But if we are being totally honest, most of us have been plagued by the constant pursuit, believing that to find happiness you need chase after it. Only on those rare occasions do we slow down enough to see that happiness is a choice that we surrender to now.
Since the beginning of recorded history (and I suspect long before that) the great wisdom teachers have imparted the power and joy of living now.
The now is the only place you will find happiness and conversely that’s how you know that you are living in this moment; you’re happy. The chief source of unhappiness, pain and suffering is the result of not being present. ‘
When you are living constantly in your head, living in the “not now,” you will find yourself suffering from, lack of sleep, lack of joy, lack of intimacy, no real peace, lack of time, slow to heal and no inspiration or flow.
This list of “symptoms” are probably enough to convince you to at least consider an alternative approach. That is, to find happiness now.
Deciding to be fully present is the key that will unlock the door to happiness now.
Ok, so you believe that committing to happiness now is a great idea, in fact it sounds like it would be fun. But what can you do to become more present and commit to happiness?
Practice meditation; because it’s a practice of focus and it creates “space” or a “gap” in the internal dialog the otherwise runs nonstop in your brain.
Along with practicing meditation, there are a number of “happiness practices” that scientific studies have shown, will let you tap into your power to make yourself happier.
Here’s a partial list from a number of different sources and throughout this site you will discover others.
Making lists, it turns out, do more than just keep you on track it “materializes” your emotions. You can make gratitude list (or gratitude journal, if you prefer), a kindness list (powerful technique from used by Sonja Lyubomirsky) or a “happiness list,” (things that cultivate optimism).
The research has proven that people who made a list of at least three good things that happened to during their day were significantly happier than the control group.
Spend money on others. One study concluded that the most altruistic among us are also the happiest. So, money can buy happiness, maybe, just not in the way society you to believe.
Delaying gratification; it may seem a bit counter-intuitive but anticipating happiness actually will make you happier. When you forestall a pleasurable event, like an evening out (and, one word “foreplay”), you prolong the fun. This it turns out is part of human nature and a road to happiness.
Don’t defend your point of view. In Deepak’s book “The Happiness Prescription,” tells us “That there is no such thing as one and only one correct perspective.” And according to Deepak, “You can save 99 percent of your psychological energy — and feel happier — if you can stop defending your point of view.”
Get more Sleep. According to a British study, if you get at least six plus hours of sleep, you will be among the happiest of people. (In fact the study was specific in that those who slept six hours and 15 minutes were the happiest.
Count your friends. This is a case for the “more the merrier.” Research is showing that if you have ten close friends you will be happier that those who counted less than that.
In truth nurturing social relationships is one of the “must haves” if you really want to fully commit to happiness.
Practicing meditation opens the door to being in the now and committing to a few of the “happiness practices” will create a shift that will allow greater joy, peace and happiness flow into your life. Finding happiness now, doesn’t that sound like fun?
On the way we learn the secrets for living mindfully and with effortless spontaneity. Now happiness is no longer hostage to external events but an experience we carry with us always. As Chopra inspiringly concludes, “Everything we fear in the world and want to change can be transformed through happiness, the simplest desire we have, and also the most profound.”