The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness LSC Feb 14 2017

What does it take to be truly happy?  Many people think if I just had more time I would be happy. If I just had more money, time, energy, better relationships… I would be happy.

But what we need most of all to be happy is focus. Find your focus and you’ll find your happiness.  Contrary to the misleading word itself, happiness does not just happen. It is not a matter of luck or chance only.  Rather, it is a beautiful treasure that we can seek and find.  But happiness is something that we must pursue.

When you pursue happiness, you will find it.

Yet how?

Often times we find ourselves engaging in activitieswe think make us happy.  Spending time on our electronics and with our tech toys – Smart phones, HD TV, gaming systems, Snapchat, Instagram, i’ll kinds of social media apps…

But after all the time you spend on those do you ever find that you walk away from your time spent saying to yourself, I don’t feel much happier after spending all that time on virtual social reality.

Here’s why:

We were made to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. We were made to experience life and enjoy life through our senses.  We were made to feel.  

But we’re often so busy doing that we do not take time to pay attention to what we are feeling.  And that is where mindfulness comes in.  

Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to one’s thoughts and feelings.  To be mindful is to focus and be attentive to what you are thinking and what you’re feeling.   The key here is to pay attention to what’s going on in your mind, and to try to still and quiet it. And to do so you use your senses.

Many forms of meditation exist and various religions and cultures.  But what all meditation has in common is that it focuses on getting a person in touch with their physical self and their inner self.  When you stop, look, and listen – within – amazing things happen.  

Instead of feeling tossed to and fro by every responsibility and demand in your world, you feel peaceful and an inner gravity. Some have described this feeling as centered, rooted, focused, and grounded.

No matter how you describe it, let’s talk about how to get to it.  The first way to get into a calmer and more focused state, you must believe that you can.  

Meditation is not something meant for only highly spiritual or highly religious people practice. Rather, it’s a A gift of love and kindness and peace which is waiting to be given to anyone who seeks it.

Want to be even happier?  Smile!

The world’s expert on smiling, Paul Ekman, studied the psychology of and facial muscles used in smiling.  He came up with a comprehensive list of all the different kinds of smiles people give. 

These include:

The felt smile, which radiates contentment, is long and intense, and vase amusement

The flirtatious smile: during which the person averts their gaze in slight embarrassment

The pursed smile: during which the person  purses their lips to indicate shyness

And many more

The bottom line about smiling is that smiling makes us happy!  So if you want to be happier, smile

Amanda J. Seymour is an adjunct professor at Lone Star College and author of The Gift: A Deeper Understanding of Love.