What is mindfulness? And can it increase your happiness? Find out more about the connection between mindfulness and happiness.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practiced way of seeing the world and approaching your life. You can hone this ability through meditation.
The principles of mindfulness include:
- Paying attention. Take notice of the world around you. Listen, watch, and consider.
- Live in the moment. Don’t be consumed by what is ahead; don’t blame yourself for what is past. Be present in the present.
- Notice but don’t react. Take note of your thoughts and emotions, but don’t be ruled by your impulses.
- Act with purpose. Consider your options and determine your course.
- Accept where you are. Be at peace with where you are mentally, emotionally, and physically–and begin from that place.
Does Mindfulness Make You Happier?
Although mindfulness finds it roots in Buddhism, it extends beyond a religious practice. Mindfulness techniques are used as a form of therapy by psychologists to improve depression, anxiety, OCD, insomnia, and even chronic pain.
People who practice mindfulness report feeling more patient, more productive, and less anxious. So mindfulness and happiness can go hand in hand.
People who practice mindfulness approach life in a way that promotes happiness and peace:
- They forgive themselves. They don’t play the blame game.
- They savor the little things in life.
- They are fully present with people, which nurtures relationships and fosters connection.
- They accept what they cannot change and look for the good that can come out of difficult circumstances.
Uncovering Happiness Within Yourself
If you feel that happiness is a mirage that keeps vanishing as you approach, consider practicing mindfulness. Practice mindfulness and find yourself uncovering happiness. Here’s how:
- Set aside a special time and place. Find a quiet, peaceful space at the start of the day.
- Find a comfortable position. You can sit, kneel, or even lie down (yes!).
- Focus on your breath. This grounds you in the moment. Mindfulness means being fully present where you are.
- When your thoughts wander (and they will), accept them but return to focusing on your breath.
Alone time isn’t your only chance to practice mindfulness. You can hone your ability to be focused and present in the shower (feel the warmth of the water over your skin), when you wash your hands, when you eat (savor each bite), or when you snuggle with your baby.
When you feel a flash of anger, irritability, or worry during the day, try replacing it with mindfulness. Take a breath and focus on it. Stay in the present and don’t react in the heat of the moment.
By incorporating these ideas, you will strengthen the connection between mindfulness and happiness in your own life.
Quotes About Mindfulness and Happiness
Find inspiration in these mindfulness and happiness quotes.
“There is something entirely bold about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.” -Tara Brach
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. That is how we cultivate mindfulness.” -John Kabat Zinn
“Be happy in the moment. That’s enough. Each moment is all we need–not more.” -Mother Teresa
“Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch each other.” – Jack Kornfield
“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.” – Pema Chodron
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” -Anne Frank
“That’s life: starting over, one breath at a time.” -Sharon Salzberg
“Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible wall against difficulties.” -Helen Keller
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” -Thich Nhat Hanh