Happy family enjoying an active lifestyle

Introduction

Everybody wants to be "HAPPY" but, there are many different views on what defines happiness and how to achieve it.

In this BLOG I will share my simple practical approach / way-of-life that works for me and may be of interest to others.

The sort of happiness I enjoy is based upon acceptance of myself and others for who we are, it is found within oneself.

Happiness based upon the accumulation of material possessions only brings temporary happiness. By having an attitude of gratitude and by seeing the true & impermanent nature of things one can let go of the desire to chase after wealth & social status, thereby being happy and content with a simple lifestyle.

Happy Active Life

Different cultures define the word "happiness" differently. For example, in East Asian culture, having an experience of happiness relates more to making a contribution to the social harmony. Conversely, in the West, happiness is an intensely personal and individualized experience.

But underneath these linguistic and cultural variances, the shared drive to survive persists. We want to survive, therefore we must perceive there is something worth surviving and striving for. Perhaps this is the drive for happiness we all share in common, even if we define and describe it differently.

In this post, I will share my personal recipe for seeking and sustaining happiness on a daily basis in the hope it may resonate with and support you in your own happiness journey!

Setting Happiness Guidelines

The diversity of interpretations for the word "happiness" highlights its importance in modern life. In fact, forming a personal definition for what happiness is can serve as a "happiness launchpad" of sorts to attract more of what we want to experience most in life.

For example, my personal definition of happiness includes the following attributes:

  • Happiness is acceptance of myself and others for who we are.

  • Happiness is found within oneself.

  • Happiness is remembering the impermanent nature of material things.

  • Happiness is seeking a simple, grateful, contented life.

These guidelines serve me daily as I experience different types of events in my life and choose how I will welcome them in and respond to them. By referring back to my happiness guidelines continually, I can stay attuned to what happiness looks and feels like to me. This helps me attract more happiness and steer clear of its opposite.

Finding a Happiness Mentor

A tool that has really helped me to experience more happiness and to better sustain that happiness is finding a happiness mentor. I do this in part by noticing great beings I resonate with, whose search for happiness inspires me to continue my own search. I read their teachings, study their lives, take courses with them and ponder how they would respond to challenges I am facing. This continual practice informs my own search for happiness in positive ways.

I also look to nature for happiness mentoring, because nature thrives in simplicity and staying present for each moment of life. Nature also reminds me of the importance of maintaining a healthy body, a body that is able to be active, fit, alert and open to life's many happiness-enhancing possibilities.

And I also find a great amount of inspiration in watching young children, whose drive to find happiness is so strong and pure. Young children seek out creativity, friendship, love, play and adventure so readily. They crave it and run towards it with openness and acceptance. When they feel happy, they enjoy the experience of happiness to the fullest. When they are not happy, they strive to get back to the happiness-state as quickly as possible.

My many and various personal happiness mentors support me to stay attuned to my personal happiness guidelines and to always remember I can choose whether or not to expand my capacity for attracting and experiencing happiness.

Living a Happy, Active, Healthy Life

Living a happy, active, healthy life is hugely important for experiencing and maintaining happiness. And the foundation of a healthy life is a healthy body. Without physical health, it is very difficult to do rewarding work, to serve others, to be in committed friendships and relationships, to have new adventures and to meditate and explore the inner world of the spirit.

Happily, gaining physical fitness and strength is not so challenging as the media and popular culture might make it sound. In other words, it is not necessary to have a perfect body, piles of wealth, fame or any of the other modern "trappings" of happiness in order to experience being happy. I have found it is possible to improve my physical fitness and health just by making small daily adjustments - I don't have to do anything extreme, expensive or drastic to achieve the healthy, fit body I want and need to be happy.

In my many years doing this work, I have discovered that achieving a happy, active, healthy and fit life is built on a simple foundation of the following attributes:

  • Good nutrition.

  • Enough sleep.

  • Regular, moderate exercise.

  • Sufficient resources to meet life's daily needs.

With good nutrition and adequate sleep, my body has sufficient energy and enthusiasm to move, to play, to work out and exercise. When I have sufficient resources to afford safe housing, clean clothes, delicious and nutritious food and reliable transportation, my worries about these basic necessities eases and I can shift into gratitude for having my daily needs met.

However, just having a fit, healthy body is not enough to live a happy active life. I must also recruit the support of my mind to find and sustain happiness in my daily life.

How the Mind Influences Life

I have discovered that, for many people, the chief struggle to find happiness is waged in the realm of the mind. This is because the human mind is not necessarily wired or trained to seek happiness. For example, many of us were raised by parents who worried about our health, our safety and our happiness. After years of exposure to their worries, perhaps our parents then passed their worrying habits on to us.

In this common situation, we may even grow up to believe that "feeling happy" is irresponsible. We may think that, if we stop striving, stop accumulating, stop working, stop worrying for a moment just to rest in today's happiness, we will wake up one day soon and find ourselves without even the most basic things we need to survive.

But actually, I have found that just the opposite tends to be true. In my life, I have noticed that when I cease from worrying and use my mental energy to count my blessings, to stay fit and focused, to seek a positive and optimistic life outlook, to keep the company of like-minded friends and to cultivate my inner spirit, life's challenges have a tendency to work themselves out with much less struggle and strain.

This has caused a natural increase in my daily happiness, because it has increased my trust and gratitude that, all things considered, life has a tendency to work out for the best if I will just step aside and let it flow.

How to Help Body & Mind Partner to Seek Happiness

In this way, as you begin to strive towards living a happy active life, you too may find it helpful to recruit the support of both your body and your mind. There are some easy ways to achieve this. Basically, you need to give both your body and your mind their own jobs to do.

For your body, you can assign these types of jobs:

  • Choose a variety of physical activities for strength, endurance and overall fitness.

  • Set fitness goals you can track regularly.

  • Work out with a buddy if you are more extroverted so you have the social motivation.

  • Vary where you work out to give yourself a change of scenery and terrain.

  • Choose attractive workout clothing you enjoy wearing.

  • Enroll in group sports if that is more fun - a workout is a workout!

For your mind, you can assign these types of jobs:

  • Repeat positive affirmations to occupy your mind as you work out.

  • Keep a training journal to help you notice and celebrate small victories.

  • Plan a nutritious, tasty menu to support your body in getting stronger and healthier.

  • Stay aware and alert mentally to notice all the interesting people and scenery around you as you work out.

  • Offer yourself small fun rewards for reaching fitness and health milestones.

  • Recruit a friend or partner to share your workout experiences with and to celebrate victories with.

By involving both your body and your mind, you have a much better chance of achieving the kind of fit, healthy and active life that can hold the most happiness.

Great Happiness Requires Great Strength

There are so many issues and illnesses that people in this world struggle with. There are scary diseases that require powerful medicines and much treatment to overcome.

But so many of the root causes of some of these diseases can be traced back to a failure to take simple good care of your body and mind. By just taking the time to do a bit of exercise, eat pure and tasty nutritious foods, get restful sleep and live intentionally from the heart and spirit, you can redirect your time and energy to seeking happiness instead of battling disease.

The path towards a happy active life is open to each of us. It is open to me and to you. We just have to choose it!

SUCCESS requires constant practice, i.e. a commitment to physical and mental activity.

Meditation practice will help you cultivate forgiveness, compassion and loving kindness, thereby experiencing real and lasting peace and joy.

REFERENCE MATERIAL

http://www.lifestyleplus.net/about-us.html

http://www.c3health.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/C3-review-of-physical-activity-and-health-v-1-20110603.pdf

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-staying-motivated

http://www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au/_blog/Wellness_Coaching_Australia's_Blog/tag/Happiness/