Ask someone, “Do you really want to be happy?” and what you will get in reply are strange looks, puzzled shrugs or a counter question of, “Who doesn’t want to be happy?”
It is true that all the hullabaloo of our lives is in pursuit of happiness, but does anyone really know what happiness is? People are so busy seeking happiness that they have no time to stop and ask what it is. For most people happiness is an agreeable state of mind which is there, far away, like the horizon – a vague, nebulous feeling that everybody takes for granted and nobody gets a grip on.
When we stopped people on the road and asked them, “What makes you happy?” the off-the-cuff answers ranged from a cup of coffee to a hot shower, from sex to self-awareness. From these answers it appears that happiness is a fleeting feeling which can be aroused by any outside agent, some kind of excitement. This is exactly why happiness is so elusive: everybody chases it and very few find.
We think happiness is outside, in the other – someone or something is going to give it to us as a gift or maybe we could earn it ourselves. There appears to be a kind of unhappiness about the degree of happiness everyone has because we fail to recognize that happiness cannot be brought about directly. It is like courting a woman – one has to be indirect, discreet, gentle.
Happiness comes as a shadow of positive energy; it is a fragrance. We can weed out the dark emotions like anger, hatred, anxiety, envy and then the energy entangled in these dark corners is released and transformed into a flower of contentment. Happiness is the aroma of such flowering.
Happiness has many shadows: joy, bliss, contentment, pleasure, satisfaction, felicity…but they are all colourful petals of the same flower. Before seeking happiness one has to pause for a moment to ask oneself, “Do I really want to be happy? Am I ready to fulfil the condition in which happiness can be born?”
The condition is to become conscious of all the negative energies that block the flow of happiness, to take the trouble to remove the causes that make me unhappy. If I am looking for appreciation in others ‘eyes, if I am hiding my loneliness in the crowd, if I am not ready to encounter my sadness and depression, if I do not know the art of enjoying every moment of living, it is futile to run around in search of happiness.
If ready, I would pause in my fast-paced gallop, take a deep breath and forget about happiness. With a luscious bunch of grapes in my hand, I’d begin to enjoy its shadows – watching butterfly flirting with the lily in full bloom or the lush green leaves dancing in the breeze top the piercing notes of a cuckoo. As the bubbles of joy start rising in my heart, slowly the tickling all over, I wonder: Is this happiness? Wow – it sends chill shivers up my spine.
Those Who Wish to Sing, Always Find a Song
So if you want to be happy, read on!
Modern research supports the vision of the mystics about the correlation between health and happiness. One study shows how much difference a positive outlook can make in our health, happiness and longevity. If this is meaningful to you, then go even further into this blog, Balanced Lifestyle Wikipedia, to find ways and means to bring happiness, meditation and more into your day-today life and activities!
To begin with, here are a few notes plus some research facts and statistics from Thomas R. Blakeslee that I would like to share with you:
“Your prospects for good health and long life are remarkably dependent upon mental habits learned in childhood. These attitudes cause emotional reactions that strongly affect your immune system, circulatory system and even your risk of accidents. The strength of this correlation between attitudes and health are grossly underestimated by the medical profession. We can improve our health, happiness and our prospects for long life by identifying bad mental habits and replacing them with proven healthy ones.
“In 1973, Dr. Grossarth-Maticek gave a brief test measuring habitual feelings of pleasure and well-being to thousands of elderly residents of Heidelberg, Germany. Twenty-one years later, he compared the test scores with their health status.”
Here are some of the results:
- The 300 people who had scored highest turned out to be thirty times more likely to be alive and well 21 years later than the 200 lowest!
- Improving attitudes can make even more difference in your health than, for example, quitting smoking or losing weight.
- Experiments have shown that a small amount of training spread over a year can be amazingly effective.
- When the health status of the two groups was checked 13 years later, 409 of the people given the training were still alive versus only 97 of the equal-sized control group!
- If you think it’s too late for you to change, think again: the average age of the people in the experiment was 58!
Another research reports that feelings of pleasure and well-being are so important to good health because they originate in the ancient, non-verbal parts of the brain that we share with lower animals through our common evolutionary past. This part of the brain also interacts with body systems that control blood pressure and immune responses. When our basic needs are met, our body’s systems work at peak efficiency.
They go on to say that when these same needs are frustrated, we may have chronic feelings of hopelessness which drive our body’s systems into a kind of self-destruct-mode where diseases and cancer can easily get a foothold and heart disease, strokes and accidents become more likely. In addition, our ability to think logically in words is a powerful ability that also has the power to ruin our health if it is directed at goals that are actually at odds with our basic needs.
Such research makes it self-evident that we can affect changes in our lives that will not only improve the quantity but the quality as well. With meditation as the basis, happiness is guaranteed.
“I have only one medicine for all your illness and that is meditation” – OSHO
It is learning to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly – things as they are – and still be in touch with our birthright of bliss!
What is happiness after all – can anyone define it? Here are the attempts of a few famous people:
People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. – H. Jackson Browne
Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle. – George Burns
The place to be happy is here, the time to be happy is now. – Robert Ingersoll
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. – Abraham Lincoln
The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell and a Hell of Heaven. – John Milton
When it gets dark enough you can see the stars. – Lee Salk
Happiness is a warm puppy. – Charles M. Schulz
Many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn’t spend half our time wishing. – Alexander Woollcott
Now I step aside to allow you, the reader, to see for yourself!