“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” (Henri Nouwen)
I have some very exciting news to share, but first I want to ask you an important question… how do you define happiness?
Even with a company named Happy Living, there are many times when I pause to think about my personal definition. Rather than seeing happiness as a momentary feeling, I believe it is an ongoing practice. We can find happiness with our thoughts, actions, and choices.
Thoughts: happiness within the mind
Taking responsibility for my thoughts is an overwhelming concept. My mind is a loud, busy, and somewhat jumbled place. Thoughts jump from topic to topic, situation and circumstance. I think through things that happened in the past and worry about what might happen in the future. My focus is pulled in a bunch of different directions, most of which are not a priority or all that important.
I am able to find happiness when I slow down, get quiet, and tend to my thoughts. Like a garden, I can actively prune negative thoughts by asking myself if they are actually true or not, or if they are helpful or harmful. While I might not be able to completely eradicate negativity, I can focus on nurturing my positive thoughts. Affirmations, meditation, and sharing positivity with others are all ways that I find happiness within my mind.
Actions: happiness within the body
I can think and wish and hope and pray for happiness all I want, but that will only get me so far. Taking action is the physical manifestation of happiness and positivity. Have you ever been curled up on the couch, in a funky mood, and forced yourself to go for a walk? I can almost guarantee that you felt better afterwards. This practice extends to every area of life from pursuing a goal to cleaning house — and everything between! Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing.*
Choices: happiness within the spirit
*Except if doing nothing is the choice that serves you! The third practice of happiness is making choices that align with your inner spirit. When I survey my mind and body, and then make choices based on that information, I find happiness within my soul. For example, if there is a small voice telling me to try something new, and I feel an excited flurry in my stomach, that choice is the right one for me.
I hope that my definition of happiness inspires you to create your own! Now, for the news I promised…
Special Announcement: Happy Living Weekend Retreat in Sedona
We are thrilled to announce that we’re hosting a Happy Living Weekend Retreat in Sedona, Arizona on August 21-22! Join us for a weekend of discovery, learning, relaxation, and fun at the Hilton Sedona Resort.
The retreat will focus on the Seven Foundations of Health and how to apply them to your everyday life. Meet other members of the Happy Living community who are just as interested in health, wellness, and happiness as you!
Click here to learn more about the retreat agenda and our team. Registration is open now and we’re offering a special early bird price – so sign up today!
Image credit: Bell Rock Morning by Steven Reynolds