First things first, I am not going to sit here and tell you to ‘fake it ’till you make it’ in regards to happiness. I think there’s a high price for faking any emotions and that we should strive to be genuine in all that we do. Anyway, now on to my post.
People spend their whole lives chasing happiness. They buy clothes, lose weight, and sometimes go through extreme measures to ‘become’ happy. At the same time, they have clauses on their happiness, things that they’ve decided, consciously or subconsciously, control their happiness. What does it mean to go through life as a happy individual, to truly be engaged in and enjoy what you’re doing at every moment? Here are a few tips I’ve learned and hopefully they resound with all of you in your own lives.
1. The absence of conditions:
Why would you place conditions on something that is extremely important to you? I know that all of you parents out there do not place conditions on your love for your children. You don’t sit around thinking “I’ll love my child if and only if they become a lawyer,” or things of that nature. So why do you place conditions on your happiness? Think about all of the clauses you’ve created in your own mind that you feel need to be met before you can be happy. Or, similarly, are you only happy if things go right for you during a particular day? What if you could get to the point in your life where you were happy even if the bus splashes your new outfit with mud, or you come down with a monster case of the flu, or you find out that you lost thousands of dollars in the stock market?
The way to do this is to be happy because of the biggest gift that you’ve ever been given, which is your life. So when it’s a rainy day, don’t run into stores and curse the puddles for splashing your pants, appreciate the fact that you are here to feel the rain. When your boss yells at you or your coworkers don’t seem to appreciate you, do not sit in your office boiling with anger with them, let those things bounce off of you because you have bigger and better things to be happy about.
2. Find your ‘center’
Anyone who has taken a yoga class is very familiar with their center and how important it is in your life. A persons center, or their soul, is a very important part of life which some people go their whole lives without ever becoming aware of. For all of you people out there who are afraid of spirituality, just hear me out for a few minutes, I promise it will be worth it.
Whatever you are doing to multitask right now, stop for 10 minutes. Put your phone on mute, close those other tabs, and shut your door.
Close your eyes and think about everything you are feeling right now. Things like: “I really want…..”, ” I wish she would….”, ” It makes me so angry that…”. Now think about what you just did. You observed your thoughts and emotions from your center. If you didn’t have a center, how would it be possible for you to observe what you’re feeling? Now that you have found your center, notice that while you can observe the emotions pulsing through your body, none of that affects your center. Your center/soul simply observes what your mind and body are feeling. That is what you need to hold onto to be happy in life. You will feel negative emotions in your life, we all will at some point. But the goal is not to think “what should I do to fix this feeling or make it go away?”, the goal should be to find your center and then to think “where is this feeling I am observing coming from, why, and is it reasonable in the scheme of life?” Once you have a firm understanding for why you’re feeling things, you will feel better about them almost immediately.
3. Let it bounce
Yes, bad things will happen to you. Yes, you will have things happen that make your blood start to boil. No, they do not have to control you.
Now that you have realized that there is an impenetrable center within you and that you have the enormous gift of life to be happy about, we can talk about letting bad things bounce off of you. This is not about something bad happening and then you sitting there thinking to yourself “no!! this will not affect me!”. That would be fake and unsuccessful. Things will affect you, but the best way to handle them is to let them affect you and then to observe how they are affecting you. The more you run from something, the more power it has over you. So if you drive by a building that reminds you of that time your sister got very ill, notice that within yourself, and do not try to run from it. Notice how it’s affecting every part of you, the way it makes your heart race, your muscles tighten, your mind race. Then tell yourself that that’s okay, it’s okay that you had that experience and it is understandable that it is affecting you. But then you have to let it go. Accept that it happened, accept the way it makes you feel, and then just take a deep breath, relax your muscles, and be free.
This also goes for when people speak harsh words to you. This will happen to each and every one of us in our lives, there is no escaping it. What you need to realize is that words are just words. You know who you are, what you believe in, and you have found that center that nobody can effect. So when a word hits you, notice it how it makes you feel. Think about the fact that you are not another persons words, you are yourself and no words can change who you are. There are many motives for unkind words, and the majority of the time they are not a reflection of who you are as a person. So feel that anger or that sadness, know that it’s okay that you felt that way, and then let those words roll off your back like those little drops of rain.
4. Give Happiness.
We all have so much light to give to each other. As you go about your day, are you just focusing on how things affect you, or are you looking outward and thinking about how things effect everyone around you? Do you spread happiness on a daily basis? Think about how easy it is to lift one persons heart! When you give light, you get light back. Yes, I think the whole karma concept is real.
-Instead of being ticked off about how a long line at Starbucks is affecting you, buy a coffee for the person that’s ahead of you in line
-Instead of being sour at work because you didn’t get enough sleep, go to each persons office and genuinely see how they’re doing and let them know that you appreciate something they’ve done
-Instead of being annoyed that you haven’t gotten a promotion, lift someone else up by emailing their boss about what a good job they’ve been doing
-The easiest thing in the whole darn world? Smile at every person you see.
If you go through life all upset about everything, why would people be happy with you? Put your energy into lifting people up and helping them, not on things you might be unhappy about.