The key to happiness: what is it? Many of us believe happiness comes from things. Things like a new pair of shoes, a fancy car, or a bigger house. What happens when you get home and the new pair of shoes get a scuff, or a newer, fancier car comes out on the market? Where does the happiness go? I always tell people that the law of gravity applies to emotions too: what goes up must come down.
Whenever we search externally for happiness, through things, relationships, food, alcohol, or whatever our drug may be, we may find it for a moment, but ultimately we will have to face whatever we were running from to begin with.
True happiness involves acceptance of all this life has to offer. A regular mindfulness practice can help with this. Mindfulness is awareness of what is happening in any given moment, and it is practiced without judgement. There are formal practices, where you might sit in a quiet undisturbed place for a specific amount of time. But you can also practice mindfulness informally. This may be helpful if sitting still is particularly difficult for you. Try the informal mindfulness practice for happiness below.
Today’s Mindfulness Practice: Take time today to notice something that you have been fighting. It could be something someone has said or done, or something painful that has happened. If this is your first time practicing, choose something small (like a driver cutting you off in traffic). When you notice yourself judging: “that’s so inconsiderate…”, then take a few slow, deep breaths. Allow the judgement to pass, and continue on with your day. Each time the choosen situation comes up today, intentionally practice this informal mindfulness: notice the judgement, observe slow breaths, and let go of the judgemental thought.
Post contributed by Mary How. Mary is the owner of Angelfish Creations, LLC and editor of the Flying Fish Blog.