Day 3: Happiness is a Practice, not a Destination


Research about life-satisfaction and well being from the scientific field of positive psychology demonstrates that some of the happiest people among us savor life's joys; the practice of being mindful to what is happening as it is happening. It can be as simple as really smelling the roses, taking in the scent of fresh cut grass, noticing the smile of a stranger, pausing to listen to a baby laugh, enjoying the taste of your food, having a cup of tea with a friend, or genuinely receiving or giving a hug. The list could go on and on.

Our days are filled with these little moments, but so often we are too busy moving onto the next thing, and we miss what is right in front of us. 

Yoga teaches us to slow down and to breathe deeply, linking our mind and movement to the flow of our breath. This simple practice settles and stabilizes the busy and distracted mind, encouraging us back to the moment. The truth is if we aren't present we actually lose (never to get back) much of the vitality of life; because it is happening right here, right now.

Wherever you are, and at any point in your day you can take 3 conscious breaths; create long deep inhales and slow controlled exhales. Savor each breath and notice how the mind relaxes. 

These breaths will stimulate the relaxation response, a term coined by Dr. Herbert Benson, which is necessary for better health and well being, and bringing us into a more mindful state. You might even add affirmations such as, "I am calm, I am present, or I am breathing in, I am breathing out." 

Have a beautiful day!