There have been times in my life, where I would say that I have not been a happy person. During these times, I struggled to find happiness. It just seemed to elude me, and no matter how hard I worked, I could not seem to figure out the how behind being happy. I wanted some magic formula that would help pull me out of my misery, yet as I later realised, you cannot find the solution while looking at the problem!
It was my curious nature that lead me on a journey of self-reflection and introspection, and I spent many years of my life on a ‘seeking’ journey, attempting to discover what the secret was to being happy. After reading book after book, attending seminars and doing a lot of self work, I began to get to the bottom of all this happiness stuff, and understand what I had been doing wrong for all these years.
WHERE WE GO WRONG WITH HAPPINESS
Many people’s experience of happiness is very reactive. Rather than being in control of their happiness, they simply react to external events as they happen, and this determines whether or not they are happy. If something good happens, they feel happy, but if something bad happens, then that sense of happiness can be whisked away in an instant.
They also look to the external world for their happiness. They feel that whether they are happy or not, is determined by the people, events or circumstances outside of them. If they have that job they will be happy. Or, if they get that boyfriend they will be happy. Of if they get that pay rise they will be happy. They have no awareness of how to actually create happiness, and have lost touch with the power that they have inside of them.
Living this way blocks you from ever being able to experience lasting peace. Instead, it creates an uncontrollable anxiety. There is a constant fear of these things being taken away as this would mean happiness would be taken away too.
THE SOURCE OF TRUE HAPPINESS
So, what is the source of true happiness? It is you. It is your mind. It is the thoughts you choose to think, and the way you choose to see the world. It is everything inside you.
Your level of happiness in any moment is determined by how you are thinking. When you are focusing on things you like, thinking in positive and optimistic ways, and appreciating this present moment, happiness naturally bubbles forth.
It is not until we begin to block ourselves with our negative thinking that things go pear shaped. Negative thinking is like a brick wall that sits between you and your happiness. As long as you choose to indulge in low level, disempowering, negative and harmful ways of thinking, your happiness will be out of reach.
INTERNAL VS. EXTERNAL SOURCES OF HAPPINESS
You may find that things in the external world bring you happiness, and that is ok. If you gain happiness from buying yourself gorgeous clothes, indulging in a mani pedi, having a fit, sexy body going on a holiday, or driving an expensive car, then I believe there is nothing wrong with that.
However, there is a disclaimer. It is fine to have external sources of happiness, yet the trouble arises, when your happiness is dependent on those external things. When you are not happy unless you have the fancy car, or the skinny body or that boyfriend on your arm, or the designer wardrobe, then you have totally screwed up the true meaning of happiness.
You need to create a balance between internal and external sources of happiness, but you also need to remember what the true source of happiness is. You. You are the source of your own happiness. Yet, you ou are also the source of your unhappiness. You have to take full responsibility for that too. We are creators of our own reality, so you have to take credit for the good stuff as well as the bad.
Lasting happiness cannot be found outside of you. Happiness is not created by anything we get, gain or acquire in the external world. The moment you realise that, you will naturally become happier. Once you cease to strive for happiness, you will naturally feel more at peace.
HOW TO CREATE HAPPINESS
Take back your power: Remember that you are in the drivers seat of your own happiness. You are 100% responsible for whether we are going to respond in a happy and positive way to something, or in a negative and pessimistic way.
Think differently: Begin to choose new ways of thinking. Clear out your mind of any of the negative, junky thoughts. Create more positive and empowering ways of seeing things.
+ Choose love over fear
+ Choose peace over struggle
+ Choose letting go over holding on
+ Choose forgiveness over resentment
+ Choose compassion over blame
+ Choose faith over worry
Pay attention to your emotions: Notice how you are feeling. When you are starting to feel a bit crappy, it is highly likely like you have just been thinking some crappy, low level thoughts. In general, many of us feel that our emotions just happen. But that is not the case. They are closely tied to the thoughts you think.
Nourish your body: Eating well creates more happiness. A nourished body = a nourished mind. A nourished mind = a happy mind. And a happy mind = happiness!!
Meditate: When I meditate, I naturally find that I feel happier. What is that, when I have not actually gotten anything, nor have I really done anything? It is because when I meditate I cease thinking negative thoughts. In fact, I cease to think at all. It is simply negative thoughts that prevent happiness. As soon as you remove the negative thoughts, you will naturally start to feel happy.
Do more of what makes you happy: The more you do things that make you happy, and think in ways that create happiness, the happier and happier you will feel. So make sure you prioritise tasks that you know make you feel happy.