What's your happiness practice?
Some people believe that when you're on a path of personal and spiritual growth, it's important to find out to root causes of unhappiness in order to make improvements. And yes, it's wise to rise above and observe emotions, to feel them, to be kind to them, and to allow them.
But it can be just as important, if not more so, to focus on our moments of happiness and really settle in to enjoy them, remember them with gratitude, renew them, talk about them, and experience them even more fully.
Recognizing what it feels like to feel good can be a first step toward sustaining happiness in your life. You can examine how joy feels in your body while it's happening. Like any other emotion, the chemicals of joy will be over in about 90 seconds. So it's worth stopping to pay attention to exactly how it feels for that brief moment.
And then, also like with other emotions, there are related thoughts. With joy, wonder, awe, and gratitude, it can be helpful and sustaining to take a look at what the thoughts are the accompanying the joyful feeling. What's the story you're telling yourself about what this moment means? It's a real spiritual practice to allow joy to take up more and more space in your thoughts.
The fact of retracing your steps to discover what put you in that joyful frame of mind, noting your choices and what you're grateful for, can make it easier to maintain humor, gentleness, laughter, compassion, and lightness. And then, you can choose to share that moment in your gratitude journal, with a loved one, or in a painting or another creative outlet.
Low moments will come, and when you've created a memory bank and a collection of resources that remind you of warmth and happiness, you can have that to support you in the hard moments.
My memory bank includes kayaking, paragliding, relaxing on my yellow couch with a warm cup of tea and a candle, stacking firewood with my dad, skipping stones with my daughter... What about you? Which songs, images, pets, people, and locations are your happiness triggers? How do you want to feed and nurture your happiness habits?
With great love,