Can we be happy all the time? How can we achieve and maintain a calm mind? Is it possible for us to develop simple routines that can keep us energized throughout the day? Can we prevent the emergence of stress in our daily lives? Is there a way to become like a child once again in body, mind, and spirit?
These are some of the questions I have pondered for over two decades now. Not just contemplating but researching and experimenting. I feel happy and satisfied that years of hard work have paid off and now I can share something useful that will be of great benefit to many people.
I started my journey as behavioral science coach facilitates people to discover their true selves. Sometimes I was with them for hours and felt satisfied that I could help them. But when I come home, I find it difficult to share the experiences I had during the day with my wife. It’s sad because some of them are indeed valuable experiences.
Therefore, we decided to do activities that we can do together. It proved to be our wisest decision.
We go to study laughter yoga and after that sessions were held to bring smiles to the faces around. It’s our way of giving back. We never imagined that we would be as immersive and engaged with participants as they come from almost all over the world.
Laughter yoga is one of the happiest activities imaginable. It does a lot of positive things. It is good for health and generates instant joy. Unconditional laughter time and time again takes you into a deep meditative state that frees you from all the stress and worries of life. It is also a sweet spiritual experience when you can make the depressed laugh and the tough laugh like a child.
Despite the many positives, we feel it has its limitations. It’s like pudding and humans need healthy food.
We started exploring yoga nidras – a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. As we go deeper and deeper, we discover hidden treasures. That brings us to ancient meditation techniques and then to mindfulness meditation and Buddhist insight.
The Science of Happiness & Wellbeing
Simultaneously, I keep up with the latest developments in positive psychology. According to its founder, Martin Seligman, the five elements of well-being are positive emotions, engagement, connection, meaning and achievement. Being a science student myself, I have great respect for Seligman but, having studied spirituality a little, I believe that well-being is not just a construct but is multi-dimensional and much more complex.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology, describes the most effective happiness activities in her book entitled ‘The How of Happiness’. Interestingly, these activities include: practicing religion and spirituality, caring for the body (meditation), caring for the body (physical activity), caring for the body (acting like a happy person).
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist, found many similarities between the two yoga And flow. He considers yoga to be a “thoroughly planned flow activity” as it seeks to both achieve joyful engagement and self-forgetfulness through concentration, which in turn is made possible by bodily discipline.
Stephen Covey, Daniel Goleman, Matthieu Ricard and Richard Gere, to name just a few, practice meditation and have a deep belief in meditation as a contributing factor to lasting happiness.
Experiment with happiness
Based on our research, we conducted several experiments with happiness. We create and manage four programs for different groups of participants in different environments.
The first program named ‘Wheel of Happiness and Prosperity‘ for participants in formal settings such as workplaces or educational institutions. These include positive psychology input, meditation, yoga, laughter yoga and spirituality. The sessions were well appreciated and audiences found great value in them.
Some people seek peace and quiet. For them we have a program called ‘Meditate like Buddha‘ once a week in the morning. The material is just meditation – pure meditation, nothing else. All participants want to have a program every day.
We do ‘Happiness boot camp‘ on weekends for families in the park. These include yoga, meditation, laughter yoga, and fun activities. The response is getting better and better.
After holding sessions and interacting with thousands of people over the years, we feel that we have a recipe for happiness and well-being with us. Being able to touch life is the highest fulfillment.