Are you going about happiness all wrong?!?!

Are you going about happiness all wrong?!?!

by Gia Ravazotti from MindBodyGreen

Happiness is an addiction in our society. We seek that high over and over, seldom finding the fix, but persistently trying to experience that feeling. We pursue happiness by buying material possessions, zoning out, consuming too much food; the list is endless.

But what if the quest for happiness is precisely what holds us back from feeling satisfied with our life? Maybe waiting for something external to change in order to feel fulfilled is the reason we struggle to find fulfillment. Changing something so fundamental about our belief system isn’t always easy, but there are a few ways to start a journey toward acceptance, and thereby, contentment.

1. Remember that there are no "bad" feelings.

Our society has this mistaken belief that certain feelings are negative and must be avoided. We look for a way to stop pain, sadness, anger, grief and a raft of other emotions. Whether we do this with drugs and alcohol or meditation, the action is the same; we attempt to somehow rid ourselves from those feelings which society deems wrong. We squash what arises while we scramble toward feeling better. The problem with this is that if we avoid the uncomfortable emotions, we limit our capacity to experience the feelings we seek.

When we feel everything that surfaces within completely, we start to access inspired states of bliss. Without exploring our darkest depths, we are unable to attain states of abandoned joy. The more we constrict and contort ourselves to avoid discomfort, the less we give ourselves permission to expand into authentic living.

2. Face it rather than fake it.

Sh*t happens. Yes, it's a total cliché and we hear this bandied around constantly, but it’s very true. Life isn’t a bed of roses. Life is full of lessons sent to teach us what we need to learn about ourselves. Avoiding these lessons by pushing away uncomfortable feelings only prolongs the journey. Immersing ourselves in the feelings that derail us can move us through them and out the other side far more productively than pretending that everything is peachy.

Positivity is great when it's appropriate, but if you constantly have to tell yourself to “fake it til you make it,” then perhaps this strategy isn’t working for you. Integrity means honoring where you are at all times without having to don the mask of positivity. Rather than plastering on the fake smile and saying everything is OK, get real and own your feelings…

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