In the last few months I have thought a lot about happiness. More specifically, I have been thinking about how to get it and how to keep it as part of my daily life.
It has become such an important topic for me because happiness has been eluding me of late. Relationship changes, financial changes and practice changes have all descended on me at the same time and I have let them get the better of me.
I realize that these changes made me feel insecure and worried about my future. The more I concentrated on the uncertainty, the more upset I became.
I have been seeking a way to get out of my funk and embrace happiness again.
One of the most important concepts my mentors and spiritual teachers have been sharing with me is that happiness is a choice. When we are in a space where we don’t feel happy, we have to choose to be happy.
At first I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea of choosing to be happy, I thought either I feel happy or I don’t. I didn't think I had a choice.
Being happy is a choice! It is a practice and it is a skill that we can work on and improve every day. It starts with asking small questions about what you can do to be happy in the moment. As you have more happy moments in the day, you will start to be happy more of the time.
"What makes me happy?"can be a daunting question but when you break it down into smaller bites it is easier to get to happy.
If you are not happy, here are some questions to ask yourself.
1) What small acts during the day bring a smile to my face?
Start with something concrete, like seeing flowers on your table or in your yard. Go out and look at them for a minute and just smile.
2) How can I get moving?
Movement or exercise is one of the treatments that can elevate mood. It has been shown to help alleviate depression. So get moving in any way that feels good to you. Even five minutes can make a difference.
TEDx | The Science of Happiness | Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo. TEDx Naperville. 16 March 2016.
Want To Be Happier? 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Right Now How to boost your mood, STAT. self.com. 16 March 2016.