Thursday, 10 December 2015

Happiness

Conspicuous consumption. Body image issues. Overwork. Stress. Unemployment. Need to get ahead. Financial insecurity. Cram school. Global financial crisis. Climate change. Family breakdown. Peak oil. Xenophobia. Lack of time. Suicide. Drugs. Gangs. Suicide bombers and fear of terrorism. Loneliness and social isolation. Racism. Disconnected neighbourhoods. Affluenza, Most of the media and politicians of my home country (Australia) are pedaling values and attitudes that generate unhappiness.

Fortunately, there is growing interest in true happiness (and I don't mean pleasure; I mean an ongoing feeling of deep connectedness and "okayness" that can also incorporate times of sadness and grief without becoming depression). Research shows that key contributors to deep, lasting happiness include:
  • continual personal growth (and choosing to view challenges as opportunities to grow)
  • strong personal relationships - friends and family
  • Helping others/acts of kindness without any expectation of return (generosity)
  • Doing things that are meaningful (in relation to my values)
  • Being appreciative /grateful
Activities to increase your deep level of happiness:
  • Regular (as often as possible) loving kindness mediation. It only takes a few minutes. Try this simple loving kindness meditation to start you off.
  • Perform random acts of kindness for others, especially anonymous ones.
  • Be intentionally appreciative: for example, each Sunday night share 5 things that you are grateful for from the week that has just been. Better still, do it each morning when you wake up.
  • Write down your own personal values and ask yourself of simple things you can do to live more in line with these values.
  • Do the exercises on the Making Australia Happy website.
  • Learn and use the Quick Coherence technique - it is quick and simple -> heart focus, heart breathing, heart feeling
Viewing:
  • Watch Making Australia Happy - ABC TV series
  • Watch "Happy" a 1hr documentary - by Roko Belich
Websites: