The Alphabet of Happiness: 'B'

Believe -- belief is like a magic potion; it helps us move forward even when times are tough. It gives a foundation when there is none to be seen and supports our dreams when the evidence is not yet there.
02/05/2013 04:40 pm ET Updated Apr 07, 2013

Inner happiness can be accessed no matter what your external circumstances. Because happiness is different for everyone, from cultivating contentment to pursuing peak experiences, it's fun to explore the various facets available to you now. Here are a few that may remind you of the happiness already at hand.

Today, let's look at the letter "B." The good news is that by reflecting on happiness, you are actually strengthening the neural pathways that bring you more. Starting right now...


Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. -- Thomas Merton

Balance. The idea of balance makes me laugh -- is there really such a thing or is it a mythical state that we are aspiring to pin down? In today's world, we are constantly plugged in; everything moves quicker, and stress is on the rise. So where is the balance? And how to bring some back into day-to-day life? It could be as easy as five breaths, a walk at lunchtime, or a good hot bath. It could be simply about paying attention to what your body needs, and listening when it implores you that it just wants to go to sleep!

Build in some time to pull your energy back from all the obligations and the drama that may not be your own. Refuel and recharge by doing what reconnects you with your center.

When balance is nowhere to be found, there are several simple antidotes for burnout: meditating twice a day works wonders. Walking your dog allows you to connect with the natural cycles, (and we're not just talking about poop!). Try balancing mental activity with a physical exercise that you enjoy. Connecting with friends is food for the soul. Just remember, amidst all the busyness of the day, there's your spirit, wanting to breathe. What is your way of finding balance and how could you attain more?

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Beauty. What do you appreciate about yourself -- what makes you uniquely you? Is it your hands, strong legs or the color of your hair? Those special things are found on the outside, and physical attributes are compelling, for sure! But, let's look a little deeper. What about the inner you -- what makes you (and others) beautiful human beings? What defines you is not just your physicality, but also your presence, and the energy that you exude and share. Beauty lives in an adventuresome spirit as well as in a peaceful nature. It could also show up through your sense of fun, irrepressible creativity or the sheer kindness that comes from your eyes.

When it comes down to it, beauty is just another vehicle for us to feel connected, and that feeling can be found everywhere. Nature is one of the greatest sources of both beauty and connection, as it transports us to a calmer and more peaceful place... inside. What is your all time favorite spot in nature? Try to spend a little more time there or even bring it up to the memory banks of your mind. You can activate your happiness by reliving that experience, even in your thoughts. In the rush of day-to-day living, remember your own beauty, including the inner kind. Surround yourself with people of real beauty, and bask in the sheer beauty of creation -- you will feel renewed!

"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle." -- Christian D. Larson

Believe. Belief is like a magic potion; it helps us move forward even when times are tough. It gives a foundation when there is none to be seen and supports our dreams when the evidence is not yet there. For many, religion acts as an inspiring architect for their beliefs. For others, it comes from other sources. The good news is that there are so many things to believe in; everyone can find what rings true. Believe in laughter, believe in science, believe in the wisdom of the heart. When have you followed your passion? Believe in the smile of a child, the unconditional love from a pet, believe that the sun will set and rise again. Believe in something greater. How do you define that in your life? Believe in the triumph of the human spirit. Believe there is a bigger plan. Believe that you are here for a reason and that every day is a new chance to connect with your essence and your purpose. Believe in the energy of love, and how it shows up in the most surprising ways. Where have you seen love in your life? Believe that you are guided, and notice the clues along the way. Believe that you can, and that the future is waiting to unfold. Believe that it starts today.

These are just a few aspects. What are some other B's that remind you of happiness?

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