How to Increase Happiness with 7 Spiritual Strategies?
We wish a secured life in the future. We set goals, organize our duties, expecting that the happiness would occupy a major portion in our life.
When we accomplish few needs, happiness never settles. We keep on exploring unknown areas to feed it, thus, we ensure that it doesn’t remain in the opposite for a long time. This is the case of worldly pleasures most people care.
Our mind is generally a bouncing ball between the two mental barriers. And, it keeps on bouncing until the awareness shuts down finally.
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Happiness remains as the same mental attribute regardless whatever description we give based on psychology, philosophy, or spirituality. Even if it has distinct approach according to these concepts, it is one of the most desired things in each person’s life.
We tend to associate our delightful moments with the good emotions, but not with the negative feelings. Even, the spiritual experiences.
We know happiness is temporary yet, it can lay the foundation for the perpetual one. It forms a basis for the state of mind – i.e., ‘neutral’ that transcends these emotional fluctuations – leading to the supreme state that we experience as the ultimate freedom.
What is spiritual happiness? Why do many people consider spirituality as the ultimate path to perpetual happiness?
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Certainly, happiness referred in spirituality is entirely a different concept that has a little or no relation to the happiness related to the mundane life. However, one thing I learned from it is that the basic state of spirituality goes to the upper level on basis of this mental state – that is ‘happiness or neutral’. This is the first thing we learn to set our mind to push it higher.
Osho said, “My effort here is to create bliss, not happiness. Happiness is worthless, it depends on unhappiness. Bliss is transcendence – one move beyond the duality of being happy and unhappy. One watches both; happiness comes, one watches and does not become identified with it. One does not say, ‘I am happy. Peace, it is wonderful.’”
Life is the composition of happiness and misery. Unless psychological disorders people have an innate tendency towards the pleasures.
- Happiness (due to the excess happy hormones) – it is the temporal state of mind due to unstable elated moments. The mind will be active, enthusiastic, and energetic.
- Sorrows – it is the depressed state of mind. The sense of lethargy, unwillingness, incompetent, and indifference occupy the mind.
- The natural state (balanced) – it is the mental state between the two. It becomes the superior blissful state only when a person is not influenced with the other two, despite the circumstances in life. It is like who has a steady mind like the unflickering flame. It is bestowed in a person who has the better control over the mind and senses. It is possible by giving away the unrealistic and sticking to the real.
What is really the balanced state of mind?
Some people hear about enlightenment, imagine it, try to feel it yet, unable to experience it.
Similarly, we can imagine and feel what would be the balanced approach towards happiness and sorrows, yet couldn’t acquire it very easily.
“He who is the same to foe and friend, and in honor and dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat and of pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment.”
“He to whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent, content with anything or homeless, of a steady mind, and full of devotion—that man is dear to Me.” - Bhagavad-gita XII, 18 - 19.
It is the mental state of an observer who reached the state of inactivity. Like a person who finds a perfect harmony with all the mental attributes. It is the state we have to acquire because we have shifted from the natural state.
A person can attain this state by practicing certain principles in life according to yoga.
Why should we care about happiness?
We know happiness induces further positive emotions or vice versa. However, it depends on our responses to the outcomes. For example, we choose to be happy with the little success or prefer to worry as the things didn’t go as expected.
It is important that we should care about happiness first, from there to the neutral. It is because the mind is flexible in happiness than in the depressed state.
It is that “The happiness pushes you up, whereas depression pulls you down.”
According to Tantra, “Be real and authentic to yourself. Your happiness is not bad; it is good! It is not sin, only to be miserable is the sin. To be happy is the virtue because a happy person will not create unhappiness for others. A happy person can be a ground for others happiness.”
What are the activities that bring positive outlook in life?
1. Cultivate Love
All religions unanimously consider love as a divine principle in life. Yogis say love is bliss, love is enlightenment, and love is existence.
Swami Vivekananda said, “All love is the expansion, all selfishness is the contraction. Love is, therefore, the only law of life. He who loves lives; he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love’s sake, because it is the law of life, just as you breathe to live.”
Love triggers the positive feelings in the mind. The love that is unselfish, uncompromised, unconditional and does not expect anything in return is the virtue each person has to cultivate. This quality doesn’t let you down. This love beholds the attribute of compassion and kind towards everything.
In the case of a common person’s attitude towards love, it explicitly depends upon the time and circumstances. It is the love that has different attributes.
According to it, in young age, the child very much attaches towards the parents. Later, attachments towards the relationships. Finally, attachments towards the children.
