how to achieve perennial happiness
Many people, consciously or unconsciously, start believing that happiness depends on external factors such as material goods, experiences or events.They associate happiness with cars, vacation destinations, gadgets, clothes, sexual partners, social media following, or any significant personal or professional achievements. They rely on money, fame, popularity, and rewards to feel good about themselves. However, all these things bring nothing but fleeting moments of pleasure.
If we want to achieve meaningful and lasting happiness, then we must detach from these external sources. We must look beyond money and all the shiny objects and pleasurable experiences it can buy. For thousands of years, people have lived under the misconception that like any other commodity, happiness can be bought once they have enough money in their possession. But many studies have shown that rich people are just as miserable as the rest of the population.
We must train ourselves to not confuse pleasure with happiness. Money, events and material goods only provide fleeting, pleasurable sensations that never truly add up to a satisfying or continual state of happiness. Of course, this doesn’t mean pleasure is inherently wrong. Pleasure has its own place and is definitely something that we should enjoy and celebrate. But we must always be aware that pleasure is a sensation and hence unstable; it will ebb and flow and be balanced out by sensations of pain, despair and discomfort.
Happiness, conversely, is everlasting and can be sustained and experienced, no matter what circumstances we go through in our lives. Unlike pleasure, it’s relatively stable as long as you let go of mental baggage, focus on the present moment, and meditate exclusively on the positive aspects. That way, even if you go through pain and discomfort, you can still remain happy and satisfied.
When it comes to finding sustained happiness, the key lies in not looking outside, but within ourselves. You must stay aware of your emotional state and just embrace life as it happens. For example, the next time you feel lonely or abandoned, don’t turn on Netflix or indulge in a pint of ice cream to distract yourself from this feeling. Instead, stay present and accept loneliness as a perfectly normal and natural feeling. Once you relax and tune in to your inner world, you’ll quickly realize that both lasting happiness and the transient feeling of loneliness that you’re going through can coexist together.
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