It is a fact that if you want something too badly, it is likely to evade you. And this is truer for happiness than anything else. The reason why happiness seems to evade the millions of people searching for it is because they are looking in the wrong place.
Most people look for happiness "outside" themselves and not "inside". Some feel that they would be happy if they could afford a house of their own. Others feel that they just have to own all the latest gizmos to finally find happiness.
There are some who may not seek happiness in material things but they are still not looking in the right place. They feel that they would be happy if they found the right life partner or if their children loved them more. Even in such cases, these people are searching for happiness "outside" themselves.
Have you ever wondered how most infants are extremely happy almost all the time? Physical discomfort can make them cry for a while but such aspects are transient and last for only a few minutes. The reason why infants are almost always in a state of natural happiness is because they are in constant awe of nature and the world around them. Unfortunately, it is the society, parents, friends, teachers and relatives that influence them with regards to what happiness should mean.
It may be difficult to undo all the layers of perception that have formed on the mind over time. However, it is never too late to try and address the issue and train your mind to be happy. There are some tips that can help you in shedding your inhibitions and breaking away from the shackles of predefined definitions of happiness.
- Accept yourself – One of the key reasons why people are unhappy is that they do not really like or love themselves enough. It is essential that you accept yourself as what you are without any caveats and conditions to attain happiness. Don't get too critical about yourself – your looks, your brains, your capabilities or your financial condition. Just learn how to love yourself as you are. You will realize that once you are comfortable with what you are, others will accept you more willingly.
- Happiness is a state of mind – It is important that you understand and appreciate that your happiness lies within. Consider this – no one can make you unhappy if you have decided for sure that you will be happy in every situation. If you have made up your mind to be happy, you can always seek out the positive aspects of a situation and remain happy. Life may throw challenges at you but solutions will come faster and to you if you face them with a smile on your face.
- Prioritize your life – As we grow older, the demands that various people and circumstances they lay on us increase. While on the one hand your job pressures increase, you may also feel the need to spend time with your family and children. At the same time, you may also want to enjoy life personally by doing the things that you have always wanted like going to the gym or taking off on a mountaineering trek.
- Take care of your health – an unhealthy body cannot be the home of a happy mind. It is important that you understand the strong link between physical health and mental happiness. If you are fit and healthy, you are likely to exude positive energy.
- Stay in the company of happy people – Ensure that you seek out people who are happy and cheerful all the time. Being in the company of people who have a habit of cribbing and criticizing is likely to divert your mind towards negative thoughts. Avoid getting into the sulk mode by choosing the company of happy people.
- Be grateful – Saying a small "thank you" for what you have can make a lot of difference. When you make it a habit to be grateful, you seek out the things that you do have. This helps you divert your mind from negative thoughts of what you do not have. This does not mean that you give up trying. On the other hand it encourages you to think of future goals and achievements in a positive manner.
It is important that you learn how to balance the various responsibilities that you may have. If any one of these tasks becomes paramount, you are likely to ignore the others. For example, if you get extremely preoccupied with your work, you family life are likely to miss you. On the other hand, if you are too consumed with your plans for your various hobbies, your job and family are likely to suffer. You may achieve momentary happiness but neither of these situations can result in happiness in the long run.
Written for Dumb Little Man by Vishal P. Rao writes about self improvement and holistic living at RelishingLife.com.