Purposelessness, stress, anxiety, and depression are common in our modern world. However, most people ignore their root causes. Why are most people unhappy? According to Thomas Moore, the answer to this question depends on the Buddha Nature or soul. Everyone has Buddha Nature or soul that needs to be taken care of. Once you neglect it, it will start complaining. The soul needs something to believe in.
Feature by John Peterson
Isn’t it fascinating when scientific studies prove things that spiritual or religious sources have been saying for hundreds of years? In recent years, scientists have found several interesting happiness principles. And they all match with the Buddhist beliefs. Several articles suggest that living by a couple of Buddhist beliefs can make you joyful and happy. Here are a few important Buddhist beliefs that will make you feel happy and fulfilled.
Among the core beliefs of Buddhism is right mindfulness. When you are mindful, you tend to focus on the present moment and pay attention to what you are doing instead of dwelling on past events or worrying about what is about to happen. This is the heart of Buddhism. Wisdom can only emerge when your mind is calm and pure.
Science also suggests that taking enough time to enjoy the present moment can make you feel happier. Studies have shown that people who try to be in the present moment tend to feel happier and contented. And a significant increase in happiness reduces depression. [Some citations in this previous feature.]
2. Avoid comparisons
According to Buddha, all living entities have Buddha Nature. In addition to this, Buddhists believe that we are all connected and inter-dependent. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to compare ourselves to others. There is no inferior or superior since all of us are connected.
Scientific studies have shown that people who compare themselves to others tend to have low self-esteem [Some examples>>]. Therefore, we should focus on our achievements instead of comparing ourselves to others.
3. Avoid striving for money
Relying on money or materialism to bring you happiness is a false refuge. Scientific studies have also shown the same. People who prioritize money above everything else are more likely to be anxious and depressed. Money seekers also tend to on tests of self-actualization and vitality.
4. Focus on meaningful goals
The aim of becoming a Buddhist is to awaken. This means that you have to focus on your mindfulness and compassion. The principle of right effort according to the Buddhist principle tells us to balance between a moderate life and the exertion to follow the spiritual path.
While meaningful goals don’t need to be religious or spiritual, people who focus on meaningful goals such as raising happy children or improving a new skill tend to be happier than those who don’t have strong aspirations and dreams.
5. Build relationships
According to Buddha, spiritual friendship was the essence of spiritual life:
“Friendship is not half of the holy life, but all of it” (Samyutta Nikaya, 45.2)
Kind words, generosity, consistency, and beneficial help are the things that build long-lasting relationships. Buddhism emphasizes non-attachment, which helps us loved our family and friends unconditionally without the desire to change or control them. Research studies have found that people who nurture their relationships are happier than those who don’t.
6. Practice gratitude
According to Buddha, gratitude is one of the highest protections against unhappiness. By being appreciative and grateful, you’ll start focusing on the blessings in your life. And this will make you feel happier and more positive. Scientists have conducted studies on the subject of gratitude. And they’ve found that people who keep gratitude journals tend to be healthier, optimistic, and more likely to achieve their goals.
7. Generosity is key
Buddhism has emphasized the practice of giving or dana. While giving material possessions and money is good enough, Buddhism focuses on the benefits of giving precious gifts that are less tangible such as wisdom, time, and support.
You can become happier by making giving a part of your life. According to Stephen Post, you can volunteer, help a neighbor, or donate services or products if you want to enjoy more health benefits than you would from regular exercise. Other aspects that contribute to happiness include listening to friends, celebrating other peoples’ success, passing on skills, and forgiveness to name a few.
As the Buddha taught, happiness is an integral factor when it comes to enlightenment — it is one of the seven factors of Enlightenment according to Pali Tipitaka. However, most people have no idea what happiness is. According to various dictionaries, happiness involves a wide range of emotions which include anything between contentment and joy. We tend to think that happiness is the opposite of sadness or something that rarely visits us in our lives.
However, happiness is the rapture of deep tranquility. And all of the principles that we’ve discussed in this article contribute towards a fuller, vibrant, and fulfilled life. Putting to practice these principles is easy. All you need is willingness.
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