What does “feeling happy” mean? I believe it means feeling at peace, satisfied, content, hopeful, joyful, relieved, positive, good…
It’s the absence of wanting, worry, anxiety, depression, frustration, stress, tension…
When you feel happy you have more energy, you vibrate positively and allow more well-being to come to you. I also believe there are some practical things you can do which will help you to feel happier. This is what this post is about.
We often think that we will feel better / happy when…
We often think that we will feel better / happy when we get to a certain point or when we get something we want –
when I have more money then…
when I lose weight then….
when my business picks up then….
when I get a new job then…..
when I have more time then….
when I meet the man / woman of my dreams then….
This is illusory madness which you can easily prove to yourself simply by considering your past behavior.
Most of us want what we want because we believe that in the having of it we will feel better / happy, but this is not possible.
Think back to a time when you wanted something because you believed it would ‘make’ you feel happy. It might have for a short time, but if you’re honest it would not have been long before you were looking to the next thing to make you feel happy again.
The reason for this is that happiness is a state of being which cannot be permanently realised by attaining something in the future. Happiness comes from choosing to feel happy NOW.
Feeling happy must come…
The truth is, feeling happy must come from within.
“You will feel happy when you consciously and consistently choose to feel better than you do without needing to get or have anything else first.” MARCUS BAKER
I believe you won’t ever be satisfied with whatever you desire externally because the truth is that you are here on this planet to expand. Wanting things is part of this process and will be never ending.
This is why we are always setting new goals to achieve more; so that we can expand personally and expand universal consciousness.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting things however believing that by having more or less of something will make you happy period is totally flawed and an impossibility.
The Happiest Man in the World
Maybe we can learn some more about how to feel happy from the man who was recently labelled as the happiest person in the world by popular media.
Mattieu Ricard is a 65 year old Frenchman, a Buddhist monk and an ex academic, who now lives in Nepal.
He was a volunteer subject in a study performed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on happiness. Results show that he scored significantly beyond the average obtained after testing hundreds of other volunteers.
Ricard went on to co-author a study on the brains of long-term meditators, including himself, in which he detailed the benefits of developing what he called the ‘habits of happiness’.
He concluded that to feel happy is simply a matter of training our minds in the right way.
I firmly believe this myself having experienced significant changes to my own happiness after spending the last ten years implementing a daily regime of mind training activities, so I was particularly interested in the following statistics.
To Feel Happy Depends on Three Areas
According to recent research, happiness is -
40% how we spend our day, and
10% life circumstances
I have to admit I had never considered that to feel happy would have anything to do with my genes so I was intrigued to know whether this statistic can be influenced in any way.
Can you Influence Your Gene Statistic to Feel Happy?
Research talks about a set point and a set range so there is no reason why you can’t push yourself to the top end of your range. It has also been shown that regular meditators are most likely to be at the top of their set range.
The good news however is that 40 % has to do with how you view your life which is affected by the activities you attend to regularly.
Why do you Want to Feel Happy?
Unless you get some kind of macabre kick from suffering, we all want to feel happy.
There are many names for the emotions we feel but actually there are only two types you need to be able to identify – feeling good and not feeling good.
All you want to do is make sure that for most of the time you are feeling good!
When we’re happy, we feel good as opposed to fearful, depressed, overwhelmed and the like.
We feel invincible, unstoppable, full of positive expectation and we’re hopeful about our future.
We feel light and relieved from stress and anxiety.
More importantly, when we feel happy by training our minds deliberately we also give up the futile belief that we will feel happy by getting something that we don’t yet have.
Being happy is what unleashes our energy vibration so that we are better able to allow the law of attraction to work in our lives.
Consequently you become naturally more productive and successful when you deliberately position yourself to feel happy.
Start Working on Your 40% Using These Three Tips to Feel Happy
Tip #1 – To feel happy, commit random and intentional acts of kindness
Some off-line ideas might be to pay somebody’s parking meter, donate blood or let somebody into the traffic.
On-line you might offer to help someone with something you know will improve their blog but which they might not know about, give somebody your Ebook for free or give your affiliate commission back to someone who buys a product using your link.
It has been proved over and over again that when we give to others without expecting anything in return we feel significant and happier as a result of our contribution.
See if in the week ahead you can commit to one random or intentional act of kindness everyday.
Tip #2 – To feel happy, focus on the positive
We are born with what is called a negativity bias. This means our brains scan for what can go wrong.
It’s not actually a bad thing since it’s a survival mechanism but over time we have become so unfocused that we are unable to discern when using this is useful and when it could be detrimental to our well-being.
It is possible to re-ignite our innate focusing ability but at first it does mean we will have to work extra hard, growing a positive bias.
Learn to see what’s right about about every situation and affirm what you DO WANT, as opposed to what you don’t want.
When you catch yourself thinking or saying what you don’t like or want, stop immediately and ask yourself, “Well what do I want?”
Remember WWW – What’s working well? Train yourself to look for the positive every day, all day.
It takes a little practice but the more you do it, the better your awareness will become and before you know it you’ll be doing it naturally.
Years ago I used to allow the weather to affect my state of mind. If it was anything other than sunny and warm I would somehow allow this to impact on my happiness.
Of course this is totally ridiculous as we can’t control the weather and I knew this on an intellectual level but that did nothing to help the problem.
So I trained myself out of this habit. Every morning when I got up I trained myself to look out the window and say out loud,
“It’s a beautiful (sunny, rainy, cold, windy, snowy, dull etc) day which means…. ”
I would always find something positive to add to my sentence. If it was raining I’d say something like,
“It’s a beautiful rainy day which means all the plants are being watered so I won’t have to water the garden which will save me time.”
I no longer do this but that’s because the weather no longer has any control over my emotional state.
One thing I learned the hard way is that you don’t train you mind by reading about it, thinking about it or wishing it will happen. You have to do it. It’s like a muscle that needs training and you have to do it every day until it becomes a habit.
In the week ahead see if you can become aware of how often you are focused on what’s wrong or missing in your life, then commit to putting a plan in place to change your non serving habit every day.
Tip #3 – To feel happy, let go of grudges
Forgiveness can be tricky, however the grudges to be released here are the ones that have passed their use-by date.
You will need to think deeply about these as we are conditioned to pack them away safely where they can’t bother us on a conscious level. Unfortunately they do the damage unconsciously, regardless.
Holding on to grudges often leads to an unconscious build up of the emotions of anger and resentment. These are very counter productive to our happiness.
The benefits of forgiveness are not so much for the other person but because YOU let go of these burdensome emotions yourself.
A number of research projects have been undertaken in recent years and all showed how forgiveness impacted significantly on happiness and well-being
I suggest you do what I do, take time everyday to think of one person you can can forgive for something. How you do this is up to you. You might just say a prayer or call them and express your forgiveness if you can.
Since it’s not really about them but you, it’s also a great idea to write them a letter in which you express this.
Don’t send the letter unless this is your intention. It is important to conclude the activity however, either by burning it or throwing it away. This signifies that it is over.
Oh and just because you think you have forgiven someone don’t be surprised if you still have more forgiving to do. That’s fine, it’s your continued intention that will get you there in the end.
I also forgive myself each night before I go to sleep for being hard on myself in any way during the day.
When you accept that feeling happy can be impacted by what you do and think right now then it means you don’t have to wait for anything to feel happy. The choice is yours.
What makes you happy? Do you have any other tips to pass on from your own experience?
Post Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mat_in_Tibet-D4784s.jpg
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