happy and contendedWe have the habit of reducing happiness to a few feelings that we associate with feeling better about ourselves at any given time. But happiness is actually much more than that. It is a way to look at the world, a way that lets you take in everything around you and feel a profound contentment with life.

Sometimes looking for happiness can lead to frustration and anger. But it is up to us to remain happy by being mindful and looking at life in a way that makes it look worth it. You have to remember that it is the mind that takes external stimuli and converts it into happiness or sadness. Some people seemingly have it all but aren’t happy. Then there are some who have nothing but will seem like the happiest in the world.

You can’t really avoid emotions, but what you can do is learn to control them. Happiness is something that needs to be worked on. It is a conscious effort on your part. Be mindful of who you are and what you love about your life. Focus on happy thoughts and things. Don’t let your mind wander onto things in the past, things that don’t make you happy. This is your brain on happiness.

You need to try and dissociate from anger. Learn to look at it objectively. Anger, like happiness, is just thoughts in your brain. You can control it. Next time you feel angry, convince yourself that you are not mad. Learn to let it go and you will see that it works. This may sound confusing, but the more you practice it, the easier and more natural it becomes.

Humans are strange in the way that many similar personality traits occur together. For example inner peace, strength, independence and happiness are bound to be found together. In the same way, jealousy, envy, and anger are usually found together. So if you focus on developing one positive part of your personality by being mindful, others are sure to follow. And the more positive qualities you have, the more chances that you will achieve happiness. This is your brain on happiness.

A study by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, mapped the brain activity of employees of a Biotech company. Half of the employees were asked to incorporate meditation into their lifestyle for about three hours per week. The study found that the employees who meditated had better moods compared to their non-meditating counterparts. There was also a decrease in their stress levels, and their immune systems were stronger. The study proved that meditation has an incredible effect on brain activity that is in charge of happiness and other positive traits. He further found that meditating monks had brain activity that was nothing like he had ever seen before, further strengthening the belief that meditation was the key to being happy.

The best thing about mindfulness is that once you get used to it, you don’t need to make conscious efforts to be in control of your brain all the time. The mind learns and understands what to do in certain situations. It will automatically deal with anything you come up against, requiring minimum effort.

When you develop a positive state of mind, you will start experiencing moments of clarity that give you inner peace. It might be a snowflake falling on your cheek or just the sound of a bird singing. These moments will make you realize just how beautiful life is. You will leave your conflicts behind, and be at peace with yourself. That is what happiness is. And you can develop it being mindful.