The international bestseller The Happiness Equation, by Neil Pasricha, gives us 7 simple ways to become happy. Based on nothing fluffy, but science (!). The nice thing is that it is simple stuff, things you can do, just by starting to do them! Just walk outside for 20 minutes 3 days a week, and that can cure clinical depression (!). Amazing. Go for it!
Another one of the 7 ways to be happy, is 2 minutes Mindfulness meditation. 10 years ago, even speaking of meditation in a corporate was classifying yourself in the hippy scene of allegedly vague long-haired alternative persons, with whom you would definetely did not want to be associated if you valued your career. Nowadays, when you talk of meditation in a Corporate (nearly…) everyone admits to either having done yoga (…with their wife…) or tried some other form of Mindfulness or meditation.
Why would that be?
Because it actually makes you happy! Pasricha (page 23) indicates that studies report meditation can ‘permanently rewire’ your brain to raise levels of happiness. He recommends 2 minutes. I am more of a hardliner, and would recommend to steadily increase that. But why not? Start with 2 minutes!
How can you do that?
Ideally, in a place where you cannot be interrupted, sit straight, with your feet on the ground, spine erect, head straight on your spine, and count your breathing (#1 in, #2 out, #3 in,…. up until #10, and then start over again). Simple enough? This is ideally, but of course, you can do it anywhere, anytime, when you have a moment to yourself.
Simple right? Yet many say they cannot meditate.
That is because usually because you will find your mind wanders off, and believe me it will, countless times. (…. ‘I need to get this mail out’, ‘I need to call my wife’, ‘I need to mow the lawn’, etc). That does not mean you cannot meditate. In fact every moment you are aware of your mind wandering off, is exactly the moment you are looking for. As at that same moment, you are aware. Aware of what you are thinking.
Descartes said ‘I think, therefore I am’, however, you can actually be aware of your thoughts. So, …. you cannot be your thoughts (right?). Interesting perspective (isn’t it?). So meditation is all about awareness, awareness of what happens inside you. I believe many of the other 7 ways to become happy right now are as well (plus looking on the bright side, and doing the right things right), if you want to know them, I can really recommend Pasricha’s book!
If you want to learn more about mediation and how to do this, please read about Mondo Zen. If you are interested you can book a Mondo Zen session. I have been practising Zen as of 2000, and am a certified coach. Please contact via.