Happiness is the Normal State

One of the most memorable teachings of Father Eli is that, “Happiness is the normal state of a healthy, well-adjusted individual.” Another one of his interesting ideas about happiness is that “Happiness is a state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.”

He says that happiness is not an emotion, but a state of mind. Emotions, come in two types: tense emotions and relaxed emotions. Tense emotions, like  anger, fear, frustration, worry. fear, anxiety, etc., give rise to the fight or flight response. Relaxed emotions, like love, pleasure, peace, joy, and so on, give rise to the relaxation response and give us a chance for happiness.

You see, the word, “happy” comes from the root-stem of “hop,” like a 7-year-old jumping up and down in the park on a sunny summer afternoon and like the girl in the above picture.

When you are happy all senses get better and internal organs like the glands and heart function better. Your memory works better, and you can get better grades or perform better at work. All the religions say that righteousness is obtained by happiness and cheerfulness.  Happiness is the method of obtaining personality and character perfection.

Some psychologists say the unhappiness is the sole cause of disease. So to stay healthy, “Don’t worry! Be Happy!”

Here are a few things you can do to promote happiness.

  1. Think of at least three events, people or things that you are grateful for each day. Gratitude practice is essential for happiness. Remember, “To desire what you don’t have is to waste what you do have!”
  2. Spend some time in nature every day and contemplate the wonders of life. Remember that “This life is the gift of the whole universe – the earth, the sky and many generations!”
  3. Learn to forgive yourself for those moments when you are tense and not happy. Also forgive everyone in your life that you can think.
  4. Perform a simple act of kindness for someone else each day to make someone happy or reduce their suffering.
  5. Sign up for a Mindfulness Break!

Can you think of more ways of producing happiness for yourself?

Copyright © 1996-2018, Jerome Freedman, Ph. D., All Rights Reserved