Jenny is a girl who loves many things. She loves street foods, traveling, nature, music, cats, and dogs! She's crazy about purple & writing!
It is inherent to human beings to seek happiness and we look for it in many ways: Being successful, finding the perfect person to love, accumulating fortune, being respected, gaining popularity, building the perfect home and family, and wearing nice clothes. The truth is, humans do not get obsessed with these material things…We become obsessed with what these things can give us. We want to be successful not for the success itself but for the advantages it can give us like high status, high income and respectability. These things do not mean to us if they cannot give us anything and we believe that we can be happy when we feel good about ourselves and our lives as a whole.
There are too many definitions for happiness but to me the best one is "Happiness is a state of mind". In Buddhism, there are four factors that contribute to one’s happiness. These are: Worldly satisfaction, wealth, enlightenment and spirituality. Still the list can be endless…you can add personal growth here or love and friendship…what one truth is clear, all of us can be happy. All of us are capable of finding true happiness, which is the very purpose of our life.
1. Set proper mindset
They say, you can be happy if you choose to be happy. This means that happiness is a mindset. It is your mental attitude and it does not solely base on environmental conditions. Dalai Lama is still happy despite the losses and sufferings his country experienced. It is like saying, smile beyond the pain. If you give in to difficulties and problems, you will not be able to smile a genuine smile. Problems are real in fact they are just around the corner all the time but suffering is a choice. Our mind does not encompass the intellect alone. It consists of the mind, the heart, feelings and intellect. The mind is a spirit or the psyche. When we meditate, we train our minds to be stronger and be able to rise above the physical plane. The aim is to let go of all the potentials we have within ourselves for us to be able to undergo personal improvement. The purpose of knowing is to be able to understand ourselves and our inner tendencies.
2. Develop an inner discipline
The mind can be trained so attitude can be developed. Discipline transforms our outlook, behaviors and attitude towards life. When we develop a calm mind, we are on the road to achieving the fundamental method to true happiness. Buddhists call this method “The Way”. When we learn to face our negative tendencies and qualities and if we turn them into positive ones, we can say that we have achieved inner discipline. We need to ensure that our mind is peaceful and calm whatever happens. This does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to the events that happen around us. No. This means that our sensitivity and focus is present but we are in control. We can easily respond to every circumstance without showing negative emotions.
3. Be positive
Life is in no need of negative things. I believe that negative emotions do not serve any purpose in our life. They are not natural. We don’t need negative emotions to be able to do something good. Negative emotions only lead to more negativity and it is not good. We have to learn to think positive in order for us to be happy. Negative emotions are based on ignorance according to Buddhist principle. People do not know the true nature of reality and so they misconceive things and react inappropriately. They believe that negative emotions are not based in reality which is the exact opposite of positive emotions. Positive emotions, according to the Dalai Lama principle have a solid basis. It is grounded in truth and supports life. Negative emotions on the other hand, destroy life and everything in it. So what do we do? We need to cultivate positivity. We need to work on positive emotions. Once we are able to develop positive emotions, we become less vulnerable to negative influences around us. We can try to neutralize negativity by choosing to be positive always.
4. Invest in relationships
Relationships can lead to happiness or suffering. If we have deep connections with people, we feel good about ourselves and we feel positive vibes around us. If we have poor relationships with people, we tend to be alone always. Loneliness leads to suffering. Learn to invest in relationships. Greet people and try to address them through their names. Smile at them and you will see what kind of relationship you can form from doing these simple things. When you interact with people well, you do not just attract healthy relationships but you also invite good opportunities for connections and productivity. Usually, successful people invest on those that they know. So make sure to form connections by building good and deep relationships with people. Another example will be, at work. If you don’t have good relationships with your colleagues, you will not be able to stay long in that office. Love leads to ultimate happiness. It is always natural to feel happy and contented when you are with someone you love. If you are full of love in your heart, you are definitely a happy person. Because a heart that loves sees no negative in his surroundings.
5. Stop dwelling in the past
One of the reasons why people are not happy even if they want to is because they live in the past. They let the past events haunt their present which eventually affects their future. If you want to be happy, learn to leave the past behind and move on. Well, I know that moving on is very difficult to do especially when you have been so attached to the person. But the past may hinder your success. So many people have succumbed to the past because they were not able to let go of the things that are associated with it. Free yourself from guilt, shame, pain, and hatred brought by the past. Do not re-live it. Stop playing victim and start to move forward. Believe that there is always something better in-store for you and you will be able to let go.
Smile and the world smiles at you as they say. Smile is contagious. It works wonders not only to a person’s face but also to the environment. When a person smiles his aura changes and he becomes radiant. He becomes more approachable and attractive. Make it a habit to smile always. Even if the day is not particularly productive and even if everything doesn’t happen the way you want them to be. Just smile…and see that people smiles back at you. It is enough to get you going…
7. Be grateful
Greed is the opposite of contentment. Happy people are successful and contented but it does not mean they are very rich and glamorous. They are in fact simple people who are grateful always for everything they have. They take pride in their simple accomplishments and share it with the people they love. When you learn to be grateful for everything you have been blessed with, you leave no room for greed because you become contented. It is definitely okay to push yourself harder to achieve your goals but you have to make sure that in your quest for success, you are not stepping on other people.
8. Apply the law of attraction
The law of attraction states that positive attracts positive and negative attract negative. So if you want to experience positive things, you have to learn to stay positive. Leave no room for negative emotions and thoughts. Do not doubt and instead, trust that things will happen on a more positive note. If you want something, think about and it will slowly come to you. That is the power of positive thoughts.
9. Learn to forgive
Suffering is the opposite of happiness. Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice. This mentality creates a positive attitude towards life. Often times, we tend to prolong our agony by perpetuating our pain and keeping it alive. When we experience injustice, we find ways and reasons to keep on hating the person. We always love playing the victims by magnifying what happened. You have to realize that in any given situation, you always have a choice. You can respond to it in any way you choose. The extent of your suffering clearly depends on how you respond to any given misfortunes.
This is the hardest thing to do for people who are very proud. Asking forgiveness and forgiving others is very difficult because we often put the blame on others instead of taking responsibility for our actions. We are not strong and brave enough to accept our mistakes and make up for them. Saying sorry is quite easy for the kids but very difficult or almost impossible for adults. If you want to be happy, you need to forgive and forget. Being compassionate is being able to embrace the person despite his tendencies and attitudes. We have to learn to apologize if we make a mistake. If we cannot find it in our hearts to forgive, we will not be able to move on. Moving on means forgiving the person for what he did and forgetting what happened. Only then will you be able to move forward and be happy.
10 Feel good about yourself, be confident and choose to be happy
Life is what we make it. If you choose to be miserable then life becomes miserable for you. If you choose to be happy and content with what you have, then you live a happy and contented life. Feel good about yourself. Exercise regularly; eat healthy, rest well, drink a lot of water. In short, nourish yourself. If you are physically healthy, it is easier to be happy. Because if you are not healthy, it follows that your mind and your spirit will also be affected negatively. Be confident. And you will be happy for sure.
© 2018 Jennifer Gonzales
Avinash Khopade from Mumbai, India on March 09, 2020:
Hi Jennifer, hope you are doing great.
Your article is wonderful and these tips are very practical and useful.
Thanks for writing such a helpful article.
Jenn from Pennsylvania on April 08, 2018:
Very informative and helpful article