HOW TOACHIEVE HAPPINESS 02

HOPE: –

Hope is defined by psychologists as the conviction that one can find the means to attain one’s goal and develop the motivation necessary to do so. It is known that hope improves student’s test results and athlete’s performance, makes illness and agonizing debility more bearable, and makes pain itself (from burns, arthritis, spinal injuries, or blindness, for example) easier to tolerate. It has been demonstrated for instance, using a method to measure resistance to pain, that people who show a marked tendency to be hopeful are able to tolerate contact with a very cold surface twice as long as those who don’t.

The optimist does not give up quickly. Strengthened by the hope of success, one perseveres and succeeds more often than the pessimist, especially in adverse conditions. The pessimist has a tendency to back away from difficulties, sink into resignation or turn to temporary distractions that will not solve one’s prob- lems. The pessimist will demonstrate little resolve, for one doubts everything and everyone, foresees the failure of every undertaking (instead of potential for growth, development and fruitfulness), and sees every person as a schemer and an egoist. One sees a threat in every new thing and anticipates catastrophe. In a word; when hearing a door creak, the optimist thinks it’s opening and the pessimist thinks it’s closing.

Time of Happiness: –

At the time of happiness, one gets completely involved in an activity for its own sake. There is a sense of transcending the Ego and Time. Every action, movement, thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing Jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you are using your skills to the utmost.

Consider walking just for the pleasure of walking, freely and firmly, without hurrying. We are present in every step. When we wish to speak, we stop walking and lend all our attention to the person, to speaking and to listening. Stop, look around, and see how wonderful life is: the trees, the white clouds, and the infinite sky. Listen to the birds, delight in the light breeze. Let us walk as free people and feel our steps growing lighter as we walk. Let us appreciate every step we take.

As satisfying as it may be to cultivate the experience of flow, it is still only a tool. If it is to make any long-term improvement in our quality of life it must be filled with human qualities, such as altruism and wisdom. The value of the flow depends on the motivation coloring the mind. It can be negative in case of the burglar, neutral of mundane activity- ironing clothes say – or positive when we are involved in a rescue operation or meditating on compassion. That experience is a source of inner peace and openness to the world and others.

HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS:

HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS: –

Happiness goes hand in hand with the capacity to assert one self with extro-version and empathy. Happy people are generally open to the world. They believe that an individual can exert control over oneself and one’s life, while unhappy people tend to believe they are destiny’s playthings. It would seem that the more an individual is capable of controlling one’s environment happier the person is. It is interesting to note that in everyday life, extroverts experience more positive events than introverts, and neurotics have more negative experiences than stable people.

How do we explain that there is ultimately so little correlation – 10 to 15 % – between health, wealth, beauty, and happiness? Because it depends upon the way people perceive the world, which is more important to happiness than objective circumstances. It is also about the goals we set for our own lives. Having a lot of money necessarily plays a role in the happiness of someone who has set personal enrichment as his main objective, but it will have less impact on some one for whom wealth is a secondary importance.

Don’t let your happiness be dependent on any object, person or situation: –

It is the art of living, the purpose of our existence. Happiness is the true index of quality of life. Without happiness, life is dry and meaningless. With happiness, life immediately becomes fulfilling and wonderful. Happiness is an infectious feeling that immediately lifts the sagging spirits of people. Happy people keep themselves happy because they know the little ways to appreciate themselves and to see the humor and magic in each mo- ment.

Happiness and Humanity: –

People are much more inclined to come to the assistance of a friend or of someone with whom they have something in common like ethnicity, nationality, religion and opinion, than to help a stranger to whom they feel no particular connection. The Buddhist approach is to gradually extend that sense of belonging to all beings. When our sense of belonging, extends to all living beings, we are intimately touched by their joys and sufferings. Those who believe themselves to be happiest are also the most humanitarians. When we are happy, the feeling of selfimportance is diminished and we are more open to others. Acute depression is accompanied by difficulty in feeling and expressing love for others. Selfishness is the essential ingredient of true happiness.

