Have you ever wondered why we’re not taught how to be happy in school? We learn math, science, language, and social studies. But we’re never taught how to pursue the things that make our hearts sing.
We are taught from a young age that to be successful is to be happy. The more money you make, the happier you’ll be, right?
But being successful is no guarantee that you will be happy.
If you’re seeking something more, something to augment your day-to-day routine and bring genuine joy into your life, perhaps it’s time to explore something new.
If you truly want to be happy – practice yoga. Here’s why.
How To Be Happy Where You Are
Paramhansa Yogananda, alongside many other yoga masters, taught us that happiness comes from inside of us, not from external objects or conditions. External success is no guarantee of internal joy. In fact, many people who rate high on the socioeconomic success ladder are privately quite miserable.
Winning the lottery, getting a promotion, or securing a new romantic relationship can make us feel excited, thrilled, ecstatic even, but these feelings are temporary. As soon as the money is gone, the reality of the workload sets in, or the luster fades from a relationship, we are left with ourselves, as we are.
Nothing has truly changed.
Understanding how to be happy goes much deeper than these surface level achievements.
Modern Education: A Broken Self-Fulfillment System
School was a good recipe for success when our most important goal in life was to secure a permanent job. But modern education doesn’t seem concerned with much beyond this pursuit. What happens after we knab the job, or the relationship, or buy our first house? We have the skills and tools to survive, but not to thrive. And there’s a big difference between these two states.
Yet, our school systems and cultural expectations have changed little.
We know this recipe doesn’t work. Why? Because we’re not happy. We’re not fulfilled. Yet, we’re teaching our children and grandchildren the same things we learned – the tools to survive.
But we need to begin reaching beyond that. Survival is good. But thriving in a state of emotional and spiritual wellbeing is better.
Money and Happiness Aren’t the Same
Simply put – we need to stop equating monetary gain with emotional wellbeing. They aren’t the same thing. What truly, genuinely makes you happy? What makes your heart race and your thoughts soar?
We often don’t let ourselves slow down enough to consider it. We rush from one appointment to the next, from meeting to meeting, from deadline to deadline. We need to inject more mindfulness into our day-to-day routine in order to understand how to genuinely serve our own needs.
And that’s where yoga comes in.
To Be Happy – Practice Yoga
Yoga brings us into the present moment, fully and intimately. It brings us a measure of mindfulness is a chaotic world constantly demanding more.
It takes us both outside ourselves, and further within. Sometimes what we’re faced with may be uncomfortable. But that’s the point. When we can examine the things inside ourselves without fear, anxiety, or rejection, we can learn to more intimately explore our innermost selves. We can learn what truly makes us happy.
At the Symposium of Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) 2016, Dr. Josephine Briggs from the National Institute of Health said that funding yoga research is a high priority for her team. Yoga has been demonstrated to alleviate depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and chronic pain. And we’re learning more about the vast benefits of this practice every day.
Integrate Yoga Into Your Life
Bringing a little more mindfulness and zen into your life isn’t as challenging as you might think! Explore any of these options to practice yoga on a routine basis:
- Join an in-person yoga class
- Take private yoga lessons
- Have a session with a yoga therapist
- Join the Mindvalley Academy online yoga community, Zenward
You don’t have to choose between success and happiness. You just need to find what your happy looks like. Find it, and pursue it with all your spirit.
What does you being happy look like? Tell us about something that made you smile today.