Is Happiness A State Of Mind? (An In-depth Explanation With Tips)


A woman in a happy state of mind.

Happiness has many definitions. Some people describe happiness as a fleeting emotion. Others say that happiness is a chosen state of mind that can be sustained. In truth, most people can’t define what happiness is for themselves. It isn’t easy to discover what happiness means to you. And it’s even harder to reach and sustain a state of happiness.

A state of mind refers to your psychological state at any given point in time. It is a combination of cognitive components that affect how you think and feel. Happiness is a state of mind because you can control your thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. You can be in a happy state of mind by thinking positively, practicing self-awareness, exercising regularly, and being more conscious of your thoughts.

The better you can understand what happiness is, the closer you will be to achieving happiness. In this article, we’ll try to better define happiness as a state of mind.

Happiness is something you can achieve through perception and will power. It doesn’t have to be short-lived. We’ll also go over ways you can get into a happier state of mind. This way you can take control of your life and live it to the fullest.

What Is A State Of Mind?

So what exactly is a state of mind? A state of mind refers to your psychological state at any given point in time. As previously mentioned, a state of mind is defined by the combination of thoughts, perceptions, and emotions.

These cognitive components form a state of being, which affects how you act and think. There are many states of mind and by extension, many ways to exist within a frame of time.

Some cognitive states are more intentional and controlled. Others can sweep you away with strong emotions and unconscious impulses.

A state of mind refers to how you feel. Many factors play into your state of mind such as your thoughts, as well as your interactions with your environment and those around you.

Really, mental states are tricky to define and understand. Psychologists have been studying this concept for decades. But they haven’t discovered how the brain forms a cohesive state of mind.

Usually, though, a state of mind is referred to in terms of emotions. This makes it easier to define and categorize.

For example, you could experience something that is fear-inducing and enter into a fearful state of mind. In this case, your emotions, thoughts, and perceptions would all be directed by fear. In turn, because of this fearful state of mind, you would behave according to your fearful state.

However, there are many states of being and not all are related to emotions alone. You can enter a state of disgust, love, or happiness. But there are other ways to define a mental state.

Cognitions can also define your state of mind. For instance, you could be in a focused state of mind or be in a state of memory retrieval. Emotions aren’t as dominant in these states of mind, but they could still be affected.

These are more rational states of mind and they produce more focused and logical mindsets.

Still, even if you are in an emotional-based state, you can direct your mood and thoughts into a desired state. In most circumstances, you have more control over your state of mind than you realize.

You just have to be aware of how your mind is operating. In short, you have to pay attention to your thoughts and how you react to your emotions. In this way, you can achieve a happier and more focused state of mind.

Is Happiness A State of Mind?

Many people claim that happiness is a state of mind, but what does this mean exactly?

When people talk about happiness in this way, they are saying that happiness is something you can control. And they are saying happiness is a state of mind that you can put yourself in.

Furthermore, if you point your thoughts and perceptions in a more positive direction, you can get yourself to stay in a happier state.

This idea is not entirely wrong, it is actually supported by psychological research. Many individuals reach a happy state of mind without meaning to.

Happiness is a state of mind when you realize that your happiness is something you have control over.

Humans can feel euphoric emotions, have positive thoughts, and look at the world happily because something good happens. Most of the time though, you don’t have the cognitive tools to control or stay in that state of mind.

It takes practice, but you can control how you think and feel to create a happier state of mind. In fact, this is the main aim of psychotherapy.

Psychologists give their patients the tools to change their way of thinking and emotions into something more positive. But you don’t necessarily need therapy to create a happy state of mind.

Again, you have more control over your mind than you think, and this includes a happy state of mind. It’s no secret, everyone wants to be happier. When you can control your emotions, thoughts, and cognitions, you will be closer to achieving this state of lasting happiness.

The next section will go over some tips to help you manage your mind and your emotions for a happier state of being.

How Do I Get A Happy State of Mind?

For starters, consider the following four tips to help you get a happy state of mind.

