When we let go of having any requirements for happiness, it may appear without you realising it...
“I will be happy when I finish my degree and have a well-paid job." “I will be happy when I’m a size 10 again.” “I will be happy when I know that X is going to be okay.” For the latter, when I am worried about someone’s health.
Have you ever noticed we often don’t allow ourselves to be happy with the status quo.
There really is truth in the often quoted “life is a journey, not a destination;" but imagine you are going on a holiday. You are going to be happy when you get there. Does that mean you don’t notice the scenery along the way; as well as enjoying the anticipation of the conversation with family along the way in the car of what it will be like? Or even enjoy conversations about non-holiday related subjects?
Even when you do reach the destination of your holiday? You need to first, say, set up the camping; get the kids organised; get the food read, and then you get to be happy?
Wouldn’t it be kinder to ourselves to just really relish every step of the journey? Why do we need to keep prolonging our happiness? In the case of my degree, I choose to enjoy the trips there, as well as take interest in the subjects along the way.
I can be happier before I reach a size 10 again. I can choose a healthy lifestyle, with healthy treats and be happy with my food choices as a lifestyle decision. In the case of stressful situations, when you get through them, you can bet your bottom dollar another event will arise which could potentially cause stress.
So, how do we practice being happy in the now, right now?
1. Know that when the predetermined event or situation arises that you have set as necessary to occur before achieving happiness, another will inevitably take its place.
2.When we are so focussed on a future state, we miss so much beauty in the present. The sunsets, the scenery and all the conversations along the way.
3.Delaying our happiness automatically sets our mind to a negative state. By knowing we haven’t reached happiness yet, we feel we must be depressed now. Ask yourself, is this what you want?
4.Start practicing mindfulness, even for ten minutes each day. It trains the mind to become present to the now, and not to get caught up in needing anything other than what is.
5.At the end of the day, ask yourself what have you got to be happy about. Name even one thing.
6.Aim for contentment, not happiness. Aim for acceptance and peace, it is more sustainable.
7.Slow down. Being in a rush actually makes you ineffective. The mind is more effective and efficient when it is relaxed, because it produces alpha waves instead of beta waves. When your mind produces alpha waves you actually think much better and much clearer.
8.When you are delaying your happiness, you may actually have your values and priorities the wrong way. Is your weight really that important? Do you have to have that promotion to enjoy time with your family? If it really is important like a family members health; worrying prematurely is still unnecessary and won’t achieve anything.