Scientists are now saying they believe we all have a certain level of happiness which is unique to each of us. Our happiness may increase from that level if we win the lottery or decrease from it if something negative happens to us or we get depressed but, they say, eventually we find our way back to the particular level we were born with.
We would all save ourselves time and money if we realised the level of happiness comes from within us and can’t be bought for cash. Instead it is all about finding ways to lessen negative thinking, giving and feeling genuine gratitude for the things we already have, forgiving ourselves for ‘lesson learnt’ past mistakes, finding an appreciation for the small things in life or connecting with nature by getting ourselves out there in it more often.
Showing compassion and empathy for those in need
Our happiness level can also be helped along with an increase in tolerance for the differences in our fellow humans. Empathy, kindness and compassion. It is all well and good surrounding ourselves only with positive people but we miss out experiencing human interaction with those less fortunate than ourselves or who are going through a hard time and who can teach us the lesson of gratitude for what we ourselves already have in abundance. Sometimes reaching out to a stranger with a helping hand or giving some change or a cup of coffee and a sandwich to a homeless person can be the best thing we have done all day. After all, it could have been you or I sitting there, cold and hungry, if our lives had taken a different path. Can we really avert our eyes and walk on by with a clear conscience or is the averting of our eyes the bit where we pretend we just haven’t seen so had no chance to act?
Learning to think for ourselves
We need to open our eyes and see what is actually around us and not just rely on the daily newspaper or the news on the television to form our views on the world. You may ask me how this makes a difference to our own personal happiness and I would reply by asking you how you feel after you have watched the news or read the headline stories of a newspaper?
Being less eager to judge and fear one another
We are too quick to judge one another and far keener than we ought to be to accept what we are told so we don’t have to think about it ourselves and come to our own conclusions. We are all unique individuals with something to offer whatever our religion, skin colour, gender or adult consensual sexual preferences. It is time to put those prejudices aside and take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions rather than following the local pack in our community and letting others decide for us what is acceptable and what isn’t. Or what is to be feared for being different to how we live our lives.
We must find more tolerance and stop judging whole groups/societies/countries on the actions of a few of their people. We are scaring ourselves unnecessarily if we continue to do this. This starts with us as individuals, not by waiting until enough people we know decide they feel the same thing. This will increase our happiness by giving us back the right to choose what we feel.
Living in the here and now
Real happiness is found in simpler, non-materialistic things and that sort of happiness is longer lasting and more fulfilling as we add to it minute by minute, drop by drop, without the guilt or fleeting satisfaction material purchases have to offer. We also have to accept that there will be the odd bad day and we are allowed to wallow for a bit sometimes. Nobody is perfect! Too much time is spent by all of us on our outside image to others.
Mindfulness and meditation can both help you to achieve inner peace and increase your level of happiness. If you didn’t see my post on the free online Mindfulness course I recommended in a previous post then the link is here. If you click on the word ‘meditation’ above it will show you my previous posts and hopefully give you some ideas too.
These things make up the secret to a happier, more fulfilled life for us as individuals. Together they make a safer, more tolerant world. It also sets the bar for a better future for our children by showing them the example of what ‘having it all’ should really mean.