Like many words used as names for esoteric things, ‘happiness’ is a much-used one. A word whose meaning may mean quite different things for different people and so may be quite difficult to define. Let’s give it a go, though, and try to encapsulate what happiness actually is – and how to attain and hold on to it.
What is happiness?
According to research, it could well be, believe it or not, that happiness isn’t about always having something to smile about, but instead is about being in charge of what’s happening in your life as much as is possible. This flies in the face, too, then of the notion that happiness can fundamentally stem from attaining money and status – although, the control element does suggest that good health plays a factor in finding and keeping happiness.
All the same, because life inevitably leads us in complicated, compromised and sometimes unpleasant directions, we end up doing things we don’t enjoy and operating ‘without control’; we end up out of sync with what makes us happy.
The good thing about ‘happiness’, though, is that it’s always there; it can always be reached and can always be found again. This is because of ‘internal happiness’; a sort of well of happiness that exists, deep inside every one of us, and can always be tapped into. Something that we, at Karma Foundation UK, firmly believe in tapping into.
Sure, this internal happiness may not always be active (in fact, it would be odd if it were in the complicated modern lives we all lead), but like a default setting, it can be accessed and ‘switched on’ just as those settings that allow us to feel sad, angry, agitated and stressed can each be when needed.
So, don’t doubt it; a real, empowered happiness lives inside all of us – it’s just a case of accessing it. And when we do it enables us not just to feel content or happy but also to build on the happiness we may feel from outside situations and events; shared moments with loved ones or friends, successes and milestones in life and even those exquisite little things, like experiencing a sunrise or a sunset, watching a butterfly dancing around in a garden or hearing beautiful birdsong in the morning or evening.
How to be happy?
So, taking all the above into account, what can you do to try and make you and your life happier? Well, here are a few things you might want to try:
- Find your purpose in life – are you happy in your job, your relationships, and your regular routine and activities? It can be possible to make positive changes in life even when there are difficulties with work and other areas in your life
- Control what you control; accept that it’s not possible to control what you can’t
- Try to focus more on what matters to you most (family, friends, activities, and thoughts that matter to you) and savour focusing on them
- Be mindful and, if it helps, explore spirituality (discover karma) – mindfulness can help in the attainment of happiness a great deal
- Don’t necessarily focus on trying to be happy; instead, focus on being active and proactive and living more of the life you’d like to lead.