By Silvia Mordini
Happiness is a continuous state of quiet joy that exists in the moment from the inside out. Happiness is what love looks like. It is the manifestation of what it means to love ourselves, love our day, love our lives.
“Contentment is about falling in love with your life.” – Swami Rama
As seekers of happiness it is important to understand how much of it depends on internal versus external factors. Based on her research, in her 2007 book The How of Happiness, positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky concluded that roughly 50 percent of happiness is determined by our genes and 10 percent by our life circumstance, but 40 percent depends on our daily activities.
This 50% is what is commonly known as our Happiness Set Point. The great news is that we have the power to influence 40% of our happiness.
You can seek daily activities that inspire enthusiasm. This is why Sedona Yoga Festival is a Happiness Reset. For four days you choose exactly those events that you are most passionate about such as a drumming workshop, going on a hike in the red rocks, taking a Chakra Workshop, or kicking back listening to amazing musicians share what they love.
The yogic philosophy of Santosha, often translated to mean contentment, is about living into your choices and within those happenings loving what life is offering us moment to moment. Finding the peaceful joy that is our natural state is the return to self that a weekend in Sedona brings about.
“Happiness depends on ourselves.” – Aristotle.
1. Take Responsibility
How to be Happy starts with taking responsibility for the quality of your life. When we are willing to accept accountability, it gets easier to authentically describe what we want our happiest life to feel like. From there, the whole world opens up!
“Happy people avoid blame in all its incarnations. They don’t blame other people, they don’t blame circumstances, and they don’t blame themselves. To happy people, blame serves no purpose. It doesn’t ever get us what we truly desire. In fact happy people not only avoid blame but they also avoid its family members envy, greed and jealousy – which are among the key indicators of unhappiness.” -The Choices Happy People Make
2. Choose Now
The act of waiting for happiness to be happy, or “happiness procrastination” as I refer to it, can be paralyzing. If we have a prerequisite of a certain condition taking place to facilitate happiness then we’ll always be waiting as opposed to being happy in the moment. If we fool ourselves into believing that we have to understand the reasons why we’re unhappy, the result will be getting stuck in that state of unhappiness. Instead choose those activities that spark joy, stop over intellectualizing your choices and live in the present.
What’s so important about being in the moment? Spiritual practice teaches us that the present moment is the source of healing, love, inspiration, and happiness. In fact, the purest form of happiness is found in the present moment. The yogis call this power of presence shakti. But to reap these benefits, we can’t just have fleeting moments of presence. We have to stay long enough in the present moment to really soak in the happiness.
Apply this Happiness Rx (Prescription):
- Each day take time away from your electronics and have a face-to-face conversation (instead of Face-to-book)
- Each week take one Media Detox day without technology (tv, laptop, cell phones, ect)
- Each month plan a nature trip whether it’s hiking in the mountains or walking the beach.
- Take a long weekend each year to attend a Wanderlust Festival for a happiness reset.
- Each year go on retreat where you can unplug from your business life for a week.
- At the end of the year, take a business “savasana” where you celebrate all that you attempted and accomplished and find pleasure in resting in that knowledge.
3. Stoke Your Passion!
Happiness is a direct experience of enthusiasm. Remember, it is not how or when we accomplish something that matters most, it is the sense of enthusiasm during the process that demonstrates our quality of life. Enthusiasm gives us the chance to go beyond our happiness set point. The foundational teachings of yoga tell us that joy is our birthright. That doesn’t mean it comes easy: It takes real effort. However, this exertion is well worth it and we should never let a day go by without putting forth our best effort to live with passion.
Practice this Mantra: I love myself, I love my day, I love my life!