With the daily stresses of modern life, the art of being happy is something that often feels like it’s way out of our hands.
But it might reassure you to know that while happiness might seem like an impossibility, at times, it’s not some mythical quest.
Happiness is a journey, a tapestry made up of the threads of our everyday actions and choices. As they say, “Happiness is a pursuit, not a destination.”
Today, we can embark on this adventure together, and figure out how we can embrace joy through simple, daily acts.
From ancient religions to modern practices, let’s dive into the art of being happy, one piece of advice at a time.
1) Embrace the Buddhist concept of ‘right livelihood’
Picture waking up every morning, excited about what you do, knowing that it aligns with your beliefs and values. It’s a satisfying thought, isn’t it?
This is the concept of “right livelihood” as advocated in the Buddhist Eightfold Path.
When your work is ethical and syncs up with the principles you hold dear, it creates a kind of harmony that can lead to happiness.
Your job doesn’t need to be curing cancer or saving the rainforest in order for it to be “right.”
In fact, you might be a Starbucks barista brewing the perfect matcha latte or a janitor keeping the office tidy.
Your work can be right when it feels right for you — and this can be an underestimated source of joy.
Remember, it’s all about finding your own path to fulfillment in what you do.
2) Serve the people around you
Sometimes, the key to your happiness is tucked away in the act of being selfless.
Helping others and performing acts of kindness can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Whether it’s volunteering at a local animal shelter, mentoring a struggling student, or simply being there for a friend when they’re going through a rough time, these acts create a deep connection with others and a sense of joy.
When you light up someone else’s day with a small act of kindness, you’re igniting your own joy, too.
It’s like a ripple effect — a gift that keeps on giving.
3) Get those endorphins flowing
There’s a good reason they say, “Motion creates emotion.” Regular exercise is a powerful tool in the art of being happy.
When you work up a sweat, your body releases endorphins, those magical feel-good chemicals that can chase away stress and elevate your mood.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a marathon runner or someone who prefers a leisurely stroll in the local park, the sheer act of moving your body, whether it’s dancing, swimming, or yoga, can be a fast way to feel happier.
It’s not just about the physical benefits, but the mental and emotional uplift that accompanies it.
So, let’s get moving together!
4) Forgive others and let go of resentment
Forgiveness is not simply about letting others off the hook, it’s about releasing ourselves from the chains of resentment.
Deepak Chopra once said, “The highest forgiveness is to accept that creation is thoroughly tangled, with every possible quality given outlet for expression. People need to accept once and for all that there is only one life and each of us is free to shape it through the choices we make.”
Holding onto grudges and anger only brings us down, casting a dark shadow over our lives.
When we learn to forgive, we free ourselves from that darkness, allowing happiness a new way in.
Even though it might feel difficult, at times, forgiveness is a gift that we can choose to give ourselves.
5) Unleash your inner artist
Creativity is a journey of self-discovery and self-expression.
Pursuing artistic hobbies or creative activities can bring a huge sense of fulfillment to your life.
Whether it’s painting, playing a musical instrument, crafting, or writing, engaging in creative pursuits allows you to express yourself and connect with yourself.
By doing these things, you can lose track of time, fully immerse yourself in the present moment, and experience a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
6) Shush your ego
Our egos often drive us to seek validation, compare ourselves to others, and create unnecessary stress.
Self-help guru Eckhart Tolle teaches that the ego is the source of much suffering and can massively impact on our happiness.
This is why it’s crucial to recognize the ego’s influence on your thoughts and actions and find ways to quiet its constant chatter.
“Don’t take the ego too seriously. When you detect egoic behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh,” says Tolle.
Learning to recognize the ego’s influence on your thoughts and actions and finding ways to quiet its constant chatter can lead to a happier, more peaceful existence.
By doing so, you take back your power over negative thoughts and step into a more ego-free world, where happiness reigns supreme.
7) Embrace the practice of Ren
In the teachings of Confucius, a central concept known as “Ren” (仁) holds a place of great importance.
Ren can be translated as “benevolence,” “humaneness,” “kindness,” or “compassion.”
It is a virtue that emphasizes the quality of humaneness and the importance of relationships in the pursuit of leading a happy life.
At its core, Ren encourages us to cultivate empathy and compassion toward others, recognizing the inherent value of every individual and the interconnectedness of all people.
Embracing Ren means treating others with kindness and respect. When we approach our relationships with empathy and compassion, we build stronger and more meaningful connections with others.
These bonds enrich our lives, provide emotional support, and create a sense of belonging that is essential for happiness.
To sum things up, the art of being happy is not an enigma shrouded in mystery.
From aligning your work with your values to serving others, from embracing physical activity to forgiving and quieting the ego, these are the secrets to a truly happy life.
It’s all about making the choice to find the joy in each day, one step at a time.