What Is Happiness - can we ever have too much?​

May 09, 2022



We all know what it's like to feel happy. Yet it's such an utterly personal experience.

For example, I'm very happy when I'm hanging out with my cats, but to others that could be likened to being in hell. A simple but very effective tactic you can use to understand 'where you're at', is to rate your feeling of happiness out of 10.

Although it's subjective, it's a helpful tool to start rationalising.

One of the key factors for deciding our state of happiness is how we are interpreting, what is happening TO us. Often outside influences and factors affect our happiness, even if moments prior we were ticking along just fine.

I call this our 'maintain state capacity' however, the way we translate any situation is based on our personal historical interactions. Instinctively, if we've had a similar encounter before in our life, the outcomes of that involvement, inform how we should respond to this one.

This is all decided in microseconds at a subconscious level, without us having any choice in the matter. We are all pre-programmed to be safe from danger. (Unfortunately, the oldest part of our brain, didn't get the memo that saber tooth tigers are extinct).

As a result any now, any feelings and associated reasons deemed as 'uncomfortable' - or higher up the consciousness scale of shame, grief, fear, anger, and so on - get locked away for future reference.

A little gremlin then guards those feelings and all interpretations of what caused those feeling as our 'truth about safety'. Hence limiting beliefs* and Axioms* have been established.

When we are able to adjust the focus of a situation, beyond our own scope of seeing it, we not only gain a bigger picture, but we adapt our neuro-pathways.

Training ourselves to think twice before deciding on a course of action, also increases our empathic abilities.

The other day I was supporting somebody to understand a conflict with their mum, then she uttered one of the most satisfying statements, to me.

"I've never thought of it like that."

To me, this is the power of our minds. To see, consider, then feel things, in an alternative way. She literally had a perspective shift in her mind and body.

Helping somebody that is suffering, to discover a new way of seeing a situation, brings me great happiness. Her unhappiness? Well, it went down from 8 to 3, just through thinking differently.

Emotion researchers, define empathy as 'the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling'.

Using “cognitive empathy,” sometimes called “perspective taking” improves our happiness levels.

We are actively looking for more clues to the full story of our lives. Not to be confused with compassion, Empathy refers more generally to 'our ability to consider the perspective of and relate to the feelings and emotions of another person'.

Compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help.

  • Empathy - understanding others' feelings
  • Compassion - a desire to act upon those feelings

When we are empathetic with others, we create resonance.

We have all had moments when somebody shared something that resonated with us. At that moment, we really 'got' the other person. Resonance is crucial to the relationships with our loved ones and for those, we care about around us.

It's imperative that we all learn to empathise (yes! it's a learned skill) to grow and deepen our most important relationships. Whether personally or professionally, learning to empathise with others, brings us increased happiness. Win/Win!


Our happiness cannot be altered unless we allow it to be. When we are truly happy within ourselves it's a lot easier to stay in that state and to empathise with others without being knocked off course. 

Additionally, as we achieve deeper inter-human connection and a broader understanding of compassionate resonance. This improved ability to resonate will increase our ability to see things from other perspectives, supporting growth and expansion for all.

Who's up for 11/10 happiness levels?

*Limiting belief - an experience that has been had and has incorrectly been interpreted in a non-serving manner.

*Axiom - a belief that has not been self-experienced, but is taken on without question.