meditation for happiness

In this guide, we’ll look at all the best meditations for happiness.

When it comes to your personal happiness, meditation can do wonders. I learned that myself when I went from being angry all the time to feeling calm, joy, and love all from just meditating once a day.

There is a remarkable link between meditation and happiness. When we meditate we focus on the present moment, and this helps us to escape our thoughts and to live for now, which is paramount for feeling good.

There are many ways to use meditation for happiness. Below I will share with you precisely how to meditate for happiness so you can achieve happiness through meditation. You’ll also get to learn about why meditation makes you happy.

As a meditation teacher, many people ask me, “Can meditation make you happy?” And the good news is that yes, there is a direct link between meditation and happiness. I used meditation to make myself happy and I have used it to make my students happy too.

In our newsletter, I often post mindful reminders to be happy and live in the moment. This is important because we need to create a habit of actively creating happiness. I personally recommend using meditation to feel happy every day. So let me show you the best meditations for happiness so you can get started.

How To Use Meditation For Happiness

Many people ask me “Can meditation makes you happy?” And the answer is a resounding yes! It does this by helping the mind to focus on the present moment.

When I used to be stressed and feel down, I noticed that I was always living my thoughts and never in the moment. When I started meditation, now so many years ago, I learned to focus my mind on the present moment, and I soon began to become happy and calm.

As Eckhart Tolle described in The Power Of Now, focusing on the present moment is an excellent way to boost health and wellbeing and to create positive emotions.

To feel this for yourself, try these techniques:

The above are some simple steps to help you to start feeling good about life. These are basic mindfulness practices, simple little ways how to meditate for happiness.

Now let’s look at the best meditations for happiness.

how meditation makes you happy
how meditation makes you happy

5 Best Meditations For Happiness

For complete scripts to all these techniques, please refer to my big guide to different techniques.

1: Vipassana  Meditation

Arguably the very best meditation for happiness is Vipassana.

Vipassana is essentially the practice of monitoring and labelling your thoughts and emotions. It’s one of the main Buddhist methods, and it is scientifically proven to make you feel more positive.

In Vipassana we meditate on the breath, and we label emotions, thoughts, and other psychological phenomena.

Labelling emotions helps us to gain more control of negative feelings. When we label feelings of anxiety and depression, for instance, we make them more tangible and more manageable. What makes this one of the best meditations for happiness is that it increases emotional awareness so that we feel more in control of our mood.

Research reveals that Vipassana enhances our control over thoughts and feelings to reduce stress, anxiety and other problems that might be  preventing you from feeling joyful [1].

I personally find that when I am too trapped in my thoughts, if I use Vipassana I become aware of the reality of the mind, and this helps my to overcome negative thoughts and to start feeling good about life.

2: Loving Kindness  Meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation is a technique in which we visualise the giving and receiving of compassion. Not only does this increase pleasant emotions like joy, it also boosts confidence.

I’m sure you will agree with me that you feel better about life when you have the love and support of other people. However, when we are depressed, we close ourselves off to these positive emotions. This is where Loving-Kindness comes in. We use it to cultivate feelings of love and kindness from others, and also from ourselves.

Neuroimaging scans show that Loving Kindness Meditation changes the structure of the brain and increases warm feelings like kindness, love, compassion, and happiness.  

This is definitely one of the best meditations for happiness.

Try this method for ten minutes now and you will immediately see the link between meditation and happiness.

I personally love using Metta meditation because it trains my mind to see love and kindness in my life, and this naturally makes me happier.

3: Pratyahara

Pratyahara is actually a type of yoga. It is a method through which we eliminate the negative influences in our lives and increase the positive influences. This tips the scales in favour of positive emotions and removes causes of unhappiness.

Essentially, to do this, remove anything from your life that is making you negative, and increase things that make you positive. This could include objects and possessions, other people, or anything else. If you are going to be creating happiness through meditation, it is wise to practise pratyahara too because it makes the effects of meditating last longer.

I find that the main benefit of pratyhara is that it trains me not to take in too much information and to conserve my inner peace.

There are also other ways to use yoga for positive thoughts.

4: Mindful CBT for positive thinking

Do you experience a lot of negative thoughts? If so you should try Mindfulness-Based-Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. It’s a method used by therapists to target and change problematic thoughts.

What makes this one of the best meditations for happiness is that it targets the negative thoughts that are preventing us from feeling joyful. We can then change those thoughts to more positive ones, and thereby enhance our mood.

When I was at one of the lowest points in my life, I started using MBCBT to train my mind to think in more positive ways. This gradually made me feel better about my life and the world in general, and I began to feel happier.

5: Mantra meditation

Mantras are specific words or phrases with spiritual properties (they are similar to affirmations or spells, but are backed by science and have been used for thousands of years).

Meditating on a mantra relaxes the mind and induces specific states of consciousness.

There are specific mantras that makes you feel good. Meditate on these mantras for 10 minutes and you will notice an improvement in mood. One good mantra meditation to feel happy is to simply meditate on “Om.”

 

It is recommended that you sit in a relaxed cross-legged pose, making sure your spine is straight. Begin to chant “Ong” slowly (approximately one ONG for every eight to ten seconds). You should feel the sound resonating around your nose than mouth, and your throat should be completely relaxed. Do not worry if you occasionally cough as this is just a sign of your throat adjusting.

Continue chanting Ong, the mantra for happiness, for as long as you like (I recommend between 10 and 20 minutes).

This creates reverberations in the body that relax physical tension and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to promote relaxation.  

One happiness-mantra that I do personally use is “Life if good”. Reciting this mantra trains my mind to see the good in the world.

6: Gratitude

It has been scientifically proven that gratitude makes us happier and also helps with problems like depression, stress and anxiety. By practising gratitude, you will cultivate positive thoughts and generate gladfulness.

I use gratitude meditation most days to remind myself of how fortunate I am. And science shows that gratitude makes us happier.

7:  Use This Script

This is, in my experience, the best meditation for happiness. It will take five to ten minutes and I promise you that you will be very glad that you did it. It’s all about letting go.

Follow these instructions:

  1. Get comfortable in a relaxing space.
  2. Close your eyes and focus your mind on your breathing for a few
  3. Continue to focus on your breath. Thoughts will arise in your mind. The trick here is to observe them simply. Do not fight them or repress them, and do not attach to them. Just observe them and let them go where they go.
  4. Continue watching your thoughts and tell yourself that they are only thoughts. See the true nature of them. See that your thoughts are not real they’re just like little smog clouds that arise in your mind.
  5. This will loosen your grips on your thoughts, which is step one of finding happiness.

The reason why this meditation makes you happy is that it lets you overcome your thoughts and feelings, let go of your attachments, and accept the present moment.

Now continue with the steps below.

  1. As before, take yourself somewhere peaceful and relaxing.
  2. Close your eyes and relax
  3. Now you are going to let reality take over. And the way to do this is by being mindful of your senses. So, begin to focus on each of your senses. Meditate on taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. And then meditate on your own body. Pass your focus around your body, being aware of all the sensations you are experiencing.
  4. Continue to meditate in this fashion as you take 108 breaths.
  5. Open your eyes and continue to be mindful (to focus on reality). This will let reality (gravity) take over, and it will make you happier.

If you have performed both those steps, you will be feeling relaxed and happy. And if you haven’t actually done them yet, go ahead, do them now. I promise you they will make you feel good.

Guided Happiness Meditation

Cultivate Joy and Happiness: 20 Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation

And that is how to meditate for happiness.

happy person

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About Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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