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My Spiritual Self-Help Guide

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Here is the Only Way You Will Ever Find Permanent Peace and Happiness

Happiness Woman Jumping for Joy

Is it possible to find permanent inner peace and lasting happiness? Many people put so much time and energy into the pursuit of money, success and possessions. And whilst we may feel that this is the way to go, none of these things, of themselves, are going to make us happy. Why is this? Because happiness is a state of mind. Most people just don't realise that it only comes from within. This is a fundamental concept that you need to understand if you want to find permanent happiness and freedom from suffering. Read on to find out more.

If you believe that happiness and suffering are produced by external events and conditions then you are not alone. It seems that when you get things, or when things happen to you that you like, then you feel happy. Conversely when you lose something, or things happen that you did not want, you feel miserable. That is why we put so much effort into making the things that we want happen and we avoid the things that we don't want at all costs. But what if we could be happy (or at least peaceful) all of the time? Well you can only get to this place when you understand where happiness comes from.

We can't stop bad things happening in the world. However, the positive and negative reactions that you have to these external circumstances are merely your learned feelings and emotional reactions to similar circumstances that have arisen in the past. As human beings, we tend to judge everything that happens and register our feelings towards it as good, bad or indifferent depending upon the emotions that we feel, and those emotions are very complex and based on everything that has happened to us throughout our whole lives.

When we feel happy then we are convinced that it is due to the external event or thing, and when we no longer have this thing, we often feel disappointed or unhappy. Often, acquiring something new - a new possession, partner or job - means that we feel happy but this happiness only lasts for a short time. Then we lose interest or the novelty wears off only to be overtaken by our craving for something bigger and better, or for someone who doesn't disappoint us. If we look back at the last thing that we thought was going to make us happy, we will surely see that this is true. In reality then, our happy and unhappy reactions are just the product of our own mind.

If something could be a true cause of happiness then it would follow that the more we have of it, the happier we would be. My favourite example is chocolate. Many people love chocolate but the happy feelings that they get from the occasional chocolate bar soon leads to misery if this habit is overindulged.

Another good example is money. We would all like enough money to lead a certain kind of lifestyle. However, it has been shown that beyond a certain amount, more money does not make us happy. What it does do is increase the complexity of our financial circumstances, meaning more regulations to comply with and taxes to pay. The more we have, the more we need to support our lifestyle. Often an improvement in financial circumstances brings with it the fear of loss of these circumstances in the future. And where is that fear of loss but in the mind?

So, if our happy and sad feelings around what we get and what happens to us are generated in our minds, then it follows that the only way to be happy all the time is to take control of the mind. A mind can be trained to be peaceful by replacing current bad reactions with acceptance and patient, peaceful states. And the best way to start is with a regular meditation session. I'm not saying that this is easy to achieve; it takes a lot of vigilance and awareness to overcome our negative habits of thought. But we all have to start somewhere. It surely has to be worth the effort, because a mind that is peaceful all of the time, whatever is going on externally, is a mind that is happy. Controlling your mind and stilling the negative voice within really is the only way to achieve permanent inner peace and lasting happiness.

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