This morning a had a thought on happiness. It’s one of the things that isn’t easy to understand, but it’s definitely worth trying.
I few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about things that made be happy. But I actually don’t think any of the things on that list are necessities for me being happy. It’s just things I am used to, and if I get out of the habit of doing them I don’t feel as good. But it’s only temporary. It’s the same thing when I travel and are social everyday, and suddenly that stops, and I feel down. But that’s temporary as well.
Thoreau and many others argue that you can be perfectly happy without any ‘external stimulus’, such as being social, reading, doing sports, having stuff. Happiness comes from within, and you can be happy just by being present, and not think about the future or past. But most people don’t want to live without ‘the things that makes them happy’, including myself. And I don’t think we have to.
I think knowing that we can be happy without anything is important to know and practice. It prevents us from blaming things and routines when we aren’t happy, and forces us to practice being present.
I think we should do the things we love, try new things in the pursuit of happiness. It makes our lives more fun. But I don’t think it’s the essentials of happiness, it’s more like something you put on top. I also thing that one of the reason why we aren’t happy sometimes, is because the topping changes, and we feel like we ‘miss something’. That might be true, but it will always be like that, things change. We need to work on the happiness within, the foundation.
So next time you aren’t happy, don’t ask yourself: Why I am I not happy right now? But instead, practice mindfulness for 5-10 minutes. And remind yourself that many people without anything are perfectly happy everyday.
What are your thoughts on happiness?