In the quest for happiness, we may end up in the loop of pursuing happiness. We should remember that although it would be nice to catch some external sense of happiness, even if we could, it does not last.
Instead we should focus to that which we have control over: our own emotional state. We can choose to feel happy and find joy in the present. It’s not easy, because this requires conscious effort and collides with our automatic beliefs.
In the Happiness Advantage book Shawn Achor explains that when we meet a person a group of people, the most intense emotional state will take over others in two minutes of time. It can be any emotional state though, which makes it challenging. Eric Edmeades said that we are the chief emotional officers of our lives, so we should conscious and responsible with what kind of emotional states we are influencing others.
It takes a lot of effort to consciously start building happy, positive mental state. More conscious effort than any day alone actually has. Therefore, we must learn to make it routine in our days. Steve Pavlina in the abundance video series presents idea that visualizing abundance in life for 20 minutes each day to create happy vibes that can be done through the day as well. It’s a good guideline to start with that and start expanding the conscious practice.
Mindfulness over all through the day is a great tool to be more aware on what kind of states I go through.
To actually change emotional states, there is one really powerful way and it is called deep breathing. Breathing lets us to alter our physical state as well as internal state. Taking deep breathing exercise even further and we reach meditation, that’ doing nothing in particular. Through meditation we learn to observe ourselves without attaching to emotions. Yet another alternative would be psychotherapy under a skilled professional.
Imagine you are happy, you’ve everything you need and not a worry in the world. And then I ask you for a tiny favor, would you do it? I bet most of us would, we are good by heart and when our basic needs are met, we strive for higher fulfillment which often comes from sharing and giving. There is no limit to what we can do in the right state of mind.
To achieve such a blissful state of being requires the practice, already mentioned. It’s the inner effort that matters in the long run. It’s mainly our own responsibility; however there is also a lot of support available from communities, family, partners and friends for example. We have to start and continue our efforts each day, a little by little. This we can do with least effort by the power of our imagination and we can start right now.
What brings you joy? What does joyful life mean to you? What makes you smile? What feels good? What does happiness look like? Feel like? How would you express happiness?