We all seek to find happiness and contentment with our lives. Being happy provides us with a sense of purpose and optimism, and that positivity translates both to our physical and mental health. But how we get there is a path that is unique to each person. Though we all want to be happy, not many people know how to go about maintaining a positive outlook and pushing aside the negativity which is the cause of our unhappiness.
How to Find Happiness
Happiness can be found in three unique ways:
1- doing good for others.
2- doing things you’re good at.
3- doing things that are good for you.
Here are some tips to finding the satisfaction you are looking for in life:
1 - Set Boundaries but Still be Flexible
Identify the things that are causing you to feel unhappy, overextended or stressed out, and give yourself permission to say ‘no.’ Creating limits helps eliminate the feeling of being taken advantage of, being burnt out, or resentful towards others because they are taking up your energy or time. This helps set the stage for happier relationships, which in turn impacts the quality of our lives. By setting boundaries, we leave more time to spend with people who lift us up, and more time doing the things we enjoy, rather than feeling depleted and drained by things we actually don’t need to be doing.
2 - Practice Gratitude and Thankfulness
Shifting our mindset to focus on gratitude for the things and people we have in our lives can shift our perspective and alter our overall energy. Everyone has stressors and circumstances in their life that can be perceived as negative, which might bring our overall outlook on life down. However, taking the time to appreciate the goodness we have helps us feel more positive emotions, and less anxiety and negativity. Basically we are taking the attention away from what we maybe can’t control and adapting an outlook which gives us energy to always move forward, knowing we are progressing and evolving.
3 - Exercise to Bring in Extra Energy
We all know that exercise releases endorphins that help our sense of well-being. A lot of research has been done on how moving our bodies helps us fight depression and anxiety which flourish when we are stagnant in energy. Take a walk, go to the gym, or join a yoga class. Even if you work out as little as 10 minutes a day, you are better off than those who never exercise. But committing to at least 30-90 min a day will give you a whole new positive outlook on what you might have thought of as a problem- turning it into a solution and advantage.
4 - Seek Opportunities to Learn Something New
Whether it be a class in something you’ve wanted to know about, or reading a book about a subject, or becoming certified in something in your area of work, learning and mastering something is a powerful tool. Increasing our skills or knowledge on a subject can fuel our creativity, giving a deep sense of satisfaction. Being a lifelong learner is a beneficial tool in having a positive mental state which will make us a much more open minded person in our later years when we tend to “become our parents.”
5 - Pay it Forward
Being kind to others and giving back can be incredibly rewarding even when others are not recipricating or doing the same. There are countless ways to do this that fit within your time and budget. Focusing on others and finding ways to be a part of their happiness can bring a whole new perspective to life. Being a more communicative neighbor, being more of a listener with family members or donating time and money to different causes or people are just a few ideas of expanding your awareness towards others. Adding to other’s happiness will only add to our own. Consider it a karmic investment, similar to how you save and invest your money.
6 - Meditation and Spiritual Practice
In the Ayurvedic and Yogic world, meditation is a time to attain awareness of ourselves and rebalance our mind. It helps us experience inner calm and deep relaxation. We can connect to our spirituality, which helps to create an appreciation for our greater purpose, leading to gratitude, happiness, and our over sense of well-being. You don’t have to practice a religion to be spiritual, but taking the time to reflect and connect with the greater source in our lives helps us feel more compassionate, altruistic, and positive.
Ayurveda and Happiness
In Ayurveda, being happy with life requires one to take actions in the way of positive and healthy habits that lead to a balanced life of physical, mental, and spiritual awareness. If we follow a daily routine where we are physically and mentally active with the things in life that are fulfilling for us, where we take time to reflect and practice gratitude and a purposeful existence, then life will be satisfying and bring a feeling of contentment.
This is the aim of a healthy and spiritual lifestyle.