have explored what things bring me happiness, and consistent happiness.
My main source of happiness is faith, I believe in God and energy. I attend church and it definitely gives me a sense of community. I also practice praying, meditation, and sometimes I will read the Bible, if I am really feeling it that day.
Personally I consider religion and spirituality to be two different things, and so I would say spiritual is what I identify with. Being spiritual puts a little less pressure and confusion onto people to conform. For example, with the LGBTQ+ community, I am queer but some may think I would automatically go to hell. I think religion divides people, whereas spirit brings people together. Since I go to church, and openly talk about my faith, I have made new friends and reconnected with old ones, and I continue to share what I believe with my current friends and I think it brings us closer together.
Although I do love church, I need other things to make me feel good. I have recently started yoga, and surprisingly this brings me a lot more happiness than I expected. I tried Barré cardio for the first time and it made me feel great. After we were done, not while doing it. It pushed me to my limits, but it was nice to see what my limits were and to see if I could get better. I also tried a Yin class, and it is all about stretching hamstrings, hips, and the lower back. After that class I felt more relieved than any chiropractor appointment for my back and hips. I also felt proud of myself for going out by myself in the morning and doing something for me. I spent time alone but not alone, and I was active. Going out and doing something for myself by myself brings me so much happiness, and a feeling of independence.
It’s nice to take care of myself, but I also love taking care of my dog Bubbles. Bubbles is probably the one thing that keeps me going the most. When I am feeling down, he is there to cuddle, when I have lots of energy he is always ready to play, and when I feel lonely and scared he always barks super loud to remind me that he is there. I have had my dog Bubbles since the eighth grade, so he has grown with me. He was there for my whole adolescence years, and it was pretty rough. It’s still rough sometimes, but knowing I have Bubbles me feel so much better.
Having a dog also forces me to take some kind of responsibility, and keeps me motivated. I have to feed him and take him out and give it lots of attention. Taking care of a pet makes you a little more selfless which to me makes everyone happier. The old saying of “a dog is a man’s best friend” is very accurate. There are also plenty of studies to show, that having some kind of animal companion brings more joy and happiness into people’s lives.
Now I am not the happiest person in the world. I still have a long way to go to build the habits that I want in my life to be in complete bliss. But so far I have a good foundation and I want to keep growing off that. I hope by next year I am out of Madison and I find new hobbies and I hope to make new friends. I think happiness is a life long journey and I think our definition of happiness changes over time too. What makes me happy now in my life may not in a few years from now. I am looking forward to reaching happiness every day the best I can, and building on it every day after that.