Don’t seek happiness. Happiness is like an orgasm.
If you think about it too much, it goes away – Tim Minchin
I was listening to this recording today, of a speech made by Tim Minchin, a famous comedian, and musician from my hometown. Apart from stirring up a laughter from deep within me, I’ve always enjoyed Tim’s humorous intelligence and performances.
True to that analogy, I see myself as a veteran student in the school of happiness. From the past where I barely knew how to turn the sides of my mouth up into a smile, I can now totally let go with a hearty guffaw at anything that tickles me. Even in my sleep I used to bear a permanent frown on my forehead.
Some of us might assume that happiness is as natural as the day is the night, and so it should be. But for some others, like I used to be, if you’ve never known how to be happy, or if you’ve always been snuffed when you appeared happy, you start to learn that it’s not right to be happy. Worse still, if your life has just been a series of unfortunate events and traumas, you simply can’t feel happy.
I would classify my childhood as dysfunctional, from emotional wounds of feeling unloved and unworthy, to mental patterns that were self-loathing and fearful. On the rare occasion that I did try to smile for a photograph, it would end up more like a smirk, and my eyes certainly didn’t know how to smile. For I genuinely didn’t know how to be happy.
Can You Find Happiness? 6 Tips to Get Started
I had to teach myself all over again. These were the processes I undertook in my journey of healing and transformation from a suicidal depressive, alcohol addicted lost soul to a fully healed, passionate about life, fully empowered soul today.
1. Healing the Past
This is crucial if you have a history of unhappiness, suffering or trauma, whether it’s from your childhood or recent past. Healing means acknowledging and allowing those undesirable emotions to surface and process through them with higher wisdom and understanding. It’s holding that hurt and broken child or adult in you and compassionately giving yourself permission to feel the sadness, pain, and grief and then let go.
2. Rewiring the Mental Patterns
If your past had instilled negative self-talk into your subconscious and default patterns, then it’s time to utilize the plasticity of your brain and reprogram afresh with positive, nurturing and empowering thoughts. It may take awhile for these new neural pathways to ingrain themselves but continue to persist and “Fake it till you make it” for sooner or later it shifts.
3. Live in the Moment
Without 1 and 2 this process may be a lot more challenging, but once you’ve released pent-up emotions and rewired your brain, you’ve reinstated yourself as the awareness that is the master of your mind, and not vice versa. So now your brain is not plagued or controlled by a negative chatter of past or future, but simply happy in the peaceful present moment.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Get lots of sleep, wholesome foods, filtered water, the sunshine and fresh air into your system. When living in the moment becomes second nature to you, you will naturally engage with all of life through your living body. You start to love being with nature for your senses and body are more attuned. You seek to nurture yourself and also others.
5. Try New Things
From a thriving mind, body and spirit you can’t help but venture into stepping out of your comfort zone. Meeting new people, making new friends, going dancing, rock climbing, abseiling, reading new books, listening to new music, they all take you into the zone of excitement and joy.
6. Sharing love and happiness
Last but not least, you now simply overflow with happiness and there’s no other option but to overflow it to others, which incidentally, returns even more back to you!
Happiness is a state, just like any other states, it’s transient, but it’s well deserving of being embraced. Just as you don’t have to think about being hungry or sleepy, you should just simply flow with life and happiness will find its own way to you, when there aren’t any blockages in the way!