With all of the anger, strife, and anxiety in the world today, it can be difficult to find the joy in life, but that is where meditation for happiness can help.
With so much suffering and conflict, sometimes it might seem like the world has no joy to offer.
You might ask yourself, “How can we be happy when others have it so bad?”
Other times, we’re so focused on the negative things that are happening in our own lives, the challenges we’re dealing with, and the potential catastrophes that could arise at any moment, that we simply block our capacity to feel joy.
But joy is what gives your life sweetness and meaning. If you want to fulfill your destiny and become your best version of yourself, it is imperative that you take the time to cultivate your joy.
So today I’d like to share a simple meditation that you can use at any time to create the experience of more joy in your life.
Happiness Starts with Gratitude
And the secret to this meditation is to focus on what you’re grateful for.
Because no matter how bad things might look right now, I guarantee that there are countless reasons to be thankful.
Your world is full of things that are worthy of your gratitude. Here are a few areas to start.
Think of the good people in your life – the people you love and who love you back.
Everyone from your friends to your family to your co-workers, all make up your support, which is an incredibly precious gift.
Think about the fact that you have a roof over your head and how lucky you are to have money in your bank account.
There are so many things in your daily life to be grateful for – such as the food in your refrigerator, your car or access to good public transportation, great entertainment on your television, or your smartphone with a connection to anywhere in the world.
The fact that you have a computer and can read this blog (or any number of blogs on the internet). The access you have to the Internet and online resources empowers you to better yourself with ease.
Think about all of the things that make your life so much easier than 50 years ago.
Think about your health, your body, and all the things it allows you to do – such as go for a walk through a forest or along a beach, go dancing, plant a garden, enjoy a yoga class, play sports, ride a bike, play a musical instrument, play with your children or grandchildren, and so on.
When you focus on all of the things you have to be grateful for, you will remember that the world is actually an amazing place and your life is truly a gift.
With that perspective, you will expand your experience of joy and develop a more positive mindset.
And with that mindset in place, you will be ready to learn how to meditate for greater happiness.
How to Meditate and Increase Happiness
Okay, so here’s a simple, but very powerful gratitude meditation you can do everyday to increase your overall happiness.
Step 1: Take a moment to quiet your mind
Sit for a moment and take a few long inhalations and exhalations, focusing your attention on your breathing. Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly.
And as you breathe, practice non-attachment to your thoughts. As soon as you find yourself thinking about something other than your breathing, gently release that thought.
Think of your thoughts as train cars passing through the station. You’re on the platform, watching them go past. But you’re not getting on to ride them, and allowing them to take you somewhere else.
You’re simply observing them as they go by and letting them move on without you and then gently returning your attention to your breath.
Step 2: Give thanks to what you are experiencing
Once your mind begins to quiet down, I would like you to give thanks to everything you are experiencing at this moment – first starting inward with your most immediate experiences and working your way out.
Thank Your Body and Mind
Give thanks to your mind, which allows you to think of all your thoughts. Be grateful for your eyes, that allow you to see the world’s beauty. Give thanks to your ears that allow you to hear the world’s music, and then to your mouth that allows you to taste the world’s deliciousness in all its myriad forms.
Be grateful for your arms and your hands and all they allow you to do – such as holding a child, reaching out and grabbing something to you, throwing a ball or a pillow, catching a ball or your falling child, writing a book, typing a report, driving a car, playing a musical instrument, creating a piece of art, cooking a meal, or hugging a loved one, or making love.
Be grateful for your lungs, for allowing you to breathe, and for your throat, for allowing you to speak and sing. And be grateful for your legs and feet, for making it possible for you to walk, run, jump, and dance.
Thank Your Current Environment
Be grateful for the chair you’re sitting on, and the people who put their time and effort into making that chair. Be grateful for the money that allowed you to buy that chair, or the person who gave it to you.
Be grateful for the coffee cup beside you, and the delicious coffee it used to hold that’s now flowing through your veins, making you feel more awake and alert.
Be grateful for the clothes that you’re wearing, and the person who made those clothes, and the job that gave you the money you needed to buy them.
Thank Your Extended Environment
Be grateful for your home, and your family and your friends. Be grateful for the people who make your life better or easier in some way—like the people at the grocery store, the gas station, the coffee shops, and the restaurants—the garbage men, the taxi drivers and Uber drivers, the weathermen and women, the doctors, nurses, healers and holistic practitioners.
Be grateful for the city and the country you live in, and the freedoms and rights that are available to you. Be grateful for the natural world around you—the birds that you hear out the window, the flowers and the trees, the parks and the bodies of water, and the fish that swim the ocean.
Continue to expand your awareness outward, cultivating gratitude for everything you can think of. You can even feel gratitude for the planet, the solar system, the stars, and even for life itself! Gently let your mind drift from topic to topic, while consciously practicing gratitude for everything that occurs to you.
When you do this later, try to maintain this state for about 10 minutes if you can.
Step 3: Recognize Your Improved Happiness
Then, when you’re done, open your eyes and take a moment to acknowledge the joy that comes with showing this kind of gratitude.
It is important to pause and recognize that small, incremental changes in your daily life can build up and make larger improvements in your mental health.
This simple meditation can have a huge impact on your mindset and your vibration. If you practice it every day, you will find it so much easier to experience more joy and happiness in your life.
And that is important because to receive what you want, you must become its vibrational match.
Start Your Journey to Happiness Through Guided Meditation
If you want more things to appreciate, you have to first appreciate more of what you already have.
When you practice radical gratitude like this, you will also find that you will attract more like-minded, optimistic, and joyful people into your life.
You’ll find that things will begin to come more easily to you, and people around you will naturally feel more inspired to help you achieve your goals.
And not only will that help you experience more joy and fulfillment in life – it will increase your ability to make an impact in the world, and create a positive ripple effect that will encourage others to show up in the world in a more positive and joyful way as well.