Developing Happiness


Developing Happiness

Happiness is something that we all wish to experience for our lives. For centuries seekers have been trying to understand how we can experience this ultimate goal. Creating long-term happiness can be hard work. It means changing your world view about the definition of happiness and surrendering to negative emotions. This is not something that anyone can achieve overnight. It is a life-long commitment to the path of deep introspection and practice. If you can stay true to your path with the goal in mind, you may achieve a state of happiness that is fulfilling and sustainable.

Happiness is a life-long pursuit

If you were raised with a western mindset towards happiness then you might have your happiness wires crossed. Westerners tend to think of happiness as a momentary feeling as opposed to a state that we can live in for the long-term. In some eastern traditions it is believed that happiness  should not be limited to short-term moments of pleasure. True happiness can be seen to come with having a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. We can cultivate happiness in all these areas but it takes effort to maintain. There is a strong link between health and happiness and as we all know maintaining good health is a life-long pursuit.

Happiness comes from within

Contrary to popular belief, wealth and status do have some effect on your happiness, but only a small amount. People often feel unhappy even when they have all the possessions that should make them happy. There’s a collective belief that we must strain to find happiness as we look for it in the newest most updated versions of our devices, cars and houses. It seems as though we never advance. This is the problem with seeking happiness from outside our selves instead of focusing on our inner being. If happiness were an external phenomenon then it would always be out of our reach because our desires are limitless but our control over our circumstances is limited.

Happiness is freedom from attachment

Many people believe that happiness is nothing but a momentary relief from the suffering of our daily lives. Because our attachment to material things is so great losing these possessions causes us suffering. Our high vulnerability to suffering may cause us to feel a sense of pointlessness when we don’t get the outcome we expected. To end the cycle of suffering we must accept that suffering is universal and unavoidable. Our pain doesn’t stem from our losses, but from the attachment that we have to our possessions. It comes from the idea that discomfort is not a part of life that we should be accepting of. If we can let go of our attachments to ideals we can move towards a more fulfilling life.

Thoughts lead us to unhappiness

If happiness comes from within then unhappiness also has its foundations within. Often we blame external events as the cause of our distress. It is our thoughts and perceptions of external circumstances that are the root cause of our discomfort. In any situation we have a choice to interpret the events from wither a positive or negative standpoint. Many of us have a bias towards thinking the worst, it is part of makes us human and has helped us survive. Negative emotions get out of control when we do not interrupt them or question the reasons that we are experiencing the feeling.

Overcoming negative thoughts and emotions

If you don’t learn to control your mind, it will end up controlling you. There is a belief that you cannot feel conflicting emotions at the same time. One way to overcome negative thoughts and emotions is to practice love, compassion and kindness towards others. Acknowledging your negative emotions exist can help you to then question where they have arisen from and what the source of the thinking is. It will also help you understand that emotions are just emotions and are not you. You have the option to change the way you think about the situation by focusing on the positive outcomes or lessons the situation presents.
Practices such as meditation can help you to become aware of the power of your emotions.
Therapeutic approaches such as counselling, holistic kinesiology and psychotherapy can help you further to identify your thought processes and learn techniques to question your thoughts.






Blog post courtesy of Affinity Wellness

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