Millions of people all ask the same questions: What is happiness? Where does happiness come from? Will I ever be happy? What are some ways how to be happy with yourself.
Probably every person on the planet has asked these questions at some point in their lives. They seek out tips for happiness in life, read pages and pages of books on the subject, watch movies, listen to lectures and speeches all designed to help them to find happiness.
There is, however, one inherent problem with this search for being happy, one limitation to all articles that aim to tell you how to get happiness in life. That problem is that they take attention away from the present moment.
Why is that such a problem? Because authentic happiness (a coin termed by positive psychology) is nothing more than acceptance of the present moment. Happiness is found by focussing on the moment, on your environment, not by thinking about how t be happy with yourself and by plaguing yourself with such questions. With this in mind, it‘s not an exaggeration to say there are no ways to find happiness. There is, however, a way have happiness find you.
How to be happy with yourself by letting happiness find you
If you want to be happy you have to realise that you deserve to be happy just the way you are.
The way how to be happy with yourself, somewhat ironically, is to stop trying; to stop thinking so much, stop trying so hard. The psychology of happiness, you see, is a lot like my cat, Tibby. If you go to pick her up, she’ll run away at light speed. But if you just sit there ignoring her, she’ll leap up into your lap and nuzzle-up to you for hours. And so is happiness. when you ask “Will I ever be happy” it’s like asking “will the cat ever let me pick it up when I go to get her?” The answer to both is no. The cat comes when you are still. And so it is with happiness.
Happiness will not come when you try to force it. The best way how to be happy with yourself is to stop trying. All these people buying happy beads, reading their daily positive thoughts and seeking out the keys to happiness are going about things the wrong way. Want proof? Okay, try this….
After you’ve finished reading this paragraph, set the computer down on the table or wherever, stop thinking for five or ten minutes and simply focus on some element of your external environment; meditate on it and notice what happens. Just try it, right now. Leave the computer on and simply focus for five to ten minutes on some part of the environment. Notice how much more relaxed and happy you become simply performing this one simple task.
In a sec we’ll unveil why letting go creates happiness, but in order to fully explain the psychology involved here, we first need to ask an important question. . .
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Is there a way how to be happy with yourself ALL the time?
The answer to this question is yes and no. On the one hand, it is theoretically possible to be completely happy even in the worst of circumstances. Even if we were living in a war zone and fearing for the lives of our family members and ourselves, we could still, theoretically, be happy for the time we have rather than sad and afraid of the uncertain future.
Many people find such a stance unrealistic. After all, we are all people, and as people we are subject to emotions. And that’s certainly true. It would be incredibly delusional to think that we could suddenly flip a switch and choose to be happy no matter what our circumstances. Insofar as we have leant to recognise certain things as good and bad, like falling in love and losing a job, and have leaned to associate good circumstances with positive emotions and bad circumstances with negative emotions and we cannot simply click our fingers and unlearn these mental processes.
So, we have some people saying we can control our emotions and others saying external circumstances control our emotions, but in reality, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Ironically enough, the way to take control of your emotions is to completely submit to the external world. In other words, to take control of your emotions you have to let go of your emotions.
To learn how to be happy with yourself, you need to let go
Imagine if you were to be given a very high paying, lucrative job. Most of us would agree that that would be a good thing and would make us happy. But why? For the very reason that in our minds, getting a good job is a positive thing. You see, we become happy when external circumstance match our internal representation of what is positive and good. Likewise, we become unhappy when our internal idea of a negative event occurs. We believe it would be a bad thing to lose our jobs, so if we lose our jobs we will be unhappy. So, happiness or sadness occur when external circumstances match our ideas of what is good and what is bad.
But what if we emptied our minds and didn’t actually have any judgment of what a good or a bad thing is?
Well, that mindset just so happens to be called mindfulness, a mindset about which we emotional human being are discovering more and more every day. This mindset of mindfulness just happens to be the way how to be happy with yourself. More than this, when you learn to use mindfulness, you’ll realise that the answer to “will I ever be happy” is YES!
The Answer to How to be Happy with yourself: Mindfulness
Essentially, mindfulness is the quality of paying attention to the external world, of being open minded, without judgment and focussed on things outside ourselves.
What are the health benefits of Mindfulness?
Mindfulness relieves anxiety and depression
Mindfulness boosts the immune system
Mindfulness promotes inner calm
Mindfulness helps improve relationships
Mindfulness cures sleep problems
Mindfulness improves focus and concentration
These are just a handful of the benefits of mindfulness, of which there are literally thousands.
Mindfulness is emptiness and emptiness is happiness
What all this comes down to is the fact that you’ll not only be happier but also much healthier and even better in relationships when you learn to let go, to simply accept things as they are, to release yourself from your ideas of good and bad, happy and sad and to face the world with open and nonjudgmental eyes.
How to be Mindful & Responsible for your own Happiness
So, now we understand what happiness is we can do some exercises to create happiness. The exercises on the next page are all great ways how to be happy with yourself and will answer the question “will I ever be happy?” with an emphatic YES!
How to be happy with yourself exercise 1 : Meditate: Without a shadow of a doubt, the number one way to gain control of your emotions, to let go, to be happy and mindful, is to meditate.
How to be happy with yourself exercise 2: Yoga: All exercise is good for mindfulness, but Yoga is probably the best of the lot because it focuses on balance (which requires focus and concentration) and also promotes calm.
How to be happy with yourself exercise 3: Challenge your Ideas of good and bad: Something you can begin to do immediately is to challenge your ideas of good and bad. So you lost your job, maybe that’s actually a good thing because no you’ll have some time to work out what it so you really want to do with your life. So you won the lottery, are you sure that’s a good thing and isn’t going to change who you are and how your friends and family look at you? Try to realise that you don’t actually know what will be good or bad in the long run.
How to be happy with yourself exercise 4: Look at Wild Cards in your Life: Looking back over the years, be aware of the number of times that you thought a situation was bad and it actually turned out to be great. Likewise, remember times you thought something good was happening and It turned out bad. See, you don’t know what will be good or bad so you may as well just submit to life and accept things as they happen.
How to be happy with yourself exercise 5: Practice an Art form: From painting to dance to poetry to music, all art forms have one thing in common: they demand you to focus on the external, which is essentially the same thing as being mindful.
How to be happy with yourself exercise 6: Admit you know nothing: “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing,” said Socrates. It takes the deepest wisdom to submit to the mystery, magic and wonder of the world. Look for things you didn’t see before. Look for beauty. See life. Recognise its splendour. Drown in it.
So, there we have it. We don’t need to ask “Will I ever be happy” any more, because the answer is yes. And you know how to be happy with yourself: by letting go and practising mindfulness.