Happiness is defined as a state of pleasure, satisfaction, or contentment. It is a state of being. It is not something that we are meant to achieve once and then have forever more. We either are or we aren’t in the moment. The more moments of joy we experience, the happier we feel.
For me, my happiness is largely related to me feeling good physically. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and spending some time in nature helps me feel good. I also take the time to connect with myself through yoga and mediation or simply take a few minutes to just breathe. When you give yourself time to connect with the essence that is you, you give yourself a chance to feel the love that your inner being has for you. Nobody else can give that to you. I didn’t realize how powerful and deeply satisfying meditation was until I started practicing sitting and breathing for 10-15 minutes a day a few times a week (I wish I could say that I do it everyday, but I’m working on it!)
When you breathe and slow your thoughts, you give yourself an opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and connect with your inner being or your higher self. You feel more centered, more satisfied, and more whole. This is where you will find happiness. Feelings of frustration or fear or self-loathing will begin to dissipate, and the true essence that is within you will begin to flow to you and through you. Your inner being adores you. When you focus upon your failures or inadequacies or worry and project negative thoughts about your future or spend time regretting your past, your inner being does not agree with those thoughts so therefore you don’t feel good thinking them.
Notice when you’re feeling good, and be willing to admit when you’re not. It’s ok to feel down. Without the lows, there wouldn’t be those highs. If you were happy all the time, you wouldn’t feel that rush you feel in moments of elation. Good days bring you joy, but bad days bring you wisdom and often clarity.
I do not like it when I’m feeling down, but I know that I will feel better if I let myself acknowledge it. When you are feeling negative emotion, ask yourself some questions like, “Why am I feeling this way? What does this emotion feel like? Where is it coming from?” Try to give it a name such as sadness, fear, anger or regret. When you give negative emotion a label, you aren’t as bothered by it because you can better separate yourself from it. You will realize that the unhappy feeling is not who you are, it’s just how you’re feeling. Everything is temporary and we are given a new opportunity in every moment.
We can experience more moments of pleasure and contentment by remembering to look for things to appreciate. Feelings of gratitude and appreciation boost dopamine and serotonin. It’s not even the finding of things to be grateful for, just the process of searching for something triggers the release of these feel good brain chemicals. Even the smallest things are worth appreciating if it makes you feel good to focus on them. A pretty tree outside, the sky, or the fact that you have running water, electricity, and a warm bed to sleep in. The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for. Like attracts like. The more often you are in a state of appreciation. the more enjoyable things will flow into your experience.
So to sum it up, remember to:
*Look for things to appreciate (just looking is enough to give you a boost).
*Take time to breathe and connect with your inner being or essence.
*Put a label to your negative emotion so you can separate from it a bit.
*Take care of yourself. Do something that helps you feel good.