“Happiness Is Just Like This”

There’s a wonderful, brief piece in Lion’s Roar about the following truth: “We may believe that it’s the quality of the sunset that gives us such pleasure, but in fact it is the quality of our own immersion in the sunset that brings the delight.”

If you feel a positive emotion, be mindful of it. Mindfulness, as my teacher Steve Armstrong taught, is remembering to recognize the present moment’s experience. To wit:  “If you’re in the mind-state of contentment and want it to continue, place your attention on the emotional sensations of contentment.”

Attend to where you’re feeling the emotion:

So the next time you have a positive emotion, see where that emotion is experienced in your body. Any positive experience will do. Say, you’re walking down the street and you see a small child do something that makes you smile. Put your attention on your smile and any emotion you experience for at least twenty seconds

Just stay with the positive emotion. You might say to yourself something like, “Happiness is just like this.” Don’t start thinking about why you’re not happy all the time, or fearing that the happiness will end, or any of the countless other ways we mess up our positive emotions.

Hat tip to Bob Wright on Twitter.

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