As I sit and ponder this idea of being happy, a quote comes to mind " The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things" by Henry Ward Beecher. Not always the easiest thing to do, but worth a try if we are to find it right?
It's so easy to think you'll find happiness once your problems in life are all solved, of course the issue with that is there's always another problem right around the corner, just waiting to steal your happiness. If you are going to live happily you have to learn how to do so regardless of what problems there may be. If happiness is a destination you are waiting to arrive at then you could be in for a long ride. The assumption here for people is that happiness comes from outside of you. It does not. While there are obviously things that happen in your life that make you feel either happy or unhappy, the fact is that these experiences come and they go. The key to life is that it is never an outside job.
Living happily depends mainly on your inner life, meaning your thoughts, emotions, desires your entire mental and emotional scene. Happiness is about what you think and believe, how you feel, how problems affect you. This may sound obvious, but often we focus instead on our external lives, on getting and spending and “having fun” and then wonder why we are not happy. But it’s when our inner lives are serene that we are happiest – and this is inner peace.
The difficulty is that our inner lives are based on patterns and habits. Those beliefs that have been seeded in our subconscious mind and control our every step. In this state you don’t choose, occasion by occasion, how you respond inside. This happens and you feel angry; that happens and you feel sad. Because of these habits, events don’t necessarily leave you with inner peace. So the key is to change the patterns and acquire new inner habits, new programming.
So then we are tasked with the idea of reprogramming ourselves to be happy, how? First, decide to be happy and consciously choose it every single day. This idea of course is about becoming mindful, getting off of auto-pilot. Mindfulness is a key inner skill because, as it gets stronger, it lets you focus on your own inner life and catch your habits in the act. Once you can see what they do the change you are seeking often happens of its own accord. Next, value happiness, Your choices are based on your values. If you regulate happiness to a low priority in life, other choices will take precedence. Where’s happiness located on your list relative to work, taking care of others, spending money, etc.? We move to Benevolence: It comes as a surprise when you first hear it but benevolence or love starts off as a practical skill which counteracts negative emotions like anger and hatred, terrible wreckers of happiness. Try it the next time someone annoys you: put yourself in their place and ask yourself what they might be thinking or feeling to behave like that. It doesn’t mean they should get away with it, but if you get into the habit of thinking more tolerantly – understanding that their actions are also ruled by inner habits – you’ll find you can react with less anger. And less anger equals more happiness for you, because you are more equipped to choose your response. Another important concept or skill to practice is that of Letting-go: This is particularly helpful when we are unhappy not getting what we want. We have been programmed to believe more is better, whether it’s clothes or money or even love. But letting go helps us to release the notion that we have to be in control, or have material things to be happy. In letting go we also learn how to practice forgiveness. Bad things happen to good people. Good people make bad mistakes. There’s nothing you can do about it other than forgive and move on to making yourself happy again. When you hold onto bad feelings from the past, you prolong your suffering. Don’t give unhappy thoughts a home. Let negative thoughts and feelings drift away, and as they drift away.
Create positive ones to balance-out the negatives. You need to generate a minimum of five positive moments to offset the negative emotions that are automatically aroused by a bad situation. Keep a list of what makes you happy, and generate at least five of those experiences to eliminate the negative. Practice being happy, because it is like a muscle - it gets stronger the more you exercise it. Keeping yourself happy is like staying in shape. You’ll become better at it the more you do it. It will become easier to do. And eventually it will become a habit, a new program seeded in your subconscious mind that you’ll really miss when you don’t do it.
You can face any challenge in life if you have faith in yourself and in a higher power. To renew your energy, you need to make time to replenish your spirit through whatever acts or rituals that make your heart sing! Happiness is your natural state of being, claim it!