By Alexi Bracey
There are many definitions of happiness:
"Only when we fill our own need and feel satiated from within can we truly be fulfilled and happy." Dr. Shefali Tsabary, psychologist/author
“A state of well-being and acceptance”. Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary
“Happiness is what you are, and it comes from the way that you think.” Wayne Dyer
For myself, “Happiness is doing what feeds my soul.”
What does Happiness mean to you? May I suggest you take the time to sit down, grab a piece of paper write out your definition of happiness? Happiness is a decision you make. It is the meaning you give to an event, a place, a person or state of mind that gives you pleasure, contentment or satisfaction. In what areas of your life are you experiencing true happiness now?
Once more, take the time to list your areas of true Happiness. The Blue Zones are 5 groups of communities throughout the world who are the longest and healthiest living people. They are in Linda Loma-California, Costa Rico, Japan, Sardinia and Greece. They all share several common threads: simple mostly plant-based diet, clean water, strong social community and a simple life. Most importantly, they agreed that community and a simple life gave them a sense of happiness, purpose, contentment and longevity.
In affluent societies values are misaligned that happiness is financial freedom, more vacation time, another car, a condo, a cottage. While acquiring them may give you a sense of satisfaction, the meaning of happiness is not the collection of material goods. Consider the poor people in villages in Mexico or Africa, they are happy with what they have and make the most of their circumstances. Pictures in National Geographic are a good example of this. Circumstances may influence your state of happiness, but Happiness does come from within and not dependent on another person. Happiness is your responsibility and your choice.
I took the Science of Happiness free course several times and it re-defined my perceptions of happiness, priorities in my life and commitment to live my values.
Living your core values is what brings friends/partners together or separates them. I can share my personal journey. My marriage ended because we did not share common values which did not become evident until several years into my marriage. It was a learning experience, but it could have been avoided. After my cancer diagnosis, I shifted my core values in my life and was committed to creating a beautiful life that started with optimum health, so I could do and experience all the wonder that fed my soul! You may have 50 wishes today, but do not end up with only one in a year’s time…your health. The medical definition of Heart Math is a company that develops tools to enhance overall health based on the crucial link between emotions, brain function and heart rhythms.
Heart intelligence is the flow of intuitive awareness, understanding and inner guidance we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. It can be activated through self-initiated practice… a short-focused breathing exercise into the heart. The more coherent we are and the more we pay attention to this deeper intuitive inner guidance, the greater our ability to access this intelligence more frequently, the state of happiness is more easily and readily available.
Each of us is capable of achieving, increasing and maintaining our personal and social coherence. One of the simplest and quickest paths to personal heart coherence is through the intentional self-generation of positive feelings such as compassion, care, love and other renewing types of emotions. There are many resources on how this can be attained at heartmath.org. It is a useful practice I use daily.
Lastly, I would ask you to write down what areas of your life you would like to bring you true Happiness. Most importantly, give each one a date when you will achieve it. If not written down on paper with a deadline, it is only a dream. True happiness comes from within. Make a commitment to be in that state and share your gifts and talents and whatever else gives you happiness. Happiness has many benefits for your health, your mental state and your sense of well-being and purpose.
“If it is important to you, you will find a way, if not, you will find an excuse!” Alexi Bracey - wholehealthacademy.ca