To be Or Not To be Happy ~ That Is The Question!
Have you even decided that you do want to be happy? Have you noticed when you are most happy? What are you doing? Is it long lasting or fleeting? How do you explain it?

Let’s take a few moments to allow these questions to elicit the valuable information we need to know, to settle in and think about its significance with what it does for us.

Much of the recent literature underscores the mind/body/spirit blueprint as fundamental to the basic concept of happiness. Each component within this reciprocal system naturally affects one another as a functional aggregate with the near impossibility of isolating them.

Most would agree that when you’re feeling happy you’re content with being yourself and vice versa! Your energy is readily available and you’re one with your world. If you can’t engender Happiness today, then when will you? There will always be unknown aspects in life that seem to throw us off our chosen path. And when that happens, then what? Will we be resilient enough to embrace the situation yet still enjoy our life, to pursue getting back on our path or perhaps even embark on a new one. This unique unfolding process is meant to tap into all aspects of ourselves, both good and bad!! Yes the shadow parts will reveal themselves most when life puts us through tests! Through the unexpected we learn immediate adaptation strategies, practising resilience and the opportunity for much deeper self-awareness. By cultivating these, we gain a better sense of Self-autonomy which Humanistic Psychology shows to be an integral aspect of sustained happiness!

According to UCLA research by Mark Wheeler (July 2013) Science & Technology there are 2 basic approaches to really understand Happiness; namely, The Hedonic and the Eudaimonic approach. Although both may equally promote positive emotional effects, it’s through the latter that accounts for the process of consistent Self-differentiation as well as support for one’s psychoneuroimmunological functioning. It is called the Eudaimonic Model, which is the path for an authentic process of Self-Realization. This approach also underscores the importance of controlling bodily inflammation and looks at specific gene expression to understand the balance and shift in balance as our Immune function (mind-body) varies. This is valuable information to have since maintaining good health is integral to feeling good and thereby ultimately being happy. Maintaining our health allows us to free up our precious energy in order to pursue our goals or calling,

Let’s focus on the core components specified by Humanistic Psychology and Self-Determination theory developed by Ryan and Deci and supported by many other names (Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D., Psychology Today). Self-Determination theory specifies 3 basic aspects of Happiness namely Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness.

This Coronavirus pandemic also reminds us how precious these gifts of Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness are so we may understand what true happiness is all about. When making our own choices, expressing our innate gifts and engaged in valuable loving relationships,we align with our true essence and unfolding Soul. Interestingly the common denominator for all 3 of these core aspects is Love: respectively speaking, Self-Love, Love of one’s Pursuit, and Love for one another.

We have only one Earth to share throughout our lifetime as well as the generations to come. So whatever your philosophy may be, remember that each day we awaken to a brand new 24 hours to prioritize what we feel is necessary, responsible and enjoyable to engage in. I believe to tap into our individual source of creation is an effective way to inspire and attain our own personal sense of Happiness! Perhaps Mother Earth is shaking us up to demand respect and honor her innate well-being necessitating mindful reflection on how we’ve been living our lives in some unhealthy ways. Maybe we’re long overdue for a reset to a new kind of normal since the old normal has brought us to this pivotal point in time. By balancing both the Hedonic and Eudaimonic approach we can foster sustained happiness during both the ups and downs in life!

The Hedonic (sensory enjoyment) is also part of the picture! Let's discuss. Take for instance, the morning as a good time to set the tone for the day with positive routines. For example, you may want to spoil yourself with the things that make your Heart Sing. Perhaps listen to music that makes you want to dance. It can change your day in magical ways. Why not listen to your favorites and let the rhythm take you away so you can awaken your child-like self. It’s fun to drift into the magic of wonder, imagination and feel the thrill of life anew when our senses are attuned with our surroundings. As young children we did this automatically. We trusted our heart. We knew how to envision positivity with inspiring images. The beauty of a song is that it reminds us of the times gone by. It has the capacity to trigger the synapses for both happy and sad feelings that were originally associated with it. I know which songs do which for me and that feels reassuring. It gives me a sense of self-empowerment when I know I can alter my mood state at will. One of my favorite genres is Mo-town. I’m biased to it because I listened to it growing up! There are many other Hedonic endeavors such as great food, massage, and then some! You get the idea.

A final reflection in closing: Isn’t life all about our happiness and Love!

Happiness and Love naturally fill us up with joy and energy. When we know that Love is our motivation then everything seems to fall into place. Love is really the magic in Happiness and the most important Love is Self-Love. In order to nurture genuine Happiness,I encourage a practice of Self-Love. It’s our birthright that each and every one of us deserves! This means getting back to basics by honoring and knowing ourselves well. Even if we should occasionally lose our way, our loving mindfulness is a great tool to recalibrate our knowing.... that we're worthy of Happiness! Stay true to your inner wisdom (autonomy), know what you love to do (competence) and be with the people you Love to be with (Relatedness). These simple treasures help to navigate the way! They make the journey worthwhile!! When we gently combine these wonders of Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness we’re sure to awaken our own happiness!

Resources: https://positivepsychology.com/self-determination-skills-activities/

Author's Bio: 

Moreen is a compassionate, holistic practitioner with an emphasis on mind/body/spirit endeavors. She practised psychotherapy with diverse populations and social work for many years. Her book 'Divine Dimensions: Expressions in Daily Life (2014) can be found on Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites.

Her book captures a Strengths based approach with Spiritual/Self-Improvement themes in short easy to read articles.
She creates sacred space for all her clients to heal and thrive in our changing world.
For inquiries and more information, she may be reached at GlisteningStar11@yahoo.com

God Bless and Stay Safe my friends...