The #1 Secret to Happiness
I can’t remember when I discovered Eric Barker’s blog. “Barking Up the Wrong Tree“; but I find it to be really great and one of the few posts I end up reading often (his and Yeah Dave’s). One of his blogs that struck me most recently was his excerpt on “The One Word Key to Happiness.” I think deep down inside we all truly want to be happy day in and day out; yet it’s easy to find things to complain about or reasons to be unhappy. I usually consider myself a fairly upbeat, positive, happy person; but there are many times when I do feel depressed or ill at ease or find myself annoyed by something over and over again.
After reading Eric’s post, it made so much sense to me how easy it is to be happy; and also how extremely hard it is to put in to practice, especially in this day and age. The art of paying attention is one that needs to be honed and practiced continually. I find myself bursting with joy when I’m absorbed in my yoga practice or teaching. I know why Timothy makes me beyond happy, because it’s impossible not to pay attention to him all of the time. Being present and in the moment; and paying attention to the task at hand or the person we are with or the location we’re in, is really what makes us feel joy and alive.
When we are paying attention and living in the moment, it’s impossible to worry about the future or brood about the past. Children are innately happy (once their basic needs are met) most of the time, because they pay attention to everything around them and only know the moment they are living in. Timothy reminds me of this every day and in every way. Also, deciding to focus on the positive in each moment and with each outcome makes life so much better. Keeping a gratitude journal and jotting down happy moments from each day really helps, I have to remind myself to keep doing this.
Yoga is all about paying attention and I think my practice has helped me through so many times when I have felt blue or depressed or anxious. Playing music has been a big happy bonus in my life as well. I love now that I’m learning guitar as well as playing tunes with Timothy on his little CD player or on Pandora and dancing around. Music is one of the best ways I know for bringing us in to the present moment. I encourage you to read Eric’s full article and let me know your thoughts. Stopping to smell the roses really does make a difference in our well being. When I am in a rush to get somewhere and Timothy stops me to point out a flower along the way, I slow down, take in it’s beauty and a huge smile lights up my face.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!