We all seek happiness
Happiness, we all want it, we all crave it, we all chase it. Who doesn’t want to give their happiness a boost? According to the Dalai Lama it is the one thing all humans have in common. In the end it is the highest good. Unfortunately, in our search to happiness, we often look in all the wrong places. We think external factors such as a new job, a pay rise, a new house, a loving partner or a fitter body will determine our happiness . Basically we always think: ‘I’m happy if… ‘. The problem is that when one condition is met, we immediately come up with a new one. Therefore we will always keep chasing happiness, thinking it will await for us somewhere in the future if only we manage to meet those new life goals. And it will always be just out of our reach. The ironic thing is that happiness is right here, right now in this moment. If only we would look inside ourselves instead of outside ourselves.
Mindfulness can majorly contribute to our level of happiness. It doesn’t stop life from happening to you, life will always have ups and downs. But you will be better able to cope with the hardships of life and appreciate what it, right in this moment. Mindfulness will change your attitude on life and shift it from unsatisfied to grateful and peaceful. The first step in this process is awareness…..
How many times have we been eating a bag of chips until we realise the bag is empty but we haven’t actually tasted any of it. Or even have been ‘listening’ to a friend while being caught up in your own thoughts. We all do it.
We call that living on ‘autopilot’. You are awake, you are busy with an activity like walking, talking, eating, or working but actually you ar not really there. You are simply not present. You are caught up in your thoughts without being even conscious about is. This is how our lives are shaped by our own patterns and habits that are hard to break. If you live on automatic pilot and you are not present in your own life, you also don’t have a choice of how you act and how you respond to situations. And it is all too easy to get caught up and not actually be present these days. We live in a world full of distraction and short messages that allows us to zoom out very easily. Research has shown that we are living on automatic pilot on average 47% of the time. (1) Can you imagine? We aren’t actually fully consciously living our life half of the time.We miss out on so much while we are not actually aware. We miss the little things that make life beautiful, we don’t actually listen to what our partner is telling us or we miss the signals our body is giving us.
The more mindful you are, the happier you are
The more you get lost in your thoughts the more prone you are to stress and anxiety. In fact, research has shown that the more mindful you are, the more happy you are! When practicing Mindfulness the first step is to start becoming aware of what is present in this exact moment. Starting to meditate and integrate mindfulness in your daily life will train your mind to become more and more present in the moment.
The second step is when you are aware to look at what is present without judgement and with acceptance. By letting go of that striving, fighting, ‘not wanting’ and resisting you will notice that a lot of space comes back for it. You will literally have more peace of mind. By accepting your situation, your feeling and emotion, you also learn how to accept yourself. You stop fighting who you are or chasing who you think you should be. This will tremendously improve how you see yourself and help you value yourself more. As soon as you value yourself more, you will notice that other people value do too.
Mindfulness has also proven to benefit the people around you. Since you practice being more compassionate to yourself, it is also easier for you to be more compassionate towards others. (2) This will improve the relationship with your friends, family, partner and colleagues. (3) The more you allow yourself to be who you actually are, the more you can allow other people to be themselves too.