Mental health is a top priority for all. As part of Mental Health Week 2019, I will be posting tips on different topics to raise awareness of the issues.
I had the privilege to listen to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama when he was in Ottawa in 2004. He professes that the purpose of life is to be happy. But what does that mean? Being ambitious and striving for the next thing can lead to a wanting and unhappy life. Whereas, being happy can be as simple or difficult as accepting yourself the way you are and where you are. What is better than sitting in the backyard with a favorite beverage on a warm summer evening?
What is happiness?
Happiness is a broad term. Most people think that having a great job, a big house, being married and having children are major components of happiness and well-being. Other factors, however, such as nurturing relationships, being in and savouring the moment and practising gratitude are just as or more significant. Being mindful and present today can bring happiness because you are in the here and now.
Think of the things that make you feel good. Do you remember the last time you felt happy? What were you doing? Whom were you with? Where were you? Could you do more of it? What would you like to change to feel happier? Perhaps eliminate things in your life that don’t make you happy.
Happiness is unique
People often think, “I just want to be happy,” but they’re not sure how to achieve it. Happiness may seem more complex than it actually is. All of us can experience it. It requires self-reflection and awareness of your needs.
Happiness is a by-product of good mental health. The main ways of promoting mental health and happiness are to find meaning, be engaged and cultivate pleasure. No single way of being happy works for everyone: use your strengths and find the ways that work for you.