Happiness Is . . .

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

Herding cattle near Kiental, Switzerland

What is happiness?

According to WikipediaHappiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Have you ever noticed how some people exude happiness? They make you happy just to be near them. You can’t help but smile in their presence.

Belly Laughs

 

Laughing is so contagious, good for the soul, and is a great way to spread happiness.

Traverse City Michigan Baby Photographer/Cathy Fitz

Baby Belly Laughs are the best!

 

Traverse City Michigan Photographer/Cathy Fitz

Caught this heart inside a smile during the Cherry Festival Fireworks on the 4th.

 

Traveling the world, it became apparent that material possessions and wealth don’t seem to correlate with happiness.

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

Even though they lived in extreme poverty, people I met in Nicaragua continued to find happiness in their daily lives.

 

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

In Thailand, the Buddhist culture seemed to contribute to an overall sense of happiness among people we met. Living with few possessions while having compassion for others seemed to give them a sense of peace, happiness and love.

 

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

A farm worker in Northern Chiang Mai Thailand was happy to stop and give me a great smile – a universal language.

 

Is it the simplicity of their lives that leads to the happiness of these people in the South American countries of Ecuador & Uruguay?

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

Village in Amazon Jungle of Ecuador

 

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

This group near an indigenous community in Ecuador made my day as we laughed and conversed with very little knowledge of each other’s language.

 

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

The simple lives in the countryside of Uruguay felt like a time forgotten.

 

According to the new World Happiness Report 2015, Switzerland is considered the happiest country in the world. Is it because of their simple lives in the beautiful countryside? Breathing in the clear mountain air? Drinking from the crystal clear mountain springs?

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

Herding cattle near Kiental, Switzerland

 

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

Even the llamas seemed to skip happily through the fields.

 

Travel Photography/Cathy fitz

The U.S., according to the same report, is the 15th happiest country of the 158 countries surveyed. Why are we not higher? Are we too busy trying to get ahead, working harder for more money and things?  Do we sometimes forget to just relax and enjoy? Maybe it’s just remembering to be kind, compassionate and considerate of others. Do our stressful, busy lives lead to things like road rage?

We experienced this recently when someone pulled out in front of us on the highway. Feeling a sense of frustration that we had to quickly slow down, we looked over as we passed the car. The driver smiled and waved. Our feelings changed in an instant. What a great reminder that we all make mistakes, nobody was hurt, everything was okay. She’ll never know the happiness she brought to our day with that simple smile & wave.

So what does bring happiness? Even with all the studies done on the subject, there is no definitive answer. It is partially a result of our natural disposition and environment, but ultimately it appears it all comes down to a choice. It’s how we handle situations when a curveball is thrown our way. We make choices all day long, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in drama or frustration. But if we can laugh at ourselves, cut each other some slack, and not get upset, life just gets better.

The joy and happiness really is inside each of us. We just have to remember to bring it out, even on the toughest of days and in the most difficult of situations. So what makes you happy? I found some cute drawings on “The Happy Page”  that connected with my own feelings of happiness.

Happiness is . . .

Happiness is…A Big Hug!

There is nothing that compares to the happiness of connecting with others. When we share our happiness it multiplies.

What makes you happy? Please share. It would make me very happy to hear what makes you happy! 🙂

 

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    Cathy Fitz Photography

     

     

    cathy@cathyfitz.com

     

    Michigan

    Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer