Happy, happy, happy – we all want to be happy. Why is that simple goal so elusive? Follow these steps to get closer to happiness than ever before.
HAPPINESS IS A JOURNEY
Most of us think of happiness as a goal and have clear ideas as to what will make us happy, even though we can’t quite see how to get there. But happiness is, in fact, a journey. On the way to it you will realise many things that will alter your idea of what happiness actually is. To paraphrase the poet T.S Eliot, we all keep striving and the end of all our efforts is to wake up and to find that all along we have been just where we want to be! So, as you embark on your quest for happiness, keep an open mind and be prepared to discover things along the way.
Here we look at:
- Getting to the root of it all
- Being with positive people
- Not taking it all too seriously
GET TO THE ROOT OF IT ALL
True happiness certainly does not come from self-analysis. However, it’s always a good idea to get to know yourself better, so you can recognize the triggers that set you off in the wrong direction. For instance, if you grew up in poverty and without real love you may see money as the answer to happiness. But probably your mind is getting all that you lacked mixed up, and you’ve arrived at an answer that’s understandable – but wrong. It was that sense of being cared for that you really needed.
Love cannot be bought and neither can happiness. Money is a seductive goal, because it’s something you can control. Maybe happiness doesn’t come with any sense of control, however. Try to see where you’re ‘hung up’ on a belief of what will make you happy. Chances are it wouldn’t.
Life isn’t about one big thing, one big achievement or possession. It’s about a host of small things, strung together. True enjoyment is actually being with what you have. Something as simple as a beautiful rose or a glorious sunset can fill you with bliss. The sensation of touch, of sunshine, of breeze in your hair can be wonderful.
However many houses you have, however many soft beds to lie in and panoramic views to survey, you can only ever enjoy one at a time. The richest person of all is the one that can live in the moment. savouring all the pleasurable sensations and being totally present in the amazing sense of the here and now.
Because our culture is all about striving, looking to the future, planning and being three steps ahead in our thoughts, we get in the habit of missing the ‘now’. Teach yourself to be present in your body and discover the ‘precious present’.
WANT WHAT YOU HAVE
Want, want, want – most of us are focused on the next thing on our list of possessions or achievements. That’s such a shame because we often forget the lovely things we have, or take them for granted.
Next time you feel that itch of discontentment, stop for a moment to consider all that you have. Force yourself to concentrate on something you have that, in fact, you treasure, without realising. Think how amazing it is, how much happiness it brings you. Imagine how life would be without it, and then imagine it being given to you. How fabulous! Concentrate on this feeling of gratitude. Do this often enough and you may well find that ‘I want’ changes to ‘How lucky I am to have…’
DO A KIND DEED
Instead of concentrating on pleasurable things for yourself, do some thing really kind for another. You’ll be surprised how great that makes you feel. Research has shown that doing a good deed has a triple positive effect. It’s lovely for the recipient, enriching for the one who is kind and also heartening for anyone who witnesses it.
You may feel cross and grouchy and the last thing you may feel like doing is a favour for someone else, but try it! Although at first it may seem a bit of a drag, your enthusiasm will soon grow and with it your ‘happiness factor’.
HAPPINESS RUBS OFF
Although it’s enriching to help friends who are down, that’s different from hanging around with people who are negative, envious, complaining – or, worst of all, unkind. If you’re surrounded by people like that you may have come to accept it as the norm, but it isn’t, at least not if you want to be happy. So tell your depressing friends that you don’t want to dwell on what’s wrong with life and try to change the subject. Hopefully they will buck up their ideas and spread a bit of sunshine, but if not find better company.
USE TECHNOLOGY WISELY
Surfing the Net, Facebooking, tweeting etc. can all be addictive. You may waste hours with infotech and end up feeling thoroughly fed up with yourself. However, there are some apps that you can get which help you meditate and/or think positively. If you need happiness reminders, they’re there, starting with this website!
REFUSE TO TAKE IT ALL SO SERIOUSLY
Things come and go, people behave in ways that are unexpected – life is unpredictable. Any control you believe you have is largely illusory. But what you do have control of is the way you react and your state of mind. Another secret about happiness is that it is a choice. So choose to believe everything will work out and that good things wait round the corner. Visualise this happening and you’ll draw it towards you. But more to the point you’ll feel happy right now, and that’s what it’s all about.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We’ve looked at several ways to boost your happiness including getting to the root of discontent, enjoying small pleasures, wanting what you have, doing a kind deed, being with positive people using technology wisely and refusing to take things seriously. Give all of this your best shot, but don’t be afraid to ask for help if it doesn’t come easily. Our Readers are waiting to cheer you up and there can’t be a better start for your happiness journey than an insightful and helpful reading.
PUBLISHED: 28 August 2017