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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Secret to Happiness

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Caring - People who volunteer or simply care for others on a consistent basis seem to be happier and less depressed. Although “caring” can involve volunteering as part of an organized group or club, it can be as simple as reaching out to someone who looks lonely or is struggling with an issue.


Exercise Regular exercise has been associated with improved mental well-being and a lower incidence of depression. The Cochrane Review (the most influential medical review of its kind in the world) has produced a landmark analysis of 23 studies on exercise and depression. One of the major conclusions was that exercise had a “large clinical impact on depression.” 


FlowIf we are deeply involved in trying to reach a goal, or an activity that is challenging but well suited to our skills, we experience a joyful state called “flow.” Do you ever find yourself so completely immersed in what you’re doing that you lose track of time? All of a sudden you look up at the clock and realize that hours have passed and you missed dinner time? Think a minute about this. When does this loss of time and total engagement typically occur for you? In a yoga class, we flow through the poses while focusing on our breathing. We immerse ourselves in a moving meditation and before we realize it, an hour has passed. This is the main objective of yoga is to create flow, bringing the mind and body into alignment.


Positive Thinking - Are you grateful and optimistic? I wasn't so happy and positive before I decided to take charge of my life a few months ago. Grateful people have been shown to have greater positive emotion, a greater sense of belonging, and lower incidence of depression and stress. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” One of Winston Churchill’s most famous quotes suggests that optimists and pessimists have fundamentally different ways of interpreting the world. Martin Seligman defines optimism as reacting to problems with a sense of confidence and high personal ability. Specifically, optimistic people believe that negative events are temporary, limited in scope and manageable. Yoga taught me to be confident and believe that I can handle a negative experience with equanimity


Relationships - People who have one or more close friendships are happier. It doesn’t seem to matter if we don't have a large network of friends or family. What seems to make a difference is if and how often we cooperate in activities and share our personal feelings with a friend or relative.


Spirituality - Studies demonstrate a close link between spiritual/ religious practice and happiness. Spirituality and prayer also provide people with an opportunity to engage in a meditative act. Meditation and yoga have been shown to have a strong link with well-being because it calms the body, reduces stress and anxiety, and also supports positive thinking. Finally, both spirituality/ organized religion and yoga can help provide people with perspective, hope, and a deeper sense of meaning.


Strengths and virtuesStudies by experts in the new field of Positive Psychology show that the happiest people are those that have discovered their unique strengths (such as critical thinking) and virtues (such as humanity) and use those strengths and virtues for a purpose that is greater than their own personal goals. Do you know yourself and utilize your many talents for good? 
(Adapted from Science of Happiness) - http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org

Yoga is the Secret to Happiness

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Ingrid Cheng, Founder of Fit-Twist
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2 comments:

  1. I think the operative word here is LASTING happiness... anyone can be temporarily satiated and experience that as happiness... of course we'll all have challenges but if we are truly happy, we don't do things that are destructive to ourselves in the process. I think it's an interesting process myself and it doesn't necessarily have to be seen as "yoga".

    1st We have the COMMITMENT to live making conscious decisions in all aspects of our lives, not based on fate or karma. That CHARACTER of our commitment balances our polarities which gives us DIGNITY whereby people are curious & attracted to these qualities in us. As we grow on this path we access our DIVINITY where we are even more trustworthy. Others sense it quickly as we experience our GRACE, an even more pure place in the subtle realms. We then have more resources to SACRIFICE for ourselves and others which automatically gives us HAPPINESS.

    The only part of your post that I think needs some clarification is the part of relating to negative thoughts and experiences. I feel this is often misinterpreted by many on the spiritual path. While it's important to always have more positive feeling than negative ones, there is great value in the negative IF it is NOT cut out or rushed through. Sure it's not a "fun" experience but without INTEGRATING the negative and positive it impedes the process to true NEUTRAL mind, which is just a natural byproduct, not an effort as in "belief systems" or positive-negative thinking. As we gain more resources on all levels, negativity can't penetrate our permeable empathic wall which remains open to all. What do you think? Sat Hari

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  2. Thanks for your feedback, Gary. I am just speaking from personal experience & yoga has helped me be happy.

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