I have always been fascinated by subjects about happiness. How can we experience happiness? Clearly happiness means different things to different people, so I only can support my own understanding of happiness. For me happiness is the inner contentment and joy we have with ourselves and our surroundings. It has to do with how we perceive the outside world and the way we respond to it.
Bottom line, happiness is a choice no matter what our definition of it is. Please don’t misunderstand me. I know many people go through difficulties, hardships and major pains in their lives and my heart goes out to them. Pain is part of life and needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. There is a period of mourning , and grief is crucial for releasing the pain and coming in terms with it. What I’m referring to when I say happiness is a choice in this case has to do with whether or not we want to continue feeling unhappy because of the painful experiences we go through in life. Do we rely on circumstances beyond our control to determine how we should feel? Isn’t it better to claim the part we have control over? Wouldn’t we feel more powerful about ourselves if we start taking responsibility for whether or not we want to be happy? I like the phrase ‘pain is inevitable but suffering is optional’. This is what I’m talking about. We do have a choice. As social beings we are there to help each other. This is part of our humanness. It is important that we reach out and ask someone to assist us with getting out of a cycle that doesn’t serve us. For some of us, this is our life lesson and might take our whole life to master. What is important is whether or not we choose to do this.
So, what about those of us who went through a major trauma and want to find happiness in their lives once again? What is the way out? The following are some of the steps that will help us gain our happiness back:
You must really want it
check with yourself when you wake up every morning and see where your energy is. Do you enjoy repeating the same painful story? If so, find out why? Is it where your comfort zone is? Are you afraid of the unknown? Is that how you can get love and attention from other people? Is it a chronic habit?…For some people it might be the only way to get attention or feel loved, for others it might be a habit or even a belief. Do you think life is unfair? Look at your beliefs and find out if you are willing to replace them with another point of view. That’s the starting point. This is the first step. We only can take small steps. We can’t keep digging the ground to see if the seed we planted is sprouting. Doing that will eventually kill it. We shouldn’t be disappointed if we don’t see any results for a while. We need to keep trying and wanting to change our perception. Our thoughts and their underlying energy create our reality. It is not enough if you say you want to change your belief. Every cell of your body must want this.
Accepting “What Is!”
“It is what it is”. This is not to become passive about making changes, but to accept our situation without fighting it. Only after we stop fighting with where we are and who we are can we start opening the door to bringing more wonderful things to our lives.
Ask for help. (counseling, friends. Support groups)
it’s very difficult to do it alone without the help of others. It is part of our blueprint to need each other’s support. Studies show that in the societies with a communal support, people recover from their grief in a shorter span of time. Also, seeking professional help provides us with tools that can assist us through this process.
Are you a chronically negative thinker? Are you inclined to criticize things? Do you always complain? Is it hard for you to trust? Do you have a hard time to give or receive help? If so, you might want to watch your thoughts and find out why that is. Positive thinkers happen to overcome their difficulties much faster. There are a lot of articles and books on the power of positive thinking. Happiness and positive thoughts go hand in hand. It is a good practice to monitor our thoughts and catch ourselves when we approach things negatively.
The power of affirmations
Affirmations might not work for some people at first, but once practicing diligently, they eventually become a powerful tool. They cannot be repeated mechanically, but rather we need to engage our heart and our whole being when repeating them. Not the same affirmations work for everyone. Find or create an affirmation that works for you. The simpler the better. You want to remember and repeat them with ease. Something as simple as “I choose to be happy now” might be enough.
Nurture yourself and practice self-love
Spend time taking care of yourself and your needs. When we take care of ourselves, we become more confident and happy. Look into your eyes in the mirror and express your love for yourself. Many of us might have a difficult time with this at first, but don’t give up. Continue doing this and feel how your body reacts to it. Feel it with your whole heart. In due time you will be able to feel more and more love for yourself. This is a very powerful exercise for it allows us to accept who we are regardless of the circumstances.
More and more we hear about the benefits of meditation. It helps us mentally, emotionally and physically. If you have never meditated before, you can start by closing your eyes, while focusing your attention on your heart or the space between your eyebrows and watch your breathing just as if you’re witnessing another person’s breathing. Be an observer of your breath and your thoughts. Don’t get engaged with your thoughts rather let them pass through as if you’re watching the clouds. Start practicing for 5 minutes at first and gradually increase the time.
Focus on things that are good in your life and be grateful for them. Express your gratitude. When we shift our consciousness to see the blessings in our lives rather than the sufferings, we attract more good to ourselves. Get in the habit of doing it every morning after you wake up and when you go to bed at night. A gratitude journal where you write down things you are grateful for during the day is also very helpful.
Happiness is an inner choice and an inner determination. By no means do I want to suggest that unhappy people have a problem. My intention here is to tell you there is a hope and a goal for us to achieve. I am on the same journey. Like everyone else I also have challenging days and struggle with being happy. What helps me is that I set an intention every morning when I wake up to start my day with positive energy. I also meditate and that helps me a lot.
I would love to hear back from you. I invite you to leave your comments below and share your thoughts on this with me.Share This