The Source of Happiness Is Within Us
By Remez Sasson
What is happiness and why do we constantly run after it?
What does it mean to be happy?
What is the difference between happiness and pleasure?
These are important questions which require answers.
What is Pleasure
It is a hot summer day, and you feel thirsty. A friend offers you a refreshing cold glass of lemonade. How do you feel when you see the glass? How do you feel when to drink it?
Will you describe your feeling as happinessor as pleasure? I believe you will say it is a feeling of pleasure. There is a connection between these two kinds of feelings, and sometime, one evokes the other, but they are not the same thing.
Pleasure is perceived through the five senses, while happiness is independent of the five senses.
Pleasure is a good feeling that comes from eating good food, watching a good movie, feeling the warm caressing rays of the sun on a winter day, or having fun at a party. Pleasure has to do with enjoyment involving the five senses and is dependent on circumstances, objects or people.
When you are happy, minor unpleasant events usually do not disturb you, but when you are unhappy, you feel as if everything is against you. You might compensate for this, by eating chocolate and sweets, because this gives you pleasure.
You may smoke a cigarette, because it gives you pleasure, but this does not make you happier, especially, if you acknowledge the fact that smoking is not good for your health.
After talking about pleasure, let us talk about happiness.
What is happiness?
It is a feeling of satisfaction, exhilaration, elation and joy, which wells from within you. You experience it when a problem has been solved, when a goal has been achieved, and when you are feeling good.
There are people, who fear that if they experience happiness, it will be soon taken away from them. They regard it as a temporary state, and are afraid to experience it, lest they lose it. They want to avoid the pain that might follow when it goes away.
These people believe that happiness is always followed by unhappiness.
Others, might go to the extreme of not seeking it at all, because they feel unworthy of it, and prefer to avoid it. There are also people, who always look behind their back, wondering, wherefrom will come the blow.
The physical world is always in a state of flux. At each moment, a new thing is being created, sustained, changed, transformed and then destroyed. This is the normal state of affairs, and no one can change it.
No situation remains as it is. These are the laws of nature.
This means that if we attach ourselves to a certain situation, we are bound to experience unhappiness sooner or later.
When circumstances change, and the changes are not to our liking, we experience unhappiness. However, if we exercise detachment, nothing can disturb our mood and state of mind. Then, external events would not affect our happiness and peace of mind.
From the moment of birth, there is a yearning for happiness, and an endless race toward it. If we analyze our actions, we will see that all of them are in some way or another, happiness oriented. We seek this inner joy and elation in every thing we do, in relationships, at work and wherever we are. Everyone wants to feel good and happy.
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The Source of Happiness Is Within Us
When do we experience this desired state of happiness?
This state emerges when a problem has been solved, a burden has been lifted, or a fear has disappeared.
We also experience it when a desire or an ambition has been fulfilled, or when we acquire or receive something we wanted very much. It comes when we are assured of the love of someone dear to us, when we win a sum of money in the lottery, or when we get good grades at school.
What happens at the situations mentioned above? The tension that has been accumulating while we were pursuing, waiting, expecting or desiring is released. There is no more any need to run after the coveted object or evade a fear, and there is no tension, worry or burden. At this moment, happiness appears from within, together with a sense of inner peace.
At these times, we have no need to think, worry or desire a particular goal, object, event or circumstances, because we have either already accomplished it or got it. There is a kind of a mental relaxation, which makes happiness manifest.
It is as if the mind, which was filled with desires, anticipations, worries or fears is now empty of them. There is freedom, a feeling of ease, inner peace and joy.
Watch your mind next time you experience happiness and see what is happening. You will discover that your mind becomes quiet, and its constant chatter stops for a while. In this situation, happiness emerges into your awareness.
As you see, the trigger for happiness might be outside of yourself, but the source of happiness is within you. From this inner source happiness emerges, usually with a sense of inner peace, satisfaction and joy.
True, the joy might be gone after a while, because other thoughts, worries, desires or problems start to fill your mind. However, with a little training, you can teach yourself to stay happy.
Happiness does not have to come and go. You can learn not to allow circumstances, people's remarks and behavior, and your own thoughts and worries to drive happiness away.
If you learn to calm down your mind, and learn to choose the thoughts you want and reject the thoughts that you do not want, you will begin to experience more inner peace in your life, and when there is inner peace, there is also happiness and joy.
"It is our mindset that makes us feel happy or unhappy, satisfied or unsatisfied. You have the power to change your mindset."
"In every situation, even a bad or unpleasant one, there is something good, happy or amusing. Why not focus on it, instead of focus on the difficulties and unpleasantness?"
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