Is not the aim of most people to become happy, however one might define contentedness? A solid relationship, a meaningful vocation when possible, achievable goals, a healthy lifestyle? Perhaps loves for nature, reading, the arts, or sincere spirituality?
This elusive quest of attaining happiness can be undertaken in a variety of manners. Often, we do not allow ourselves to permanently indulge in happiness’ healthy pursuit for our well-being. Yet, happiness is a deserved aim that yearns to graft itself onto our heart of hearts.
How many times have we consumed ourselves in ruts that, in retrospect, we could have avoided? These ruts emotionally derail ourselves from equilibrium on innumerable occasions…But how do we react to these deviations from idealism?
In response to inevitable impediments, a person can generally foster a positive attitude, a negative attitude, or an emotionally inconsistent reaction to life’s constant bombardment of obstacles.
If one develops a negative attitude, he or she will view prospects of happiness through a clouded filter, bequeathing much more anguish than joy. A negative attitude is infectious because it renders us disappointed with real outcomes. It snowballs the dampening of our spirits, making us feel perpetually doomed. Negativity also often casts an encompassing cloud over a person’s projection of miserable sentiments, making the noticeable cynicism less appealing for others to interact with.
For example, often times people wish to disassociate themselves from negative people, or energy vampires -- human beings in perpetual ruts who may rarely emanate warmth. These people are down due to their negative attitudes. They are so bogged down by their reactions to their own circumstances that they are unable to empathize, let alone fluidly interact with others. So, project a sunnier disposition and make everyone happy, including yourself.
If one acquiesces to emotionally inconsistent reactions to life’s thwarts, one never knows how he or she will react to unfavorable circumstances. This doesn’t lead to a predictable plateau of comfortability, but rather many less-than-consistent downs and ups. The person is at the beck and call of mood and fate.
The reason that I state one may “foster” a positive attitude is because, despite adverse circumstances, one may choose to become optimistic over the predisposed trend towards that darn beck and call of fate. We all possess varying degrees of free will that may trump pre-destiny — however seemingly unwilling pre-destiny may be to budge.
Besides making mental paradigm shifts towards a more pleasant outlook, there are ways that we may condition our minds and bodies towards enlightened states: Meditation is a conditioning of mental fortitude that clears the clutter from our minds so that we may more freely maneuver into a less encumbered realm of happiness. Rebecca, an employee of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, remarked, “People meditate at the Center to unburden their baggage, resulting in a more functional latitude to do and behave how they desire.” Certain meditators may wish to listen to repetitive affirmations to pep up their day in a positive direction.
Procuring the happiness principle against odds is this simple: When we have ingrained patterns of negative thinking that are antithetical to our happiness, we may rebuke those critical sentiments in favor of coercing happier (or, at least not altogether adverse) replacements. Counter intuitively, we may wrestle the negative thoughts’ cynical inklings and instantaneously switch to positive thoughts of freedom from fear and peace of mind. As difficult as it may be to short-circuit recurrent, negative thoughts, we may choose to override them by forcing ourselves to flick on notions of competing happiness. We can do this by consciously connecting to our own bodies. We can practice exercise and self-care. We can reflect on our emotional trends through the nourishment we put into our bodies.
Adversity inevitably smacks us hard. We have the free choice to wrestle with pain, isolation, destitution, and hard knocks. We may not always win in life, but we may filter even horrendous fortune as well as many, many lesser derivations with a positive outlook. Simply alchemize the unsavory premonitions into hope and self-chosen satisfaction. Optimism is the key that allows us to eagerly anticipate what we might encounter next.
Perhaps it is the terrifying prospect of losing that subsumes us into self-fulfilling prophecies of failure. Remember, not giving into notions of doom is your choice— nobody else’s! All of our circumstances are unique, so do not offer unnecessary traction to comparing and contrasting with others. As long as we are above ground, we are pointed in an upright direction. We may view our lives through a blessing immersion, a filtration lens of purity. In light of humankind’s fallible nature, electing positivity offers people a viable solution to entrenched despair.