These attachments have a basis in love. It is the innate quality and often expressed as the selfish love. It is the nature of such love that makes you feel sad, and often very powerful in inducing the enmity. The only way to its expansion is breaking such selfish confinements. Thereby, bringing more contentment into the life. (Read also 24 Hard Truths of Happiness that Surprise You)
2. Giving to the Needed
Helping the really needed is the way to the long lasting happiness. Those who realized it, consider it as the significant deeds in their life to cultivate cheerfulness. There is also a psychology principle behind it.
"There is enough in this world for everyone’s need but not everyone’s greed." – Gandhi
Learn to give generously and receive graciously. There is a constant exchange of giving and receiving happening in the cosmos. It is the attribute of dynamic nature of the cosmos for its existence.
If you are withholding something, you are obstructing it.
The religious holy texts Quran, Bible notes this supremacy.
“The righteous, who eat of the remnants of the sacrifice, are freed from all sins; but those sinful ones who cook food (only) for their own sake, verily eat sin.”– Bhagavad-gita.
3. Detachment of Mind
“If you let go a little, you will be happy. If you let go a lot, you will be a lot happy. If you let go completely, you will be completely happy.” – Ajahn Chah.
Happiness depends on the thing that you firmly hold on. Let go of the things that make you sad. Attachments to these bring only sorrows. Train the mind not to have attachments over the matters beyond the limit.
You won’t be satisfied if you refuse to detach from the things that make you sad.
4. Focus on the Life Purpose
This is the purpose of why you are here. Purpose related to the karmic background and the universal purpose as in mentioned in the book, “Crack the Hidden Laws of Life.”
Do your responsibilities by sacrificing the thought that you are solely responsible for it. Thus, you are not putting constraints in your duties.
As the rivers flow effortlessly downhill, let the actions flow through you effortlessly.
Each person has to live a life that matches his or her vision. That is in accordance with the purpose of life. Shifting from it only brings suffering. (Read also 4 Ultimate Ways to Discover Life Purpose?)
5. Uphold Virtues in Life
Positive activities create a positive sphere of influence around the person. It attracts the positive qualities and feelings.
Doing negative things only brings negative results.
Yogis say that being good is a reward in itself.
Ahimsa hurtlessness is the real quality behind this principle.
It is an important aspect of spirituality. Without implementing it in the life, the success in spirituality is ever possible.
Moreover, honesty is attractive. A dishonest person appears as crooked. It is a natural law that the truth always shines forth whatever you do to make it false. Even if you deep bury it, the truth is always the truth.
The natural quality of truth is that it interconnects everything else. Whereas anything that is untrue is fragmented.
Truthfulness always resides on the positive side. Even considering little things in life, that is on the positive side yields its results.
The righteous activities always induce happiness insisting on doing more and remaining firm on it. Thus, leading to the right path. (Read also 8 Scientifically Proven Ways to have Better Life)
6. Be in the Present
If you cannot be happy now, you cannot be happy later.
Happiness is the difference in your current expectations with what you really are.
Live in the present moment. Don’t regret over the past or worry about the future. The past has already happened and the future has its own plan. So, it notifies us with the better option to live in the present.
Some people say that, if I could get it, I will be happy. For such people, even after getting it, their basic mental state remains the same. Don’t be one among them. Try to keep your emotional baseline higher that doesn’t drain you in the utter failures.
Living in the present is accepting the things as they are. The unbalance occurs when we struggle to impose it with our expectations of life.
Happiness resides in feeling grateful with what you have. It is the way to make you effortless. The complication creates only when you are shifting from your natural zone. (Read also 4 Things that Make You Naturally Happy)
7. Learn to Silence your Mind
It is not the silence with the absence of words. It is the silence in the absence of thoughts. The yogis say that the secret of the silence of mind resides between the thoughts.
It is the real gap between the two consecutive thoughts. It is similar to the interval between the pulsating forms of energy.
|| thought || thought ||
|| - silence
Just a thought about it is sufficient to veil it. Such thoughts are only the hindrance. It is the same thought that disowns you as well as directs you. It becomes the creator as well as the destroyer. (Read also 3 Most Powerful Meditation Techniques in the World)
Bhagavad-gita quotes “Let a man lift himself by his own Self alone; let him not lower himself, for this self alone is the friend of oneself and this self alone is the enemy of oneself.” – VI, 5
There is a real perpetual happiness resides in the silence. It is the supreme peace of mind. Try to connect with that silence. It can bring dramatic changes in you.
One of the principles of Ramana Maharishi is to be in silence. There is also a moment in Maharishi’s life – when two mystics met each other, only the silence greeted them. (Read also 6 Influential Spiritual Yogis in the World)