How to Create Happiness Every Day

Even though happiness seems like a mystery at times to some of us, we can create happiness every day. Read on!

Happiness is a personal responsibility just as a clean home or a healthy meal is. To keep our kitchen sink clean what needs to happen? We need to take the scrubber and wash the dishes and clean the sink afterwards. Then, to continue to have it this way, we need to do it everyday. Now we have a nice, tidy kitchen sink on a daily basis.

Creating happiness is something like that. We need to take ACTIONS to first create it and then to maintain it. We need to do this everyday. Yes, it is true that happiness is never lost; it is always within us at all times and to say 'create' belies this fact. I will still like to use the word 'create' because it brings home the fact that in order to experience happiness we need to actively participate.

It is really imperative that you and I do this. Because happiness doesn't usually happen to us although we wait hoping for it to come to us. Yes, some people seem to be inherently happy. But they too do things, albeit, so naturally that they may not even be aware that they are doing it. They do things to help generate the feeling of happiness.

So, there it is, the key phrase: generating happiness.

Before I go into generating happiness, I would like to salute all those who say that happiness is something that just happens. One needs to meditate and be in the present moment and voilà! we will be happy. Although, I love meditation and love the teachings of being in the present moment, a lot of us, myself included, are not there yet to just feel happy at all times. Side note: happy=content=at peace. Not everyone is a regular meditator and many of us are not always present. So if this describes you, then read on.

The essence of what I am saying here is that we actually need to do something actively to generate happiness. We need to take conscious actions.

1. We need to look deeply at what generates happiness. For each one of us it is different.

Two things happen when we begin to dissect those things that make/generate happiness for us. One, we begin to see that there certain things that we want in our lives. And we think once we attain them, we shall be happy - the pursuit of happiness, which really is the cause of unhappiness. It is something in the future. We can never attain something that is in the illusory dimension of time which is conceptual. There is only the present. So, if we cannot feel or generate happiness in the now, the idea that 'someday' I shall be happy, is just a way to trap ourselves in a perpetual circle. This way, we see that what we think will make us happy in the future is nothing but an illusion.

So, the 'happiness' is not happening in the future. It is only happening now.

Second, when we look deeper at what generates happiness, we realize all those things that our heart really really values but our mind or the ego, doesn't want to give it importance. These are all the things that are not connected with status, fame, success, security, wealth, reputation and the face we show in society. What our hearts value are things that are very deeply personal and unique to each one of us. And of course, it varies greatly.

Some of these things for me are:

having plenty of time for breakfast (not rushing)
watching birds fly (I love to gaze at the sky)
playing with my cat (being around animals)
creative activity (writing, editing videos, cooking, designing websites)
reading (i love to read uplifting books)
watching the sunset (having grown up on the west coast of India, the sun setting into the ocean is truly special)
walking on the beach or in the woods (this unique connection with nature is beyond words)
sitting in the hammock with a notebook and a pen (I love writing in my hammonck)
meditating (regardless of how still my mind is during a meditation, after the session I have a wonderful sense of joy for having shown up for it)
playing badminton with my neighbor-kids
chatting about the nature of life and universe with friends

...and so on.

Not one item on this list is something money can buy. Think about your own list. What kinds of things make you happy; things that your heart values?

It seems that many of these activities we don't give value to ourselves, even though deep down we love them. We enjoy them, but somehow we find other more important things to do - often things that directly generate money or status - which we think will get us all those happiness-making things in the future.

Do understand me right. We certainly need to take care of our needs and do the necessary to take care of our livelihood. But I am talking about what comes after that - after you have done the necessary and covered the basics.

This is what seems to happen.

Everything externally seems to be going well, just as you planned. You are doing everything that society has asked of you, you even excel and create immense monetary success, but you feel cheated, tripped up. That something is not right, not fair. Inside you, there is a deep rumbling of dissatisfaction, discomfort, restlessness, even sadness and inexplicable sorrow. And you think at first, it is something out there - somebody said or did something or didn't say or didn't do. Or it may be that some situation is not working out the way you planned. These external events become a trigger - a light switch that is turned on to then make you feel really really bad. You even realize that your reactions seems out of proportion to the event you are facing. And then you begin to wonder what in the world is going on with you?!!

All that has happened is that your inner-spirit, your essence, your soul is suffocated. You have not been doing all those things that make you truly happy. You've had too many stresses and pressures of life that you needed to cater to. Too many fires to put out for others, that your inner-fire is fighting for air. The inner-fire will never be put out - no matter what you do. But we do need to help this little fire, this litter flame to breathe, to grow, to expand and to shine through us.

When, that doesn't happen, we feel ill, we feel restless, we drop into depression and into anger.

We need to play, we need to do more of the things we love to do. More of the things that makes us happy - make us feel good.

But how to do it? How to do it when our days are full and our responsibilities to others take all of our time?

It may seem hard, but really it isn't.

2. All it takes is a decision.

We need to decide that kindling our inner fire is important to us. This is what generates happiness for us. And a happy person helps his/her community in infinite ways.

So, after we make that decision, we need to commit to generating happiness in the next 24 hours. We need to pick something small.

Whatever creates true happiness for you, do that, even if it is only for 15 minutes.

Then, make a new commitment for one more day and for just a few minutes. And each day renewing your commitment to take care of your inner-light.

You will see that your inner-fire starts rekindling. It gets a little air to breathe. There comes a smile to your face. You begin to generate happiness; instead of waiting for it to happen to you. You are allowing your spirit to flourish.

So, happiness - feeling light and happy - is your personal responsibility, like brushing teeth, showering and keeping a clean kitchen sink. And you can do it - start small and soon you will create a momentum of continuous and exponential increase in happiness and in a sense of well-being.

Love,
Sophia

Sophia Ojha

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