True humility is freedom from all consciousness of self, which includes freedom from the consciousness of humility. The true humble man never knows that he is humble. The humble person has nothing to loose and nothing to gain. If one is praised, one feels that it is humility and not oneself that is being praised. If one is criticized, one feels that bringing one’s faults to light is a great favor. Free of hope and fear alike, the humble person remains light hearted. People, who consider themselves superior, judge the faults of others more harshly and consider them to be less forgivable. Humble person makes decisions on the basis of what he believes to be right and sticks by them without concern for his own image or the opinion of others.

RENUNCIATION AND NATURE vs NURTURE

Renunciation: –

Renunciation is not about depriving ourselves of that which brings us joy and happiness – that would be absurd; it is about abandoning what causes us the inexhaustible and relentless distress. It is about having the courage to rid us of the dependency on the root causes of suffering. To do this we first have to identify and recognize these causes and then become mindful of them in our daily life. Renunciation involves simplifying our acts, our speech and our thoughts to rid ourselves of the superfluous.

Being free also means being able to follow the path of inner transformation. To achieve that, we have to overcome not only external adversity but also our inner most enemies. Like laziness, lack of focus, and the habits that constantly distract us from or differ spiritual practice.

Nature and Nurture: –

Are we born with varying genetic predisposition to happiness or unhappiness?

How do our upbringing and our life experiences favor or undermine our subjective well-being?

To what extent is it possible to modify our personality traits and generate a lasting sense of satisfaction?

What mental factors contribute to that transformation?

Many researches and studies have answered above questions in following three ways.

1. About 25 percent of our potential for happiness appears to be deter- mined by Genes. Yet genes act more like a blue print that can be ap- plied or ignored depending upon circumstances.

2. Outward conditions and other general factors, such as wealth, educa- tion, social status, hobbies, sex, age, ethnicity and so on have circum- stantial influence, but account altogether for no more than 10 to 15 percent of the variable satisfaction quotient.

3. We can exert considerable influence on our experience of happiness and unhappiness through the way we live and think. How we perceive our life’s events, and how we react to them.

EMOTIONS

EMOTIONS: –
“One with compassion (positive emotions) is kind even when angry; One without compassion (negative emotions) will kill even as he smiles.”

The goal in dealing with our emotions is not to rid us entirely of our emotions or to transcend it, but to manage our experience of it and the way in which it translates in to action.

Positive emotions broaden our thought-action catalog, widening the array of thoughts and actions that come to mind, including joy, interest, contentment, and love. Some scientists believe that developing such positive thoughts, therefore offers an indisputable evolutionary advantage, in as much as it helps us to broaden our intellectual and affective universe and to open ourselves to new ideas and experiences.

Negative emotions like hatred, jealousy or obsession, at the moment they form, they make us deeply uncomfortable. Moreover the actions and words they inspire are usually intended to hurt others. These disturbing emotions tend to distort our perception of reality and to prevent us from seeing it as it really is.

Short Meditation: –

People say they have no time for meditation. It’s not true! You can meditate walking down the corridor, waiting for the traffic lights to change, at the computer, standing in a queue, in the bathroom, combing your hair, just be there in the present without the mental commentary. I do my meditation for 5 minutes as soon as I wake up in the morning, on the bed, to thank GOD that I have consciousness and ask for his blessings. Same way again I do my meditation for 5 minutes, in the night, on the bed, before lying down, to again Thank GOD for everything (good or bad) that happened that day.

Meditation is not about sitting quietly in the shade of the tree and relaxing in a moment of break from the daily grind; it is about familiarizing yourself with a new vision of things, a new way to manage your thoughts, of perceiving people and experiencing the world. The essential thing is to identify the types of mental activity that lead to well-being and those that lead to suffering, even when the latter afford us brief instances of pleasure. This investigation calls for a subtle assessment of the nature of the emotions.

The first phase of that analysis is to identify the way in which the emotions arise and then sit in a comfortable position. Your body remains in an erect but not tense posture with eyes gently closed. For 5 minutes, breathe calmly, noticing the in and outflow of your breath. Experience the gradual calming of chaotic thoughts. When thoughts arise, neither attempts to neither block them nor let them multiply. Simply continue to watch your breath.

