Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Category: True Happiness (Page 1 of 4)

Happiness Habits

In this engaging and uplifting Ted talk, Matthieu Richard, former molecular biologist turned Buddhist monk, photographer, and author of Happiness, A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill (among other books) explores these questions:

  • What is happiness?
  • Is it possible to create the habit of happiness?
  • What does neuroscience tell us about the brain’s ability to overcome negative thought patterns and embrace positive ones?

Ricard also shows us a direct method for dissolving any negative emotion when it appears.  Enjoy!  If you are reading by email, click here to visit Always Well Within to view the video.

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Finding Freedom & Happiness in Simplicity

Do you ever long to escape all the complexity of life?  If you’re like me, simplicity sounds appealing at times, but it can also feel impossible to achieve or overwhelming to begin the process.

Lucky for us, Tammy Strobel, creator of the Rowdy Kittens blog, has produced the perfect user-friendly blueprint for simplifying your life.

You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap), How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too explains the logic and freedom of simplicity and shows you doable step-by-step actions that will help you get a handle on all that is “too much” in your life.  Replete with engaging stories, honest, and intelligent, this simplicity guide is easy to embrace.

Don’t worry about that word “radical” in the title.  As Strobel assures us, there are many different versions of simplicity and the key is find your own level of simple comfort.

Materialism and Its Link to Depression and Low Satisfaction

Strobel bought into the “American Dream” at a very early age.  Ever since she was a kid, she says she wanted,

“…a house in the suburbs, with my own washing machine and dryer, a big kitchen to cook huge meals, and an extra bedroom for guests to stay in when they visited.”

After graduating from college, she took a job at a financial investment firm and set out to achieve her fantasy of the good life.

Soon Strobel found herself sinking into depression despite having a promising but not fulfilling job, a nice car, a closet full of clothes, and a great husband.  To alleviate her feelings of dissatisfaction, like many of us, she went on regular shopping trips to the nearby outlet mall.

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The Paradox of True Happiness

Yellow Daffodils

Stop looking for happiness!  That’s the paradox of finding true happiness.

When we stop seeking so strongly and allow life to simply unfold, a sense of humor, spaciousness, and relaxation gradually begins to emerge.  Ironically, it’s all the wanting, needing, and calculating that brings about suffering in myriad forms – from frustration to disappointment to anger and despair.

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9 Ways to Positively Influence Your Health and Happiness

Simple ways to improve your health and happiness.

Smiling releases “feel good” chemicals in the body.

The scientific evidence has been steadily accumulating:  negative emotions like anger, fear, and sadness as well as the repeated activation of the stress response can have a negative effect on the immune system and may also put you at higher risk for a range of diseases.

On the other hand, research tell us that optimism typically has a positive affect on the immune system and one’s health.  According to researcher Suzanne Sergerstrom,

“…a number of studies show that optimists are in general both psychologically and physiologically healthier.”

Traditional Chinese Medicine also suggests that laughter, pleasure, optimism, and boosting your spirits in other enjoyable ways can have a positive knock-on effect for your immune system and general well being.  The “radiant circuits” – the meridian systems interconnected with the immune system – are thought to be highly responsive to your thoughts, images, and beliefs.  Shifting your mind set can sometimes have an instantaneous effect.

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Love or Attachment?

Chances are you’ve been head over heals in love.  Or perhaps you’ve had an enduring relationship where the initial fire died down, but the embers glowed brightly.

Then change descends. Maybe with lightening-like speed. Or, just a gradual crumbling.

How could a sparkling love morph into indifference, discomfort, aversion, resentment, or even hatred?  How could a remarkable connection so mysteriously transform into disconnection?

What is true love, anyway?  When a relationship ends, must the love die too?

Like a porcupine shooting out its sharp spikes or a crab retreating into its shell, shutting down or striking out seem like uncontrollable responses to a split.  A whole range of feelings are likely to occur in its wake: shock, hurt, pain, anger, rejection, indifference, and still others.

These strong emotions will emerge and reappear persistently as you process through the five stages of grief. Processing loss takes time.  It’s normal for these various emotions to arise.  Suppressing them would be unhealthy so it pays to learn to work with them skillfully.

One key to working with this sense of being emotionally hijacked is expanding your perspective on love.

Love or Attachment?

For most of us, love is intermixed with our own needs, fears, desires and attachments.

As the Dalai Lama explains,

“…in marriage, the love between husband and wife –  particularly at the beginning, when each partner still may not know the other’s deeper character very well – depends more on attachment than genuine love. Our desire can be so strong that the person to whom we are attached appears to be good, when in fact he or she is very negative. In addition, we have a tendency to exaggerate small positive qualities. Thus when one partner’s attitude changes, the other partner is often disappointed and his or her attitude changes too. This is an indication that love has been motivated more by personal need than by genuine care for the other individual.”

So what is genuine love then?  And how do you disconnect it from attachment?

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A Simple 6-Part Prescription for Greater Happiness

One of the drawbacks of the internet is the way it exponentially increases the opportunity to compare yourself to others.

Instead of having a relatively small circle of friends, acquaintances, and co-workers, you may literally be exposed to hundreds of new people in any given week.

Have you ever noticed how it can seem like everyone in the blogosphere is so brilliant, leading an epic life, in touch with their true self, bold beyond belief, a fountain of unconditional love, and making loads of money to boot!

Whenever you suddenly feel like you are shrinking in the midst of all these bright lights, it’s time to put on the brakes.

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