Happiness the Tai Chi Way.

Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness means different things to different people. It also varies with country, region, religious beliefs and whether you are male or female.

The thing is, whatever happiness looks like to you, that is what you should try to do more of. However happiness is also a balancing act. It is impossible for anyone  to live for any extended period of time in any ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ state. This applies equally to happiness, contentment, sadness and depression.

Think about a time when you were really, really happy. If you can conjure up a memory of when you were ecstatic that is even better. You will find yourself smiling as you see those pictures in your mind again. Even in that state, there would have been brief moments where you were experiencing a ‘neutral’ feeling. The same is true of deep shock or grief too. The human brain is incapable of sustaining these great extremes of emotions for extended periods of time. Instead, we drop in and out of them.

So why even try to attain happiness?

I think we would all agree that it is a nicer state to be in than depression or sadness. When you do find happiness, realise it in that moment. This will help you to experience happiness on a deeper level, to recognise it much earlier on next time around. Plus, it also makes it easier to recall at other times too.

Most of the time we function in a ‘neutral’ state, going about our daily lives. Acknowledging contentment, humour, pleasure, gratification, serenity will make you more aware of how much of it you actually do experience on a daily basis. It will allow you to let go of the negative emotions more easily, so they do not dominate your thoughts. You will begin to naturally, move towards those things, experiences and people which allow you to feel positive emotions.

Parts of Life

Everyone, at some point, is going to experience loss and sadness. It is part of life. Happiness can seem unreachable at times like these, but even in the darkest of places you can find a little neutrality, or even joy if you keep an open mind. Let yourself acknowledge that you don’t have to be sad all the time, that it is a physical impossibility. Look out for those moments where your feel ‘neutral’, and acknowledge that, just for this moment, you are not feeling anything negative.

Tai Chi is great for turning off both extremes of feelings and allowing you to live in that moment. It lets your thoughts, and brain, rest for a while. It calms the chatter within and allows you to enter that neutral state. It will also allow you to move to the happy, content state too. This happens naturally as your muscles relax as a reaction to your calmer mind and thoughts. Feeling relaxed and content are common amongst practitioners.

Find out what makes you happy and plan in more of that each day. The everyday stuff that you have to do, just get on with, don’t get hung up on the small stuff. Do what you have to do, get it done and move on to something you do enjoy. Allow yourself space inside you own mind to be still and at peace.  Focus on doing your Tai Chi perfectly and becoming one with flowing movements- let your mind rest and be at peace.

One of my favourite stories is an ancient, powerful Indian King who had decided to wed.  He called on one of his greatest sages who was also a goldsmith to make rings for the happy couple.  He ordered the wise goldsmith to inscribe something profound inside each ring that would see them through the rest of their lives.

When the beautiful rings arrived the King looked inside them.  It said;

It will pass. (Everything passes, happiness, sadness, anger and becomes something else).

Have a good week.