We generally think happiness is elusive. We think we will be happy when we have enough money or when we have the perfect relationship. Is that wrong?
Of course money, relationships, appreciation from other people, setting goals – all these things increase our happiness. There is no doubt about that. BUT – all these things don't create happiness. They increase the happiness that is already within you. They are not essential.
One of the important ways to be happy is to notice what gives you joy (Src: MS Office)
Eckhart Tolle says in the Power of Now:
|A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.|
He wasn't wrong – no matter what your life situation is, you can be completely, purely amazingly happy. You just need to lower your resistance and give yourself permission.
Here are 5 simple ways to be happy by lowering your resistance to happiness.
If I had to point out just ONE thing that is responsible for my own happiness, I would credit coming back to the present moment. The natural tendency of the mind is to think too much about the past and the future. It is to feel bad about what happened yesterday and feel anxious about what might happen tomorrow.
However, when that happens to you and you notice it, just bring yourself back to the here and now. Hear the sounds around you. Feel the YOU in your body. Observe your surroundings. Notice your breath. Feel the air brushing past you. You will feel happier almost instantly. [Hint: This tip seems so simple that you may be inclined to neglect it. But truly, try coming back to this moment for a while and notice how it makes you feel.]
Many times, fear rules our lives and we don't even realize it. But where there is fear, how can there be happiness?
A stranger is having trouble carrying his luggage. What stops you from helping? Fear – of a stranger. You lie to your boss. Why? Fear of his rejection. You may even hide something from close friends or your partner out of fear of what they may think. As long as these fears rule you, happiness will not come in.
I am not saying “give up your fears”, that is not easy. However, just be aware of them – throughout your day. And instead of succumbing to them, let them be – and do what you truly want to do. Feel the fear, but tell your wife the truth or feel the fear but help the stranger. You will feel very, very happy.
Again, why not try out this tip in your daily life? Figure out one tiny activity that makes you afraid but also excites you. Go ahead and do it. See, how your day shapes up.
This is one of the simplest and yet hardly practiced activities in our life. Imagine, if you were excited about something all day – how could you be unhappy? There is no way, right? In fact, if you are unhappy, there is a good chance that you have filled your day with actions that make you sad.
I myself used to feel just about “OK” until I figured out that I LOVE inspiring people and helping them, I love reading fantasy fiction, I love spending time with Krupa – and now I do much more of these things.
Initially, it may be difficult to add even activities that you love to your day because of your old habits. But make an effort to do so. Stop watching TV (if it doesn't excite you). Become more aware of what excites you – and do that more.
Why not make a list of some activities that truly excite you and do one of them tomorrow?
This is again something that can change your life. In our modern society, we place a lot of emphasis on rational thought and carefully thinking over things. Now that's a good thing – but a drawback of that is that we keep disregarding our emotions again and again.
You keep working at a job you hate. Or you keep repeating unhealthy relationship patterns. Or you keep doing things you don't like. Why? I am not asking you to give up rational thought, but during your day, please pay a bit more attention to the emotions you feel. If something excites you, say yes to it – even if it is different from your routine. If something does not excite you, think thrice before doing it. Respect your excitement. Respect the fact that your emotions are actually signalling to you when you are excited - “Yes, this will increase my happiness!”
If something does not seem to make rational sense but is terribly exciting, go ahead and pursue it. That is how the greatest companies are born and the greatest feats on this earth are achieved – from a place of respect for your own happiness and excitement.
You may not realize this but a BIG chunk of your happiness does eventually depend on the people you interact with a lot because it just rubs off. Don't agree? Imagine how your happiness would change if you were surrounded with super-amazing encouraging people who ALWAYS supported you and who were themselves cheerful? Similarly think of how your happiness would change if you were alone in a prison cell. How would it change if you were with people who criticized you all the time? Of course it would change – because all of us are sub-consciously affected by others in our life.
Therefore, please do make it a point to interact a LOT with the happiest people on the planet – people who excite you and help you feel even happier. Avoid people who are mostly cribbing or talking about how their life sucks. You won't even realize it and that tendency will rub off on you. In fact, if you interact with tons of happy people, then you will even have the strength to help a depressed person now and then. If you interact only with depressed people, you will go down with them too.
Why not make a list of people you do not want to associate with right now and figure out how you can do that?
Well, there you go.
Have a very, very happy day. OK, an extreeeemly happy day. I mean why not? Go ahead and take action by implementing atleast one of the ways to be happy I've mentioned above. In any case, there's nothing wrong in trying.
Yes, you can be happy!
PS: Have you downloaded a free copy of 100 Incredible Happiness Hacks yet? If not, check it out here.