The pursuit of happiness is defined as a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don’t do anything illegal or violate the rights of others. The pursuit of happiness is the right that you have to live your life in a way that brings you joy.
So, if this is a fundamental right for us to pursue what makes us happy, then why does it seem to be so difficult at times to really feel happy, truly HAPPY? Often, the mind can trick us into thinking that “when I make a lot of money, THEN I’ll be happy” or “When I find the love of my life, THEN I’ll be happy” or “When this or that happens, THEN I’ll be happy.”
As the famous quote says, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
Let’s start with three easy ways to find Happiness in 5 minutes!
- Gratitude. We have heard over and over that gratitude is important in order to feel happy.
Let’s try it!
Think of what you experienced today that you are grateful for. These could include a day of work done, hugging a child, good weather, three meals, receiving a compliment, hearing from an old friend, or just waking up alive.
- Grab a pen.
- Take out your journal or find a piece of paper
- Write down five things that you are grateful for in your life today! While you are writing, diffuse doTERRA’s Spikenard essential oil and listen to uplifting music. Spikenard is the oil of gratitude. It encourages true appreciation for life, its challenges and blessings.
Now look at your hands.
Recall one success you achieved with them. Give thanks that you have two fully functioning hands.
- Appreciate others. There is research that explains that when we experience appreciation for something, “the calming branch of the autonomic nervous system is triggered” and “more positive emotions emerge, leading to beneficial alterations in heart rate variability” resulting in the “capacity to be peaceful and calm.” When we appreciate someone, we feel blessed to have them in our life. And feeling blessed is a hallmark of happy people.
Let’s try it!
- Think of someone you appreciate
- Send a short text to them
- Tell them what you appreciate about them
(By the way, this creates happiness for that person too!)
- Movement and Deep breathing. People who practice yoga will attest to the feeling of well-being after even a short session. Yoga may not be your cup of tea, but you can just do simple stretching exercises. I never fail to be invigorated after stretching my major muscle groups. Even a single stretch leaves me feeling better. Stretching releases tension in your muscles and sends sensory signals to your brain that stimulate your neural pathways. Also, you tend to breathe more deeply when you stretch so the increased oxygen flow makes you feel better right away.
Try diffusing Cypress and Lime together as you move to help open airways, to invigorate your body and give you an energy boost. Cypress is known as the Oil of Motion and Flow. It helps bring stagnant energy into motion to create flexibility in the heart and mind.
Let’s Try it!
- Forward fold. If you’re standing, Keep a flat back, bend at the waist, shifting your hips backward, weight in your heels and hands hanging in front of you, reach towards your toes until you feel a stretch down the back of your legs. Now take a deep breath in a hold for four counts then as you exhale reach a little further towards your feet and feel the stretch deepen. Hold for four counts then take a deep breath in again, hold for four and then exhale while you reach even further. Repeat this for as many times as you would like.
- Hip flexor. If you are sitting, bring one leg on top of the other leg placing the ankle just above the knee of the other leg. Place your hand on the knee of the leg on top and begin to gently press it until you feel a stretch. Take a deep breath in, hold for four counts then as you exhale go a little deeper into the stretch. Hold for four counts then take a deep breath in again, hold for four and then exhale stretch even further if you can. Repeat this for as many times as you would like. Then change legs and repeat on that leg.
Now that we have taken five minutes to get into a happier state, let’s talk about some of the BEST ways we can create happiness in our lives long-term.
CHOOSE HAPPY! Authentic happiness comes from within. It comes from making wise choices, including choosing to be happy. When our external situation is going well, it might make it easier for us to choose happiness, but it is not the cause of it. You can be happy even when things around you are nothing like you would like them to be.
I remember a time in my life when I was really struggling in a marriage. I didn’t like the times that we disagreed and had tension amongst us. I decided one day that whenever we were starting to feel tension, I was going to repeat to myself “I choose Happy. I choose Peace.” It seemed like at first, I was repeating this to myself a lot. Then I realized that by making this simple choice of what I wanted to feel, it had helped me respond differently, which started to change the result of what I was feeling. It was a HUGE realization for me that I can choose how I want to feel, even though it may take a little time to get there in the moment, no matter what the circumstances are going on around me. Creating this habit is sure to help you feel happy.
To refocus on everything going right in your life, diffuse Tangerine, which helps create a happy outlook with its delightful sweet, citrus aroma. Or try rubbing a few drops between your hands and inhaling the scent to give your day a cheerful, upbeat outlook.
Another oil that is all about finding your “happy” is doTERRA Peace Reassuring Blend. Its floral and mint aroma is a positive reminder you don’t have to be perfect to find peace and happiness. Slow down, take a deep breath, and reconnect with the composed, collected you. Everything turning out fine begins with believing it will—and a few drops of Peace Reassuring Blend. Apply one drop to hands, rub together, and inhale deeply.
MONEY DOESN’T BUY HAPPINESS! Many would say money played an important role in the creation of happiness; however, we often see images of poor children in poor countries playing happily in the streets. Typically, they are also willing to give you anything they possess even if it’s all they have.
I had the privilege of going to Costa Rica last year with a group of 15 women! It was WONDERFUL!! We were well taken care of by AMAZING COSTA RICA VACATIONS! Walter was our main tour guide and he was constantly smiling along with all of the other guides! One day I said “Walter, how is it that you are SO happy all of the time?” He proceeded to tell me that he loved where he lived! He told me that Costa Rica was rated within the top three happiest countries in the world and that it was because the people loved and protected their land and were a world leader in keeping their environment green by planting trees. They take pride in protecting their land. He also told me that people eat fresh, healthy foods that results in a higher life expectancy. He also said they don’t get angry or hold a grudge. They believe an argument shouldn’t last longer than three days, so they forgive and let go easily. They enjoy a slower pace of life, which offers less stress than what you will find in many places in the United States. Lastly, the Costa Rican government has a stable democracy and abolished their army in 1949. Instead of spending a huge portion of its income on defense like the United States, the Costa Rican government pours the money into education and health care. Educated, healthy people are more likely to be happy!
