7 GREAT ways to GET HAPPY!

7 GREAT ways to GET HAPPY!

by Sarah van Gelder from the Huffington Post

We come into this world naked with nothing to count on but love.

Along the way, we pick up other ideas about what's important — status, possessions, money, a bucket list of experiences and accomplishments. But those who reflect back, as they near the end of life, often rediscover love as the source of real happiness.

Philosophers and religious leaders have long warned against getting distracted by petty ambitions. "It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly," said British philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Still, many of us do get distracted and confused. After all, we need material security to live, and support our families, and our increasingly unequal society makes that more and more difficult. Meanwhile, advertisers spend billions to convince us that buying more stuff will make us happy; the elusive goal of material well-being stays just out of reach.

A starting point is to realize that we have choices.

It is true that all of us need a basic level of material security. But after that, more stuff does not bring more happiness. The research shows that sustainable happiness comes from other sources, like having meaningful work to do (paid or unpaid) and having authentic relationships. It is a form of happiness that endures, through good and bad times, because it starts with the fundamental requirements and aspirations of being human.

In the nearly 20 years we at YES! magazine have been covering sustainable happiness, we've found a remarkable consistency to what spiritual leaders, philosophers, and researchers say about it.

A starting point is to realize that we have choices. Viktor E. Frankl, concentration camp survivor and author of Man's Search for Meaning, wrote, "Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing: your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation."

Here are some of the things we've learned that you can do right now:

1. Show up for your life mindfully

Mindfulness — and its sibling, compassion — can lighten the burdens of your past and lessen your worries about the future. Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, says that by fully inhabiting the present moment, we become conscious of the interplay of our emotions and desires and less at the mercy of events around us.

2. Kick your addictions

If you rely on drugs or alcohol to get through the day, then kicking that addiction and dealing with the underlying causes is your first step. But many forms of addiction are more subtle. Maybe you spend so much time on Facebook or checking email that you miss out on connecting with the people around you. Some cafés now have laptop-free days to encourage customers to show up ready to interact with each other. Or maybe you've gotten addicted to shopping and having the best or the latest. Make conscious choices about where you direct your attention, and consider what brings deep happiness…

…keep reading the full & original story HERE