Why Meditation Makes You Happy
It’s not often that we take time out to consider what truly makes us happy. In fact, when was the last time you stopped, and asked yourself that question? Consciously creating the moment to do this, to reflect and perform a “happiness audit”, can be challenging when our days are so full and distracting.
However, taking this uninterrupted time out to get in touch with our feelings, to make a candid assessment of how we feel and what is going on in our lives, is an extremely worthwhile exercise. It’s only then that we can begin to make the necessary changes to make ourselves happier.
As Vedic Meditators, we never go into our meditation with an agenda: whatever thoughts arise during our meditation are beyond our control, and come about when our body is deeply resting, and our minds are settled. With regular meditation practice, one of the many benefits you will notice outside of your meditation time is greater clarity and perspective in your thinking.
For example, when I’m dealing with something in my life, I find that I can see subtle connections and differences between two or three big thoughts, as well their individual nuances. This helps me use my time efficiently when it comes to addressing these big thoughts, giving me greater focus, and allowing space for creativity.
Happiness comes from within
Over the many years I have meditated, I’ve come to realise that outside factors – such as day-to-day events, my surroundings, and other people’s behaviour – have very little bearing on how truly happy I am. Instead, it’s what’s going on inside me, and the way I choose to consider and react to what is going on around me, that determines my happiness.
Between an incident occurring and our reaction, there is space. And it is there, in that brief moment, that we have a choice as to how we react. Do we shout? Cry? Exchange unpleasant words? Walk away and slam the door? All these reactions are going to have an impact on our happiness for a time: whether a few minutes, hours, or even days.
Regular meditation practice provides us with space to reflect, giving us the opportunity to break away from our default reactions – such as anger or sadness – and to pause so that we no longer act with undiluted emotion but with consideration. We develop “emotional intelligence” which Daniel Goleman describes in Emotional Intelligence as comprising: self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.
By employing this compassionate and candid reflection in the space between incident and reaction, we give ourselves the opportunity to cultivate our own happiness. By creating space and continually developing our emotional intelligence, we find that our happiness is no longer in the control of others.
Meditation gives us the clarity to do just that. It’s not whilst meditating, but when we are in our “eyes open state” and going about our lives that the biggest impact on our happiness is felt.
Find out more about how Vedic Meditation can benefit you by attending one of our free, no obligation introductory talks in London or Brighton. Book online here.