Perhaps it is time to implement what a country like Costa Rica, a developing country that is far poorer than the United States, can teach us about the pursuit of happiness.
MEDITATION. Meditation is a well-known secret of happy people. According to a study by Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin, Mathieu Ricard is the happiest man in the world with brain produced gamma waves at levels that are “off the charts.”
What is His SECRET? Meditation!
“Meditating is like lifting weights or exercising for the mind. Anyone can be happy by simply training their brain.” – Matthieu Ricard
In Davidson’s study, long-term meditators showed significant changes in brain function after 10,000 hours. Even those who meditated for 20 minutes a day over only three weeks also showed changes.
Ricard was born in 1946 and grew up in Paris. He obtained a PhD in molecular genetics from the Institute Pasteur in 1972. Not satisfied with the intellectual life, he moved to India where he studied the ancient tradition of Buddhism. He has been a monk since he was 30. He lives at a monastery in Nepal and acts as an advisor to the Dalai Lama.
“Happiness is a skill. It requires effort and time.” – Matthieu Ricard
If you want to start acquiring this happiness skill, you can start with a simple one minute meditation every day. It might surprise you to find out that in 60 seconds, you can completely reset your mindset. Doing a one-minute meditation can be incredibly effective as it offers us a perfect opportunity to take a break, step away from what we are doing, breathe deeply, and recharge. What’s more, setting aside one minute each day is accessible for even the busiest person. Who knows, you may be the next happiest man in the world!
Let’s Try it!
Breathing is the foundation of meditation. If your mind begins to wander, you can always return to the breath to refocus yourself. Diffuse an essential oil with a calming aroma like Balance or Citrus Bliss, close your eyes, and breathe in deeply through your nose and allow your chest and stomach to expand as you are filling your body with air. Then exhale fully and slowly through your mouth, letting the air remove all negative energy from your body. Pay attention to the physical sensation of breathing: the cool air entering your nostrils, the expansion of your belly, and the warmness of the air leaving your body.
MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY! Making someone happy can be one of the most rewarding feelings in this world. Brightening up a person’s day, whether the person is your best friend or your waiter, can make your day brighter and in turn make you feel happy too! Being genuine in our efforts to serve someone else has a way of helping us forget about our own struggles as we help someone through theirs. Some of my most favorite ways to make someone happy are to call someone up to just say hi, give a thoughtful gift, pay them a compliment, send a thank you card or text, help out with something they need, offer encouragement, or simply be there as a listening ear.
Let’s Try it!
Think of a way you could brighten up someone’s day tomorrow, then do it!
PURSUING PASSIONS. We are happiest when engaged in activities that make us forget ourselves and lose track of time. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this the “flow” experience. Flow can be achieved when making music, gardening, playing with children, practicing sports, writing, serving others or even pouring over a spreadsheet. You achieve flow when you enjoy doing what you do best.
Abraham Maslow defines “self-actualization” as the innate human motivation that each of us has to achieve our potential. This is why we experience a sense of fulfillment when using and developing our skills, talents and abilities. When we complete a challenge or task that we are pleased with, we achieve a peak experience of self-actualization.
How do you feel when you spend time pursuing what you are passionate about?
Choose to schedule in some time right now for one of your passions! doTERRA Passion Inspiring Blend will help you rekindle excitement in your life. Jump out of an airplane, dive into an ocean, or try something really scary, like dancing. With Passion, you will find the daring to try something new, as well as discover renewed joy for the current blessings in your life.
CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS. The happiest people spend time with those they love. Intimacy with others fulfills two basic human needs. We need social connections with others of our kind. We also need the personal growth that relationships provide which makes us feel fully alive and HAPPY. Try to accept social invitations whenever possible or initiate social gatherings with family and friends.
Let’s try it now!
Use your phone to text someone you would like to connect with and ask them to get together for a meal or some kind of activity. Or schedule in some time in your calendar right now to spend some quality time with a spouse or child.
SMILE. “Peace begins with a smile.” ~ Mother Teresa
When we smile it’s really hard NOT to feel happy! One of the BEST essential oils I like to use in order to help me feel like smiling is called CHEER touch. I apply it over my wrists and heart on days I need a little bit of help to SMILE. It helps me feel more optimistic and boosts feelings of happiness!
Let’s Try SMILING!
Look at yourself in the mirror with your lips at rest. Then SMILE.
Say to yourself “I am sad” and see how you feel. It’s really difficult to feel sad when your smiling, isn’t it?
Now say to yourself, “I am happy! I choose to smile each day.”
What is the difference you see in yourself when you smiled? How do you feel differently when you smile?
People are struggling to feel happy, so you can make a difference by simply SMILING at others. You never know when a heartfelt smile will come at just the right time and have the positive effect that person may need even if it’s just yourself.
So, how can you find long-term happiness? Lasting happiness involves a combination of factors—many of which are unique to you. Research suggests that happy people tend to share some common principles. Consider these suggestions, based on those truths, when working to cultivate your own happiness. Give yourself the time and grace needed to make these new strategies a habit and start to see a change in how happy you TRULY feel!
“All that you have is all that you need, to live the life you want, BE happy, and succeed.” ~Mark Brown
*If you would like to purchase any of the products talked about in this post, you can purchase HERE.