Great Eight. . .
Happiness is something we’d all like to feel no matter what’s going on. But what is a simple method to be a basically happy person, able to deal with whatever happens in life? Here are my Buddhist tips:
Make some quiet time each day – calm down by focusing on your breath. Recent studies are showing that taking time for silence restores the nervous system, helps sustain energy, and conditions our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead.
Be Present each day – When with others, be mindful of how you behave and speak; when by yourself, be mindful of what’s going on in your mind – try to act, speak and think in constructive ways. Studies suggest that mindfulness practices may help people manage stress, cope better with serious illness and reduce anxiety and depression. Many people who practice mindfulness report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life and improved self-esteem.
Do something nice – Be kind to yourself and others daily. Have sincere concern for others happiness and efforts for we have more in common than we do differences. When we practice kindness either to other people or towards ourselves we can experience positive mental and physical changes through lowering stress levels and increasing the body’s production of feel-good hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin.
Be generous with others – This will boost your feeling of self-worth. Being generous also makes us feel better about ourselves. Generosity is both a natural confidence builder and a natural repellant of self-hatred. By focusing on what we are giving rather than on what we are receiving, we create a more outward orientation toward the world, which shifts our focus away from ourselves.
Focus on your own and others’ strong points – make helpful suggestions when problems arise. Conventional wisdom has alleged, for many years, that your weaknesses represent your greatest opportunities for development. It’s a whole new world and we have so much to learn from each other; explore the sides of yourself that you may not even think existed. Consider aligning yourself with people you may feel competitive towards and give yourself permission to learn.
Practice forgiveness – Let go of wrongs that others have done. It can help free you from the control and or moments of the person who harmed you. Sometimes, forgiveness might even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you, but taking the higher road of understanding and forgiveness.
Forgive yourself – Let go of your own mistakes and as mentioned above practice self understanding and self acceptance. Research has shown that those who practice self-forgiveness have better mental and emotional well-being, more positive attitudes and healthier relationships. A related outcome ties self-compassion with higher levels of success, productivity, focus and concentration.
Accept reality – life is full of ups and downs, but no matter how bad things get, everything passes. Accepting reality is a valuable skill because it allows understanding. Rather than being stuck fighting or getting angry, you can choose the most effective path forward based on the facts and circumstances as they are. Not as you wish they were, or believe they should be, but as they are.
Being happy doesn’t come from nowhere; you have to work on it. But with practice, everyone can lead a happier life.
Peace and Love, Jim
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