We all have one desire in common: to experience long lasting happiness.
Every choice we make comes from the belief that in the having of it, we will be happier. However, even though we all want happiness, it can sometimes be quite elusive, particularly in light of how fast the world is swirling around us. Few know how to actually get there, let alone experience happiness on a sustained basis. So let’s change that.
First, understand that we live in a culture that loves taking action. List your goals, make your to-do list, cross off each item as you complete it so you’ll feel productive. All of that is well and good, but the truth is that working to increase happiness based on an outer action is a lot of work that can bring with it a lot of frustration. Changing behavior sounds easy, but it’s tricky. A far better approach is through doing your inner work first, which means looking within to release the limiting and erroneous beliefs and blocked emotions that bind us.
6 Powerful Tools for Creating Lasting Happiness
As children, we are trained to be obedient to our parents, teachers and spiritual leaders. As adults, our work is to let go of what we have accepted from outside ourselves that is not in line with who we truly are. From that soul connection, we more confidently present ourselves to the world.
Here are some powerful tools for creating lasting happiness:
1. Become soul-selfish.
Ego is a relentlessly driving voice insisting that you need to be, do or have this or that to feel good, loved and valued. In contrast, soul selfishness sources from the deepest part of ourselves, the place from which we are all connected. Being in alignment with our souls is the surest way to achieve lasting happiness. It’s only through taking care of yourself first that you can even begin to help anyone else.
2. Sit down and stop the nonsense.
Choose someplace comfortable where you won’t be disturbed. Ask yourself the following questions and listen deeply for the answers.
When am I happiest?
- What really interests me? What draws my attention?
- What work excites me?
- Who are the people that attract me? Who are the people that I attract? With whom do you feel comfortable and safe in expressing yourself?
Do you prefer the city or the country, skiing or basking in the sun? What colors do you prefer? Foods do you enjoy? What music turns you on? What hobbies do you choose? Go beyond the first few automatic responses to get to the deeper, more meaningful ones. These are desires coming from your soul.
Write down your responses or record them. Then review your list. Did anything surprise you? Were there things you hadn’t thought of before? Pay attention to them.
3. Take control of your mind
Our happiness depends on where we focus our minds. There are always things that we want and things that we don’t want. Focus on what you want, not on the things you don’t want. Pay attention to what you’re thinking and if you stray into what you don’t want, pull yourself back. As you focus on what you want, new ideas will begin to surface to support you in fulfilling those desires.
4. Think about what you’re grateful for:
Really think about this so that you feel gratitude in your body. This is not just a list you quickly run through. Take time to look inside with an open heart and ask: “To whom and for what am I grateful for today?” If you can’t think of anything, bring back a memory of when you did feel grateful and inspired. Whether thinking about the past, present or future, your thoughts will create feelings — think thoughts that make you smile and bring you pleasure. The more you think happy thoughts, the more happiness you will attract.
5. Where are your thoughts focused at this very moment?
On what is pleasing you or what is not? On success or failure? On what you have or what you don’t have? Whether these thoughts are associated with the past, the present, or imagined in the future, your thoughts create your feelings.
6. Creating connections feed our souls.
Whether connecting through intimate relationships, friendships or group associations, how much energy do you put into your relationships? We all need to give and receive support and pleasure and want to feel truly seen, known and appreciated. Authentic connections offer us a huge source of lasting happiness as we enjoy, accept and support each other in growing, taking adventurous new steps.
Creating lasting happiness isn’t always easy. There are inner and outer resistances that make the process challenging. Some who are important to you may not like how you’re changing. Fear of the unknown and concern at how you will ever get through your emotional blocks are also deterrents. Yet the rewards are enormous! More than ever there are countless resources to support you on your journey. Take these tips to heart and feel yourself becoming happier every single day.