How Happiness Happens: 3 Ways to Really Embrace the Present
Unfortunately, happiness doesn’t just happen for a lot of people. In a world where so many of us struggle just to get through the day, our brains are much more wired for survival than joy and happiness. That’s why learning how happiness happens, and how you can change your life so that you can experience it more, is so essential. If you’re ready to really embrace the present, PYM can help. We’re here with a few ways that you can up your happiness ratio, all by making just a few simple adjustments.
First Of All, What The Heck Is Happiness?
We all know what happiness feels like to us, but what is it exactly?
Happiness is such an elusive concept that many have struggled to explain it for centuries. Philosophers, psychologists, theologians, and others have studied the idea since nearly the beginning of time… and the result is still inconclusive.
The closest description that many have come up with is that it’s a state of mind more than an actual emotion. It really encompasses your entire life, instead of just being situational. Happiness frequently comes from living a life that is satisfying to you personally, instead of trying to please everyone else. That’s probably why it can be so hard to find.
There are a number of factors that may influence how happy you feel, and how frequently you feel that way. Researchers attribute things like genetics, life circumstances, social relationships, personal relationships, and achievements to levels of happiness, although they don’t necessarily “cause” them.
Why Happiness Needs Unhappiness
You’ve probably heard it time and time again but it’s still a true statement… you really do need unhappy times to truly appreciate the happy ones. If happiness was just a natural, default setting for people, they wouldn’t understand how special and unique it actually is. We would likely just take it for granted.
Ways to Embrace The Present
One of the best ways to truly initiate and enjoy happiness is to live your life as much in the present moment as possible. This is often referred to as “mindfulness,” where you are able to pay attention to the moment-to-moment things that happen to you and around you instead of being held up in the past or concerned about the future. To help you increase your own sense of mindfulness, here are three ways in which you can embrace the present… starting now!
There really aren’t enough good things to say about meditation. Even just a few days a week, for a few minutes at a time, can really help you to train your brain to allow you to pay more attention to the “now.” And the best part is, it’s free!
To start your own meditation practice, you only need a few things - a quiet space in which you are sure you won’t be disturbed, a comfortable place to sit, and patience. Start by sitting quietly and making sure that your body isn’t in pain (or is in the normal level of pain for you). Once you’re comfortable, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Count the breaths if that helps. When you notice a thought pop up, no matter what that thought may be, gently acknowledge it and brush it aside (some people like to note it as “thinking”). Continue for as long as comfortable. It’s just that simple.
#2) Be Ready To Say Yes
We’ve all been there - someone asks us to do something spontaneous and we shut them down without even considering it. Often, we spend a lot of time after the fact wishing that we had done whatever that thing is (vacation, skipping work, getting a puppy, etc). Another great way to embrace the present is to allow yourself times where just say yes to whatever life has to bring.
Saying yes to more things, even if they may intimidate you, also helps you to build your self-confidence. If you’re not accepting that big promotion or making the big move that you’ve always dreamed of because you’re afraid to fail, now is the time to start. So much of the things we do are because of a lack of belief, and saying yes more often can help build that belief in yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve.
#3) Acknowledge The Unpleasantness
Even though it may not be what you want to do, as we said earlier, true happiness comes from also experiencing unhappiness. When you live in the present, you’ll still experience moments of anxiety, of stress, of feeling overwhelmed. Mindfulness won’t take any of that away. What it will do, however, is teach you how to be better equipped to see it for what it really is… a temporary state of mind (just like happiness).
That doesn’t mean you have to learn to love your anxiety. You should always do things to help manage those feelings, like taking a PYM Mood Chew before you go into a stressful event or seeing a licensed therapist. Knowing that you’re feeling anxious and that it will pass is a heck of a lot better than feeling like you’ll be that way forever. That’s where mindfulness helps.
Meditation can also help you learn breathing techniques to get you through the, especially anxious times, like full-blown anxiety attacks. It’s a great tool to have at your disposal, even if you hope to never have to use it. A few quiet breaths in and out, and acknowledging that your racing thoughts are probably not telling you the truth, can stop those attacks in their tracks.
Happiness is something that you experience because you’ve also learned to push through the hard times. Living more firmly in the present, and appreciating that everything life has to throw at you happens for a reason, can attract more happiness into your life. PYM Mood Chews are there for you during the downtimes, so that you can push through and get back to living your life the way you were always meant to.