Master the Art of Happiness With These Tips for a Better, Fuller Life

By Jori Hamilton | Posted: February 10, 2020

We’ve got a question for you: when was the last time you felt happy? Not just not unhappy, but truly, completely, unequivocally happy? When was the last time you woke up in the morning feeling excited and energized, eager to start the new day? For many of us, it’s probably been a while since we last had that feeling—at least consistently. Maybe it’s been years. Maybe it’s been longer. Maybe you’ve never really known that feeling at all.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a life filled with joy, peace, and hope. In fact, you deserve it. However, it doesn’t just happen. Happiness is like a muscle. You have to exercise it to make it strong. Read on to learn the techniques you can start using today to help you create a happier and healthier tomorrow!

Why it matters

Happiness isn’t just about rainbows and flowers and teddy bears. It’s not about annoying your friends, family, and coworkers with your Pollyanna-ish disposition. It’s about claiming, cultivating, and truly believing in the life you want. Best of all, studies show that happy people really do live longer. So not only are you going to be building a better life, but you’re also probably going to stick around longer to enjoy it!

It’s all about the journey

One of the most important aspects of building a happy life is to stop focusing on the things that don’t matter, like what size you wear, or what kind of car you drive, or whether you keep your house immaculate. Happiness means learning to be present in the moment, to experience each day, every breath, as a gift and a miracle. So maybe you are a new mom enrolling in your first yoga class after the birth of your little bundle of joy. Rather than focusing on losing a certain amount of baby weight in a certain number of weeks, concentrate instead on the miracle of your body, the one that just created another human being, the one that you are loving and nurturing with every moment spent on the mat. 

Do a self-assessment

Among the most significant barriers to happiness are critical self-talk and negative thought patterns. These are particularly dangerous because we often don’t even realize it’s happening. This is where techniques such as applied behavioral analysis (ABA) can literally and figuratively be a lifesaver. Created to help people with disabilities or autism develop essential coping skills, ABA is a powerful tool anyone can use to monitor their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to discover what is helping, and what is hindering them, in building the life they want. Bringing those negative patterns to conscious awareness is the first step to getting rid of them for good.

Imagine if…

In addition to recognizing and resisting the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that do not contribute to your happiness, it’s also crucial to start visualizing what you want. Research shows that our brains read our thoughts kind of like an instruction manual: they work to create in reality what we imagine. So rather than imagining all the worst-case scenarios, start creating visions of the best case scenarios and, above all, of the best case you. As you begin to see yourself succeeding in life, as you begin envisioning yourself in a life you love, your brain, body, and spirit will inevitably begin working to make it so. After all, the human heart and mind do not like contradiction and they’re going to do whatever it takes to make the picture that’s inside you match the one that’s outside you.

Peace, be still

Self-analysis and positive visualization are potent weapons in your fight for your own happiness, but they’re not the only ones. Gurus the world over have known for centuries what science is now beginning to prove: that meditation is enormously beneficial in reducing stress, promoting calm, and driving out negativity. This is crucial because when you have fallen into negative thought patterns and critical self-talk, that habit doesn’t just go away because you tell it to. You need stillness and the silence of meditation to help you quiet your mind and gently redirect your thoughts into a more positive direction.

The Art of Living Happiness Program 

We’ve made it our purpose to spread happiness wherever we go! Through the Art of Living Happiness Program, you’ll learn to catch happiness with both hands through a simple and easy combination of breathing and meditation techniques, spiritual wisdom, and community. 

From March 20th-22nd, join our Happiness Weekend seminars across the USA with online sessions hosted by our founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. For more information, join our Happiness Webinar for free!

Happiness isn’t just for the young and naïve, and positivity isn’t for the self-deluded. It’s about retraining your mind, body, and spirit to see life, and your place in it, in a new way. It is about seeing the world as beautiful and, in the process, making it so. It’s about recognizing the internal dialogue that doesn’t serve you and replacing it with one that does. It is about speaking, feeling, and behaving your way into the life you want, the life you love, and the life you deserve.

Jori is a writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She enjoys covering topics related to Health and Wellness, productivity, and mindfulness. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Art of Living Part 1 course: Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being.

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