6 keys to happiness - according to the Dalai Lama

1. Being truthful.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

When we are honest, we are more likely to suffer less from anxiety and fear. Remaining true to ourselves and others, can help us experiencing genuine happiness through a peaceful environment based on integrity and honesty.

2. Rising above anger and hatred.

“Anger is the ultimate destroyer of your own peace of mind.”

As humans we have a tendency to feeling victimised and thus needing to point the finger at someone or something. We actually feed most of our anger through mental dwelling on situations and refusing to forgive others.

The best advice to remove the black cloud of anger, is to mediate on it. Identifying and understanding the root of our feelings of anger is important in order for us to let it go. Being more compassionate, forgiving and loving will help you on your way to quelling anger.

3. Conquering negative thoughts.

“The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.”

Very much like anger, many other feelings of negativity can linger in the back of our minds. (hatred, greed, envy, aversion, inadequacy, etc.) This only breeds isolation, anxiety and fear. If we want to achieve happiness The Dalai Lama suggests eliminating mischievous thoughts from our minds, - and replacing them with positive thoughts instead.

One key to doing this is starting by noticing when a bad though or feeling arise. Simply noticing and recognising them can be very powerful as you become more aware of your mind and then lets you do something about it, rather than being controlled by your thought or feelings. After noticing it, try focusing on the present moment and your breath before passing the negativity gently on and inhaling positivity.

4. Compassion.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. If you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

To achieve happiness we need to cultivate the thought that other people are valuable and interesting. Other people are very much the source of our happiness and the more we care about them, the more satisfied and happy we will be in turn. When we think of others our minds expands, while thinking only of yourself narrows the mind. Empathy and compassion are essential ingredients of happiness. - That is why giving feels so good.

5. Getting in touch with spirituality.

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

The importance of walking down a spiritual path should not be understated according to the Dalai Lama. For some it can be religion, for others it can be personal experiences. The path is less important than the practice of getting in touch our spiritual side. Through this practice we can discover that great happiness lies within ourselves, and not through transitory physical means.

6. Shifting your perspective.

“Choosing to be optimistic, feels better."

Our lifes situations should be looked at by all angles and as objectively as possible. Often good things can be found in negative situations and training your mind to find those instead of solely dwelling on the negative, can make you more happy. Looking at a negative situation from a narrow perspective can make you feel hopeless. Try approaching every situation from different angles as much as possible to cultivate a broader mindset.

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