How to be happy: unveiling the secrets of lasting happiness

Written by Stannah

Women finds joy in life

Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darlin’, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s alright
The Beatles

Did you recognise the tune? Perhaps you found yourself humming along as you read the lyrics. We’re willing to bet you did. The iconic Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun,” featured in their 1969 album Abbey Road, serves as a timeless reminder that, no matter what, the sun will shine again.

Yet, what can we do when we find ourselves in the midst of a cold, lonely winter? Can we find happiness in these challenging times? Today, let’s embark on a journey through space and time to remind ourselves that there’s always a chance to be happy, even in the quietest moments—it all depends on how we look at them.

How to be happy? 3 simple steps to find happiness in everyday moments

Embracing the impermanence of life

In Japanese culture, there’s a beautiful concept known as mono no aware (物の哀れ), which can be loosely translated as “the beauty of things passing.” This Japanese philosophy encourages us to pause, acknowledging that nothing lasts forever.

Everything is transient, including the beauty of small things: the warm gaze of a pet, a sunbeam resting on a chair, the flicker of a fire, or the tender smile of our loved ones. In the hustle and bustle of our lives, each of these moments offers a chance to experience pure, personal happiness.

So, just take a moment, breathe, and look up. Marvel at the sky above and embrace the undiluted joy that is uniquely yours.

Exploring the world of mindfulness meditation

Meditation and mindfulness, often used interchangeably, have become widespread terms. But what exactly is mindfulness meditation?

Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in the moment—observing with curiosity and without judgement. Engaging in mindfulness meditation is a transformative practice, helping us to break free from mental traps and prioritise what truly matters to us. It’s about living authentically, in harmony with what brings us joy and fulfilment.

Part of the enduring appeal of mindfulness lies in its centuries-old roots. Buddhist monks have been incorporating mindfulness exercises into their meditation practices for over 2600 years, considering it a path to enlightenment.

The widespread popularity of mindfulness is also backed by substantial research. A 2011 study observed changes in the brain’s grey matter density and regions associated with memory, self-perception, and emotion regulation due to mindfulness meditation. Ongoing studies are also exploring its potential in enhancing mood.

Given its positive impact and ancient roots, there’s no harm in giving mindfulness a try. Just take a deep breath and see where it leads you.

Memento Mori: reflecting on life’s constant changes

‘Remember, you must die!’

‘Yes, yes, I’ll make a note of that, right now’ Mario (Massimo Troisi) responded to the monk’s solemn reminder in the square of Frittole, as immortalised in the unforgettable Italian film ‘Nothing Left To Do But Cry’ (Non Ci Resta Che Piangere).

According to Stoic philosophers, acknowledging that death is an inevitable part of life can profoundly influence our habits. In fact, Memento mori is the ancient practice of reflecting on mortality.

To understand its significance, we must consider who Seneca was, a Stoic philosopher who lived between 4 B.C. and 65 A.D., and his relationship with the concept of death. In his time, death was a more frequent and tangible aspect of life, marked by wars, diseases, and famines.

For us in 2023, the idea may seem unsettling. Who wants to dwell on thoughts of death?

The power of small gestures

Dear reader, in times of challenge, embracing slowness, awareness and cherishing small gestures can help us live more harmoniously with ourselves and find peace with those around us.