Five Steps to Happiness in Everyday Life
1. Remember, every single problem we experience is actually just an unpleasant body sensation.
When your body responds to situations with anger, yearning, or fear, it’s the emotion – the sensation – that’s causing you to suffer, not the situation, person, or object. If your car breaks down, and you feel angry, it’s you that has the problem, not the car.
If your car broke down and you were approached by a good-looking stranger to help you, you might actually be quite pleased about it!
You already know from experience that just thinking about certain situations will cause certain body sensations to come up for you – consider how angry you sometimes get when lying in bed remembering what your boss said to you a year ago! In order for your problems to arise, you don’t need the person, object or situation to be there, you just need your mind to produce the body sensations.
So happiness is a physical and mental experience that comes from your side. That’s what people mean when they say ‘happiness comes from within’.
2. Acknowledge the sensation and study it.
The way to overcome these unpleasant body sensations is firstly acknowledge that they’re there. Repression will cause you unhappiness.
But expression isn’t necessarily going to help either – punching someone when you’re angry will obviously cause you many more problems! Instead, you can stand on the train platform of your mind, and watch the unpleasant body sensations shunt past like trains, without climbing on board.
The emotions aren’t YOU. Instead, they’re temporarily moving through you, like food being digested!
3. Allow the emotion to come up.
We’re often in a hurry to get rid of unpleasant body sensations (usually by trying to leave a situation or person) – so we don’t allow the emotion the space to leave naturally on its own.
One of the laws of nature is ALL THINGS MUST PASS. Nothing lasts forever – not even universes! Emotions come and go like the weather, so rather than trying to force them away, we can stop struggling and study them – as if we were watching them like a scientist studying an experiment. You can close your eyes and look within – where is the sensation?
How does the sensation feel? How long does it last? Is it really that bad? Isn’t it just a temporary feeling, which comes, stays for a while, then leaves?
4. Develop toleration for the unpleasant sensations.
Remember last time you were ill with a fever? Your body got very hot and you felt dizzy. Other than a cool washcloth and perhaps a painkiller pill, there wasn’t much you could do about it.
so you just had to wait patiently for your body to recover. It’s the same with unpleasant body sensations. They come, stay for a while, then they go. And you’re left unharmed. When you’re feeling sad or angry, you can remind yourself that it’s just some bad weather in the mind. Everything passes, even the bad moods, and even the good moods – so don’t get too attached to those either!
5. Cultivate states of mind that will give you pleasant feelings.
As we discovered earlier, your thoughts create your feelings, so why not purposely create pleasant feelings?
Love is a truly powerful emotion for an immediate injection of beautiful feelings, so how about you try purposely creating love? Try it now.Think of the person you love the most in the world.
Really picture the person and swim in your love for them.What are the beautiful things they do for you? What is it about them that you love so much? How do you feel when you make them smile?
Doesn’t just thinking about love make you feel very peaceful, very happy? You can do this whenever you feel sad, angry, or afraid – and it will counter those unpleasant sensations.
None of us must sit around waiting for happiness to magically appear in our lives. You can generate happiness yourself whenever you wish with the power of your own mind.