Sunday, November 20, 2016

Be Happy No Matter What

So, be happy! When you feel happy,you worry less about what you don't have and have more freedom to do and be what feels right to you. When you feel happy you are less insecure, more centered in who you are. So do it. Be happy!

Being happy gives a certain kind of energy that you can use to change not only your life but also the world. When you are happy you are likely to be more helpful and empathetic toward others. You have the energy to DO things, to accomplish more, to pursue Truth.

To be happy is a skill or habit you can develop:

  • Be more playful, more spontaneous. Disappear into the lighter and more fun experience. Let go of self-consciousness. Laugh with friends, throw a Frisbee, cook something great, play with a pet, play with a small child. Really live the experience. 
  • Cultivate gratitude. Make a list of five different things you are grateful for, once each week. Write thank you notes to important people in your life. Tell them what it is about them that you are most grateful for. Practice saying "thank you" more often. Tell the people you come in contact with in a day what you appreciate about them.
  • Exercise more. Yes, I know. You wonder what that has to do with happiness. But it is shown in many scientific studies that people who exercise twenty minutes a day are less likely to be depressed. Take a walk. Play sports. Do something that keeps you moving for twenty minutes - it doesn't have to be hard or fast, just keep moving.
  • Connect with people you like and love, of course. But also personal acts of kindness toward those outside your regular circle helps you feel good about yourself and give good energy into the world. Vary your kindnesses to include novel experiences that keep things light and happy.
  • Meditate. Meditations helps you to detach from negative judgments that cross your mind. It helps you act more from your center. There are a variety of meditation styles. Find what fits for you.
Remember a while back I talked about finding pieces of happiness throughout the day? Noticing the sky's glorious colors can be a piece of happiness. Look for all the little and big things that bring happiness to your awareness. Consider creating a happiness bank. Deposit pieces of happiness in it and review those deposits at the end of the day. Maybe you want to write those down and put them in a jar. Maybe you want to keep a happiness log. Whatever works for you to keep you looking at happiness in your life.

When you are focused on feeling happy you will be amazed at how much better life is for you and the people around you. Share your happiness. Send out happiness pieces into the world and make everyone's day a bit brighter.

And when you are focused on noticing those happiness pieces, you can be happy no matter what.

[I am Grateful for the book How to Be Alive by Colin Beavan for many of the ideas in these posts about being happy.]

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