Next instead of paying attention to outer sights, sounds and events, turn your gaze inward and look at the mind itself. Looking here means observing your awareness itself, not the content of your thoughts. Let the mind gently come to rest, as a tired traveler finds a pleasant meadow in which to sit for a while.

Then with the deep feeling of appreciation, think of value of human existence and of its extraordinary potential for flourishing. Be aware that this precious life will not last forever and that is essential to make the best possible use of it. Sincerely examine what counts more for you in life for you. What do you need to accomplish or discard in order to achieve authentic well-being and live a meaningful existence? When the factors that contribute to true happiness have become clear to you, imagine that they begin to bloom in your mind. Resolve to nurture them day after day.

End you meditation by letting thoughts of pure kindness embrace all living beings.

Finally we can meditate in a non-conceptual way on the very nature of the mind by looking directly at consciousness itself as an open presence, a pure awareness that always lies behind the screen of thoughts, or by contemplating the very nature of the thoughts that cross our mind. Meditation is followed up with action, that is, by being applied in every day life. Of what use is the great session of meditation if it does not translate in to improvement of our whole being, which can then place itself at the service of others? Once the seeds of the patience, inner strength, serenity, love, and compassion have come to maturity, it is to others that we must offer their fruit.

Read more: EMOTIONS

BIOLOGY OF HAPPINESS 03

EGO & DEPRESSION :-

Ego :-

is a powerful attachment to the self and thus to the notion of “Mine” – my body, my name, my mind, my possession, my friends and so on – which leads either to desire to possess or to the feeling of repulsion for the “Other”. This erroneous sense of a real and independent self is of course based on ego- centricity, which persuades us that our own fate is of greater value than that of others.

The western world holds the self to be the fundamental building block of the personality. Surely, if I eliminate my ego I will cease to exist as a person. But the genuine self-confidence is the natural quality of egolessness. Genuine confidence comes from an awareness of a basic quality of our mind and of our po- tential for transformation and flourishing, what Buddhism calls Buddha Nature, which is present in all of us.

The idea that a powerful ego is necessary to succeed in life undoubtedly stems from the confusion between attachment to our own image and the resolve to achieve our deepest aspirations. The fact is, the less influenced we are by the sense of our self’s importance, the easier it is to acquire lasting inner strength. The reason for this is simple: self importance is a target open to all sorts of mental projectiles – jealousy, fear, greed, repulsion – that perpetually destabilize it.

We are obsessed with our success, our failure, our hopes and our anxieties and thereby give happiness every opportunity to elude us. When the self ceases to be the most important thing in the world, we find it easier to focus our concern on others. The sight of their suffering bolsters our courage and resolve to work on their behalf, instead of crippling us with our own emotional distress.

Depression or unhappy thoughts: –

In depression all that is happening in the present is the anticipation of pain in the future and present no longer exists at all. The inability to manage our thoughts proves to be the principal cause of suffering. Learning to tone down the ceaseless racket of disturbing thoughts is a decisive stage on the road to inner peace.

When a painful emotion strikes us, the most urgent thinking is to look at it head-on and to identify the immediate thoughts that triggered it and are fanning it. Then by fixing our inner gaze on the emotion itself, we can gradually dissolve it like snow in sunshine. Furthermore, once the string of emotions has been sapped, the causes that triggered it will seem less tragic and we will have won ourselves the chance to break free from the vicious circle of nega- tive thoughts.

So we need to take a closer look at mind itself. The first things we notice are the currents of thought that are continuously flowing without our even being aware of them. The countless thoughts born of our sensations, our memories and our imagination are forever streaming through our mind. But also there is a quality of mind that is always present no matter what kind of thoughts we entertain. The quality is the primary consciousness underlying all thought. That faculty, that simple open presence, is what we may call “Pure consciousness”, because it exists even in the absence of mental constructs.

It is not easy to experience “Pure Consciousness”, but it is possible. When a thought arises, try to see where it came from; when it disappears, ask yourself where it went. In that brief moment when your mind is not encumbered by discursive thoughts, contemplate its nature. In that instant when past thoughts have fallen silent and future ones have yet to emerge, you can perceive a pure and luminous consciousness unadulterated by your conceptual constructs.