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Why You Haven't "Found" Happiness

by Divine Independence 4 years ago in happiness
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And Where It Is...

Why I Haven't Found Happiness....

I have looked in careers, shopping malls, car lots, and even Amazon, but I have not been able to find happiness anywhere. We all do it; we are bored so we go out and buy something, then when we get home we find we are bored again or we are now stressed over the money we just spent. I used to feel so lied to! I felt that I had been conditioned to believe that happiness was a person, place, or thing and that I had just been left out of the VIP section of the most popular club.

As of today, I am happy. So, if I did not find it anywhere or with anyone, where was it? It was within myself the entire time, and I am not trying to give you the, "Happiness is always within you," bit. The key to unlocking my inner happiness was mindfulness. That is a word I am sure everyone has heard at this point, since it has been plastered over social media, books, magazines, and TV! But, what is mindfulness and why would that make me happier than buying a brand new Coach purse?

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” ~ Jon Kabat Zinn.

In other words, mindfulness is enjoying the moment as it is happening. Not worrying about what has happened, what will happen, or what is wrong currently. This means not being obsessed with my feelings or emotions or being controlled by them. This is all easier said than done; trust me, I will be the first to stand up and shout that from a rooftop! Making a $331.00 a month car payment on a newer car isn't easy, either, but I do it because I thought it would make me happy. See where I am going with this?

Once I decided to start a routine of mindfulness I realized that I needed to gauge where I was starting out. So, I visited the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale to see where I needed to make improvements. I scored low at first, but I am improving and that is what is important, so do not get discouraged with a low score!

Now that I knew my score, I knew I needed to practice and push myself to be able to live in the present moment without judgment. Honestly, we live in a society where anything and everything is judged within a millisecond. I mean, how long did it take for the world to start arguing whether the dress was blue or gold? Exactly.

I started with the following activities, but remember, there are so many ways to practice mindfulness, so start where you feel comfortable.

I observe life as it is happening. For example, I will take the time to notice my coffee drip into the mug in the morning and smell the aroma as it lifts into the air.

I accept my current situation without judgment or struggle. When I lost my job, it was easy for me to blame everyone else; did it change the situation or make me happy? NOPE! Instead, I now accept the situation for what it is and focus on where I am going on my path from here.

I allow and accept that I have feelings, but I do not let them control me. When I feel my emotions overwhelming me, I focus on intentional breathing until I am no longer focused on my feelings.

I notice my thoughts as they arise without buying into all of them. I just had a garage sale, and it did not have a very good turnout. I could have spent all day having the same thought over and over about why no one was there. Instead, I had the thought and let it go, I did not let the thought change my emotional well being at that moment.

I now decide on actions based off of how I feel in my heart, not out of short-term gain or from others opinions on the matter.

As I stated earlier, there are several ways to practice mindfulness every day and these are just the daily ones that are helping me at the moment.

How do you practice mindfulness?


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Divine Independence

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