Saturday, October 27, 2018

True Happiness: Live Happily Ever After

Happiness is fairly elusive due to its difficulty to attain, especially since most people don't even know the difference between happy and happiness. Most people believe they are the same but they are not. Happy is a fleeting joyous feeling that comes and goes based on experiences, such as eating good food or hanging out with friends. It goes away soon after the experience ends. In order to obtain happiness, the experience must be significant and long lasting, such as being with family (i.e. human bonding), spending time with a hobby, working towards career goals, etc -- i.e. life goals. Even when we are not with our family, we would still feel contentment and inner peace. That's true happiness.

I believe there are three ways to attain true happiness (in order of difficulty and effectiveness):
  1. The easiest way is from the outside-in using positive lasting experiences, such as working towards meaningful life goals.
  2. Regardless of how things are in the world, it's possible to achieve happiness with acceptance, which changes how we see things by removing judgement and expectations.
  3. The most difficult and supposedly also most effective is from the inside-out using positive meditation, which prepares the mind for happiness and encourages happiness to grow. The key to happiness is having positive emotions and outlook that allows us to turn happy moments into long lasting happiness. Positive meditation calms the mind to minimize mental energy loss and then focus the energy on the positive things that provide lasting happiness. I will write a dedicated post for this later as meditation seems to take a while to realize the benefits, but the general approach is to do the following every day:
    • Relax your body using body scan meditation and bring your mind to the present with mindfulness meditation.
    • Focus on positive experiences from the day before or any time and vividly replay them in your mind to feel the emotions. Focus on the positive emotions (e.g. happy). This last part is also called happiness meditation that is recommended by the world's happiest man. 
True happiness doesn't just happen in fairy tales. Everyone can have it with just a sprinkle of happiness meditation with acceptance and a dash of positive experiences in life.

This is part of Living Life to the Fullest blog series.

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