Musings on how to be happy

In this body-conscious world, we hear it every day: The secret to happiness? Body acceptance.

But, is that really the key? Is something so seemingly and overtly superficial really the way to be happy? In my limited – yet sufficient – experiences, it isn’t.

So what, then, is the key to happiness? What magical pill can we all swallow to suddenly be at peace with ourselves? My magical potion? Mental peace and strength. Peace to let go of the past and strength to change the course of the future by changing the present.

How do we change our future, you ask? By not waiting for it anymore.

Many of us find ourselves waiting for the weekend, waiting for summer vacation, waiting for graduation, waiting, waiting and waiting for the future and for our lives to begin. We call this living? Waiting is not living.

You need to stop making excuses for why you’re not going out and accomplishing all those things you are “waiting” to do. Now is the time to live. Now is the time to go out and accomplish your goals. The future only exists in your mind. What exists in the world is the now.

You will always be able to make up an excuse. It’s never going to be the “right time.” So why don’t you go out and make right now the right time?

Once you start living for now and not for tomorrow, you’ll find yourself sleeping sounder at night, accomplishing more during the day and enjoying the little things more, which all culminate in one thing: being happy.

Be present in the moment. Try to make right now the best it can absolutely be. Have goals for the future and something to work for, but never forget that you don’t live in the future. Try your best every single day to make the most of the now, and the rest will take care of itself.

I wasn’t always at peace with myself. I, too, was one of the many waiting in line for my life to begin. Through yoga, I learned the idea of mindfulness and living in the present moment, and it struck a chord with me. I wasn’t happy with how I was living my life, so I decided to change. Just like that.

I’m by no means perfect – no one is. We all slip up sometimes – it’s expected. We have to make sure our slip ups are just that — momentary falters in behavior and not permanent lifestyle choices.

Inevitably, you’ll forget to be present in the moment and catch yourself reliving the past or imagining the future, and that’s okay. Just don’t get stuck there. Time travel hasn’t been invented yet, so keep your mind and body in the now.

If you can go to bed being proud of something you did that day, that day was a success. Revel in those successes, and you’ll never have a bad day in your life.

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