Happiness emerges from a collective sense of contentment, joy, peace of mind and hopefulness, an intermingling of how one feels on a daily basis with how satisfied one is with life overall. Feeling good in all ways is physically impossible, yet maintaining a sense of purpose and embracing consistent efforts that minimize distress and maximize enjoyment become valuable approaches toward greater fulfillment.
Happiness is not about wealth and power. On the contrary, selecting options that support ease, choices made simpler by developing longtime friendships with like-minded people is definitely one of the “richest” essentials for nurturing true happiness.
Basically, happiness can be thought of as a moment-by-moment journey, a process rather than a final destination. Working diligently to integrate specific self-care tools into everyday life is essential. In an inspiring interview for AARP Magazine, Ted Danson describes making critical changes in his life by focusing on greater balance. His “balancing tricks” include fighting fear with gratitude, a tool I recommend highly and utilize for my personal self-care.
In spite of difficulties, encouraging more joy in our lives incorporates a gratitude practice to open more fully to our lives. Clinical psychologist and founder of the Insightful Meditation Society, Jack Kornfield, PhD, maintains that practicing gratitude regularly encourages rejoicing in good fortune: “Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small, an appreciation of the moments of good fortune that sustain our life every day.”
There is so much to be grateful for right here in our community, places and people that enhance our happiness by offering tools to boost physical, emotional, intellectual, energetic and spiritual well-being:
• an exquisite natural environment of parks, mountains, rivers and open spaces;
• kindhearted city and county staff members, effective judicial, safety, medical and law enforcement personnel, ready to support and serve;
• vital, engaging local businesses, reinforced by a forceful Chamber of Commerce;
• ministries and nonprofit agencies, working tirelessly to make life a little better for those in need;
• community-centered media coverage, creating diversified and open-minded communication;
• excellent school systems, providing sound intellectual and activity-focused education;
• close friends and family who love us.
Beyond all these individuals and forces that touch our lives, a most valuable way to cultivate happiness is definitely through personal self-care. Allow that collective sense of contentment, joy, peace of mind and hopefulness to enter your life more fully. Let your own journey into focusing more on self-care be your guiding light to a more satisfying and fulfilling life — moment by precious moment.
Teresa (Teddy) E. Araas, PhD, C-IAYT, CHES, E-RYT500, CYT700, RPYT, a globally-certified Yoga Therapist, owns local businesses Balanced Living Health & Wellbeing Consultants, LLC and Santosha Yoga. She also teaches doctoral courses in health promotion and wellness and holds an adjunct research fellowship at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, Utah. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.