5 Tools For Contentment And Happiness
There have been times when I wasn’t sure how to pull myself out from under a dark cloud, and found myself attached to gloominess and suffering due to challenging circumstances. I decided to make lifestyle changes to create more contentment and happiness and paid close attention to what worked. Here are simple tools I’ve found effective for cultivating contentment and happiness no matter what circumstances are occurring in life.
- Observe the fluctuations of the mind and the quality of thoughts. We become aware of our thoughts by noticing the fluctuations that occur from day to day, moment to moment. I started to notice and observe the mental tape that was playing and the negative patterns. By acknowledging one’s strengths, efforts, and courage, the energy in and around us becomes more positive and uplifted. This practice helped me see the beauty, gifts and talents, and the aspects that make us all individuals, perfect and unique just as we are. Start to train the mind to be kind, loving, and practice non-judgment towards ourselves and towards others. This is a practice and it takes time. The first step is to witness and observe any negative patterns of thinking. Then consciously choose to redirect thoughts until a more positive and uplifting state of mind becomes the norm.
- Learn and celebrate what makes the body feel comfortable and happy. Find little ways throughout the day to recognize when you do something special to celebrate life. Acknowledge what activities help inspire a feeling of celebration and actively realize that the benefits are doing something wonderful! I love taking a hot shower at the end of a long day of teaching yoga. I recognize how good it feels to let hot water relax my tired muscles and actively visualize the shower washing away any tension or stress that accumulated throughout the day. Noticing these things contributes to my happiness, sense of contentment and fulfillment.
- Look in rather than outside for fulfillment. It can be a nice change of pace to take time alone and really tune in and listen. I decided to actively become my own great partner and friend. By turning some of the energy I would have put towards a relationship with someone else towards establishing a strong relationship with myself I discovered an amazing opportunity to learn and practice self-love. Often times it’s helpful to start a meditation practice and/or start journaling. Keep track of what comes up and the changes that start to occur.
- Be present in the moment. Acknowledge the past and any present challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. An attitude of gratitude for the experiences in life both good and difficult helps perpetuate and create more reasons to feel grateful. We all have a story, we’ve all been through tough times, but it’s how we maintain a positive outlook and perspective that keeps us flowing with gratitude and contentment through life. A friend told me once that if I were not strong enough to go through something then it wouldn’t have happened. Life can change in an instant, but to stay grounded and grateful in the moment, and have the perspective of acknowledging what has been overcome and accomplished along the way will help perpetuate a positive outlook and continuous evolution.
- Be friendly. Radiate light happiness and joy, it will be attracted back. When I consciously chose to be happy it feels like I could beam it out of every pore. I realized that I could have a positive impact on the lives of others and increase the amount of joy, peace, and happiness in the world, something we are all capable of. Become a beacon for hope and love in the world and consciously contribute to the happiness of others, as we are all connected. I make an effort to share positive energy with a smile and friendly demeanor toward everyone I meet. We are on this planet and in these bodies for a finite amount of time. We have made it this far, an incredible accomplishment in itself. I take moments throughout the day to realize the blessing it is to be alive – and the privilege it is to get older. We all breathe the same air. What’s above us all at any moment is the same as what’s below. Revel in the magic that is existence and find the blessing in each and every breath.
Above all, I learned to be easy and kind towards others and myself. Life is a gift and each experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. When the going gets tough, thank life for the lesson and put one foot in front of the other making strides to reconnect to positivity, happiness, and contentment.
Ahlia Hoffman is a full time yoga instructor in North County, San Diego. She loves to travel, lives for adventure, and is ranked 5th in the world for tandem surfing. Visit www.ahliayoga.com or to get in touch directly email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/ahlia.hoffman