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The Road to Happiness by Melissa Perehudoff

February 22, 2016

Happiness is a mind state that can be cultivated. New shoes, a tropical holiday and chocolate may help our brain release dopamine, a feel good neurotransmitter, but they don’t really lead to the road to happiness. Just as we can learn a musical instrument or computer program we can train our brain to be happy. It’s about how you look at things, not about how things actually are. 

Some quotes from some wise people:

Mahatma Gandhi:  Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.

BKS Iyengar:  From contentment, the highest happiness is attained.

Wayne Dyer:  There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.

Venerable Sona:  Fake it ‘til you make it.

Until you can choose happiness, here are some strategies to learn to enjoy life’s journey.  It’s a short trip, you may as well smile and enjoy the view. 

  1. Write in a gratitude journal about the good parts of your day before bed.

  2. Spend time in nature, soaking up the fresh air and beauty.

  3. Spend time with people you enjoy.Avoid complaining and gossiping.

  4. Practice mindfulness by paying attention to what you feel, hear, smell and taste in each moment. It takes practice but it gets easier.

  5. Be silly.Sing, laugh, dance, put on a big smile or share a joke.It works!

  6. Be part of something bigger.Volunteer at a thrift store.Collect money for a charity.Tutor a child.It feels good to help others and stay connected.

  7. Learn something new. Think of something you have always wanted to try and do it.Join a club to learn dancing, Spanish, curling, yoga or cooking.

  8. Meditate. During meditation, the brain releases neurotransmitters that counteract stress and contribute to the physiology of happiness.

  9. Take a deep breath and let go of past regrets and future worries.True happiness is right here, right now, in this moment.

  10. Be kind to yourself.Treat yourself the same way you treat a friend.

 

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