1. To Be In A Happy State Of Mind, Start Thinking More Positively

It’s easy to be negative about your circumstances. There are always negatives in a situation if you look for them. But you don’t want negativity to be your default.

Really, you want to direct your thoughts and cognitions to a more positive state. It’s hard to be positive, but you want to take control of your mind to reach a happy state of mind.

If you always let your mind drift to the negative, you will never reach a happy state of mind. You will be continuously caught up in negative states of being. This doesn’t mean that you can’t feel sad, or frustrated, but you want to be able to move past your own negativity healthily.

One way to help yourself do this is by practicing gratitude. When you are grateful for your life it is harder to be unhappy.

A couple surrounded by mountains and a lake.
Be Grateful For All That You Have

Being able to find things in your life that you are thankful for helps you refocus your mind. You won’t be solely focused on the negatives in your life when you practice gratitude.

Additionally, over time this can lead to a more positive and happy state of mind. This is because you know that your life has a lot to offer you.

2. Practice Self Awareness Techniques To Become In A Happy State Of Mind

Everyone is guilty of getting caught up in thoughts and emotions. This is why you need to take the time to practice self-awareness techniques.

By cultivating self-awareness, you can stay in the moment and stay in control of yourself. There are many ways to go about this. Meditation tends to be a go-to activity when people want to practice self-awareness, though.

Mediation gives you space to separate emotions from thoughts. It teaches you to let thoughts and emotions pass over you peacefully. This is important if you want to gain mastery over your mental state.

As previously mentioned, it is very easy to fall into the sway of powerful emotions and thoughts. But if you practice meditation and other techniques, you can learn to let go of unhelpful thoughts and emotions.

3. Exercise Regularly To Be In A Happier State Of Mind

A woman exercising.
Exercise Regularly For A Happier State Of Mind

One simple but effective way to control your state of mind is through exercise. Emotions and thoughts aren’t just affected by the brain. They are affected by your overall well-being.

When your body is inactive and sluggish, it will be harder to feel happy. This is why you want to take the time to regularly exercise.

You don’t need to head to a gym for an intense workout or start running a marathon to see a shift in your emotional state. Really, a simple exercise is enough to get your head in the right space.

Try taking a walk around your neighborhood. Play a game of basketball with friends. Mow your lawn or do chores that require you to move a lot.

Any kind of physical activity can help you feel better and will aid you in controlling your state of mind more easily. This is because exercise gives you mental clarity, energy, focus, and an emotional boost.

4. To Be In A Happier State Of Mind, Become More Conscious Of Your Thoughts

You don’t just want to bury your thoughts and emotions in positivity. It’s good to be grateful and learn to find happiness. But you want to become more aware of your other mental states.

This way you can gain an understanding of yourself and your default states of mind. Self-understanding is crucial if you want to start making a change and be happy.

Understanding why you enter states of depression, sadness, and anxiety can help you pinpoint what is causing unhappiness in your life. Once you know why you have a hard time being happy, you can start to control your happiness more. This all begins by becoming more conscious of your own thoughts though. 

Pay attention to what you are thinking about. Emotions are closely tied to thoughts. What you think often causes an emotional reaction or state of being.

Understand why you feel the way you do. When you can pinpoint what is making you happy, you can do more of it. When you can pinpoint what is making you sad, you can work to remove it from your life.

As you watch your mind see what thoughts make you happy and sad. If a particular thought makes you more unhappy, figure out why.

Maybe you routinely tell yourself you are a failure and you start to notice this pattern. You want to be aware of this thought and counter it. Figure out why you are saying this to yourself and explain why it isn’t true in a rational way.

Do this with any thoughts that are bringing you grief. Gradually, as you progress through all the ideas that are bringing you unhappiness or negativity, you will be left with happier thoughts. And as you are able to better control your thoughts, you will stay in a happier state of mind.


The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?

eightysixfourhundred, make them count


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References

Psychology Today – What’s Your State of Mind?

James

Hi, I'm James! I want to help you make the most of your day by providing helpful tips and informative articles on motivation, time management, productivity, and happiness.

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