How to amplify your own happiness, even in dark times

People seem to believe that true happiness is something you have to seek out and find or that someone else has to give to you as a gift. But those theories are not true. Happiness can only be cultivated, farmed, created, if you will, on one’s own, internally. However, it is fleeting and must be appreciated when it comes. In fact, there’s an equation.

Presence of mind × (your reality – your expectations) = net happiness

In other words, if you change any of these inputs, you can change your own level of happiness. Most of the time, we can’t change our reality all that much, but we can change our presence, or ability to observe our situation, and we can change our expectations. If/when reality is shitty, like the worst thing ever is going on fivefold and you can’t do anything about it, you can focus on your blessings and reevaluate your expectations of the situation. If this is also impossible to fathom, you can change your presence of mind, or shift your focus to other things. Both methods can be used to maximize your ability to keep yourself, your emotions, and your mood on an even keel, regardless of what else is going on in the world.

Now do I think this is easy? No, I do not. But it is simple. The equation is not complex. There are always things you can control and things you can’t. And directing your focus onto that which you can control can and does affect your life and your mindset.

It is as simple as this. Regardless what life throws at you, you are always in control of how much attention you give it and what you believe will happen next. If you set very high expectations, it is likely you will be disappointed often, which leads to less happiness. On the other hand, if you keep your expectations realistic and in check, you can hold space to be pleasantly surprised when reality exceed them in some way and you can bring your awareness to those points in time when they happen, which leads to more happiness.

The power is in your hands, or your mind, anyway.

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