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By Olivia Janisch

As humans, we are products of our habits and our thoughts create our reality. Our quality of life comes down to the quality of our perspective, so it’s critical that we develop a mindset and build a routine that supports our happiness. Here are some ways to do that.

1. Be still and know

The mind cannot change the mind. Knowing about presence, consciousness, living in the moment, and gratitude is all well and good, but your brain does not control your happiness. If it did, we’d all be enlightened beings (at least on the west coast we would be).

The fastest and most effective route to happiness is through meditation. We fear meditation because it requires us to drop the ego. And the ego is a cockroach, not to mention the source of all comparison, judgment, self-deprecation, and fear. The second we shed light on it, the ego runs into a dark corner to hide again.

Meditation is the practice of releasing the ego and moving our energy into more evolved chakras, which involve the heart, the throat and the head. These chakras are where our divinity lies, and where we can learn to live in our strength. Start small, and know that every meditation effort you make carries power and benefit.

2. Go towards what makes you feel great

Nurturing your body, mind and spirit enables you to uncover your truth within. Putting yourself first is the best thing you can do not only for yourself, but also for others. When you are lacking, emotionally, mentally or otherwise, you cannot totally be there for another when you’re silently preoccupied with your own issues.

Doing what makes you feel best – surfing, horse riding, singing, painting, cooking – things that your heart calls to, is the best way to get in touch with your divine spirit. We all have certain things that make us feel whole. When we are children, we are encouraged to play and explore, but as adults a lot of that goes away as work and responsibilities take over. While it’s crucial to tend to our adult commitments, it’s also equally important to make the time to tend to our spirits.

3. Stop doing things that are out of alignment with yourself

Overcommitting, saying yes to people that don’t support us, doing things we’re not connected to, and not speaking up for ourselves all take energy away from our happiness. Of course, there are things in our daily lives that aren’t enjoyable, and those things must be attended to. However, if you’re constantly feeling drained by the situations you’re getting yourself into, something’s got to change, as these situations pull you away from the present and from yourself. If you’re going to do something you don’t like, commit to doing it wholeheartedly and then let it go when it’s over. Take on things that you’re aligned with, and always remember that it’s ok to say no.

4. Use your skills to serve others

When we start seeing ourselves for what we have to offer instead of what we are lacking, we get closer to our true spirit and become a lot more powerful in ourselves. You’re most likely reading this article on your MacBook or iPhone, in the shelter of a home or office. The fact that you have the education to read, the money to buy technology, and a place to call home or work, is a lot more than a large majority of the world population. Shift your perspective from what you do not have to what you have to give, and your whole life will open up.

Life is complicated and long, but when we affirm that we have everything we need to be happy right now, things become a lot more simplified. Minimize the chatter of the neurotic mind through meditation, practice gratitude for your blessings, no matter how small, and know that everything will always be ok.

Photo by Topich

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