Shakespeare spoke of it “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare. Pharrell Williams spoke of it
“Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, because I’m happy”
What are they are speaking about? The pursuit of happiness
In pursuit of this feeling we miss out on the moment we are in. In youth we wish for adulthood and all its benefits. As parents we wish for our children to cut their first tooth, say their first word, walk their first step. Then there’s wishing for Friday, payday and holidays.
It’s difficult to focus on your thoughts, feelings, senses and surroundings when you are focused on the past or future.
All too often in our busy lives we operate on autopilot. If your mind is elsewhere it is really difficult to focus on your current experience. We lose touch with the here and now. Research has accumulated factors that relate to happiness which has enabled psychologists and therapists to offer information based on data rather than intuition (Seligman, 2002; Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Happiness like a good wine or good marriage is something that takes time and work to perfect.
The following are some suggestions that may help you maintain or enhance your personal happiness:-
• Spending time with others and developing close trusting relationships- Research suggests that good solid relationships provide a strong basis for personal happiness.
• Look for ways to help others – Try to make a positive difference to the lives of others. This increases your self-worth and will deepen your connection with the world you live in.
• Nurture physical wellbeing – Studies show that even moderate exercise assists emotional wellbeing and improve levels of happiness.
• Take time out to enjoy yourself - We have all heard the saying all work and no play – Managing your time well will allow you the opportunity to schedule an activity that provides pleasure around work , school, family and children.
• Practice Mindfulness - Mindfulness assists us in experiencing the world in the present moment. It offers the possibility of freeing oneself from unhelpful ways of thinking and operating. Practicing Mindfulness is known to improve wellbeing as it makes it easier to enjoy life’s pleasures as they occur. By being fully engaged in the present a greater capacity to deal with adverse events is created. Mindfulness is also effective in relieving stress and improving sleep.
The following TED Talk by Louie Schwartzberg – Time lapse photographer gives a wonderful insight into living in the moment – the gift of today, and, let’s be honest we know that being grateful for any gift that we are given is really good manners. Slowing down and taking a little while out of your day to notice just what’s around you can bring you one step closer in your pursuit of happiness.