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iStock_000014332869_LargeDo you consider yourself a religious or spiritual person? Religion is often a controversial topic, but research has shown that practicing some form of spirituality or religion can and does bring happiness. Although there are many different religions, many of them tend to have the same happiness boosting attributes, which are social support, providing deeper meaning, and meditative qualities.

However, if this topic is something irks you, I urge you to consider approaching it from a different perspective. Where and how do you find a sense of inner peace, contentment, love of life and feeling as though you are not the center of the world but part of something greater than yourself? For some it is in a church, mosque or temple. And for others, it is gardening, golfing or fly fishing.

You see, it is not the particular method of devotion that counts, it is the personal centering that results from a spiritual encounter with our intimate Divine that resonates the mindful practice of awareness and presence.

“The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness.” -Dalai Lama

For those of you who are already maintain a spiritual practice, then you are most likely aware of how to maximize your happiness, but these tips are always a great reminder for anyone, so without further ado:

  • – Find A Deeper Meaning and Purpose: Religion and spirituality can offer us a way of looking up to someone or something. Also, we can find our purpose in life through a religion or spirituality.
  • – Pray: When you have some free time in your day, whether it is at night before bed or in the morning when you wake up, take time to focus your awareness on a deity or what is sacred to you. Through this connection you may find strength, belief, reassurance, and peace.
  • – Find the Sacred in Everyday: Creating the ability to see the divine and holy in someone or something can bring a smile to your face. Whether it is a meal after a long day, a hug, or a child’s smile.

Being a religious or spiritual person can help you enjoy the faith, belief, and social benefits of your religion.

“My personal opinion is that the neutral position on the mood spectrum—what I called emotional sea level—is not happiness but rather contentment and the calm acceptance that is the goal of many kinds of spiritual practice.” -Andrew Weil

ACTION:

START VOLUNTEERING IN YOUR COMMUNITY, WHETHER IT IS AT AN EVENT, OR HELPING FEED THE HOMELESS. THIS WAY YOU WILL BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE MEMBERS AND BUILD SOCIAL SUPPORT AS WELL AS GET A BETTER FEELING OF FINDING YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE.

 

Lisa Cypers Kamen Headshot 2014Every so often I’ve found it’s helpful to go back to basics revisiting the simple steps that create more joy, peace, contentment and fun by adapting the perspective of what Buddhist tradition calls the beginner’s mind. You know, the Happiness 101 stuff that we lose sight of when caught up in living life at the speed of light headed towards a destination of some goal or another. This week’s blog post is one in a series of twelve hows of happiness reminding us of several scientifically proven ways we can increase our H-Factor each and every day. Go forth and create some happiness today… 

With Gratitude and in happiness, 

                                                 Lisa Cypers Kamen

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