Happiness affects our well-being, health, and relationships comprising up to a whole, reflecting society itself. According to research happy people live more sophisticated lives and can easily connect with others as well as nature. Moreover, they are more effective at all levels of existence.
We all share a genuine desire for happiness
Whatever the culture, religious belief, other differing preferences, and the ways of understanding the world we all have one thing in common – TO BE HAPPY. When we draw a line under one’s desires and expectations, there is only one deep, most honest, most authentic and ever-present desire – TO BE HAPPY. Do you agree?
Feeling current happiness does not mean that you are indeed truly happy
Think of the past day or a previous week and did you realise that you were happy? How did this happen? How long did this happiness last? What happens when the feeling of happiness disappears? Or is replaced by other feelings, such as perhaps sadness, loneliness, and boredom? Maybe you did not notice any change at all?
Is it possible to be happy all the time?
Thousands of years ago, old Indian masters offered an answer to this question. The state of eternal happiness is possible when you stop reacting to the flow of nature, but rather start to accept it as it is. You become aware of each moment, without thinking about how it was before or how it will be in the future. Awareness of each moment as it happens, awareness of ourselves in every action, in every breath, in everything we do, is what will lead to true happiness.
The law of nature – everything is constantly changing
Imagine the river flowing. Observe the flow of the river at all times from the same place. Although this river has only one and the same name, its flow is completely different at each of its parts. While flowing, people throw objects into it, it carries soil, increases as rain falls into it, etc. At each moment, this river is completely different and it is constantly changing. Even if you are at all times looking at the same point in the river, it will never be the same as in the previous time of observation.
Such observation helps you to realise that everything comes and goes. The flow modifies the structure of subatomic particles, which results in a change of everything. Similar results are true when observing the seasons. Seasons come and go, creating a circle. Maybe this will seem perfectly logical and self-evident to you. It is true, all is constantly being born and dying.
You have the ability to choose how you will respond to a change
The law of nature does not change and everything comes and goes. What changes is the way you react to change and this process is called the 'Natural Process'. Do you respond to loss with sadness? In a difficult situation, are you optimistic and calm? Or do you let worries and doubts settle in?
You have a choice. You cannot choose what will happen, because what is happening is to a large extent depending on the law of nature. However, you can decide and choose how you will react to the situation.
Your existing patterns of thinking represent the main obstacle on the path to happiness
Instead of deciding how you will react yourself, you often leave the decision to the old stories and patterns, which then guide you and tell you how yo have to react in a certain situation. When something happens that is not in accordance with the expectations of these old patterns you are sad, stressed or in panic. All your discernment and clarity disappears in a moment! Thus, it is your perception which prevents you to be truly happy. It is your thoughts and your mind who decide when something is perceived as wrong, bad, or not good enough.
True happiness is at home in your heart
True happiness can only be achieved when your mind is still. More specifically, this happens when you redirect your attention from your thoughts to your heart. True happiness is not associated with understanding or knowledge but by feeling it and living it.
When the mind is calm, the door to true happiness opens
One of the ways to start the journey to true happiness is by adopting conscious living and being aware (discussed in the previous article). This is a very simple way and you can start practising it immediately. All you need is the willpower and desire to change.
A Practical Technique to Shift Your Attention from the Mind to the Heart
Several times a day try to refocus your attention to your heart. This you can do when you are standing in a queue, driving to work, walking, or even talking with others. For only a few moments your focus is on your heart. You feel your heart. What is happening? What does your heart tell you? What do you feel? Just observe your heart and what is happening, without analysis or judgement.
Then try to carry out your activity that you were just doing from your heart. Leave the heart to lead you and disconnect your mind. You can also imagine how all your thoughts are melting like an ice cream in the sun and flowing down from your head into your heart. Then again feel your heart and allow your heart to guide you.
Tip: It is highly recommended to practice this technique even during a conversation with another person. Try to connect with the heart of a person you are talking to and listen to the message that this person is trying to send to you from their heart.