Life is essentially about the pursuit of happiness for many of us. We spend our lives doing things, hoping they will bring us happiness. But examine this sentence more closely; “we pursue happiness.” For many of you, happiness always remains a few steps ahead, and instead of feeling good, you feel stressed, driven to achieve and agitated.
The secret to happiness is not in outer circumstances; it’s an inner choice. You can decide to choose happiness today. Let’s look at some things you can do to make this happen.
- Make the decision to be happy now
Don’t look at happiness as some future goal. It isn’t a new computer, a new jacket or a trip to a ski resort. It’s a feeling from deep within that you implement in the here and the now. Deep-seated happiness is not dependent on outer circumstances.
Understand that happiness is your natural state. It is the core of your being. It is not a fleeting feeling attached to outer circumstance. Life has its ups and downs, but happiness is eternal. When you are feeling down, simply look at it as some interference in your natural state. Take a few deep breaths and return to your balance. This way, you can navigate any storm with ease, poise and confidence.
- You hold the keys to your happiness
As I stated earlier, happiness is our natural state of being. It is our birthright!
Despite this fact, it can be very easy to get side tracked and become blinded by stress, anger, sadness, grief, disappointment, jealousy and other negative emotions. Well, these negative emotions can teach us a lot so we should accept and acknowledge them when they appear. Why do these feelings appear? What are they trying to tell you? How are they catalyzing growth and change? Once you see these negative emotions as tools for growth, to make you better, brighter, stronger and wiser, you can be happy that you have been given this opportunity for change and growth.
When negative feelings start to get you down, breathe deeply in and out. Let go of the painful feelings with each exhale. Allow them to dissipate simply. You will feel strong in your neutrality. Continue this process until you feel better and clearer.
- Happiness is not based on outer circumstances
Happiness is not a new car though it may seem like the two are tied together. Happiness is an inner state of being. As it is your natural state, it is really easy to return to it with practice. This is what our spiritual practice helps us achieve. We use meditation, reading spiritual books and other self-help books, articles and blogs to help us reinforce the connection to our inner state of happiness.
To be happy, you do not have to give up all your goals, and worldly possessions; whenever you are feeling down, you can use meditation and other spiritual tools to help you let go and reinstate the connection to that inner happiness that is always there.
- The only person who can really affect your state of mind is you!
Yes, it can seem like we are on a small boat in the middle of turbulent ocean -waters tossed around on the waves like a toy with no means to steer clear of the storms, but we have so much more control than that. We can choose how we react even on a mental plane.
If someone is nasty to you, choose to let that not get to you. You can realize that when someone else is mean, it’s because they have a problem. In that regard, you can choose to have pity on them instead of getting enraged. Maintain your peace of mind and also see things for what they are. Inner happiness grants us so much clarity.
- There is always something you can do to improve any situation
No matter how bad things get, there is always something you can do to be proactive and remedy things to some extent. If you are low on money, look for a better job, sell things you don’t need, sell some handmade items or look for an odd job to earn extra money.
If you feel sad because you are single and would love to meet someone, start a new hobby where you will meet people. If you start doing something you love, your chances of finding someone you can bond with over a mutual interest are higher.
The point is you can always change things no matter how stuck things seem or change your response and your perspective.
- Happiness is what you make it
For some people, finding pleasure in the little things is worth so much. Instead of striving for big goals like the perfect house or perfect car or perfect mate, take delight in a well-prepared meal, a sunset, a shared moment with friends. Find joy in simplicity. This will help you find happiness everywhere and cherish the simple things in life.
- Happiness is relaxation
If it feels like happiness is a constant carrot dangling in front of you, just stop. Take a moment, breathe deeply and realize happiness is that inner safe place within you. You can go there anytime. Happiness is being at peace and in harmony with yourself. It is finding that relaxed state, and staying there. It takes practice to keep you in that place, and it gets easier with time.
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