Sunday, July 15, 2012

Make Yourself Happy

I was in yoga class the other day and we were dedicating our practice to someone in our lives who needed the positive energy. The teacher said, "Do whatever it takes to make this person happy." I felt a little slip in my downward dog when she said that. I don't agree with that statement.

I believe doing for others will bring you happiness. Yoga Journal Magazine says, "Brain scans of people in the act of giving have found that generous deeds activate the same reward centers in the brain that pleasures like food does. When these areas are stimulated, dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters are released, resulting in pleasurable feelings that can range from contentment to euphoria."

The best thing you can do when the "poor me's" wraps around your neck threatening to steal your last breath is do something for someone else. Get out of your own way, so to speak.

But, "do whatever it takes to make this person happy?" That's a slippery slope right down into the land of Door Matville. You cannot control someone else's feelings unless you reach down into their throats and touch their emotions. (if anyone figures out how to do this, let me know. I am acquainted with a few people who need a tweek or two.) You'll spend your whole life chasing the idea of making someone happy that you'll miss out on your own happy life.

You can give them the tools to be happy. You can send them love and offer support, but you can't make them feel happiness no matter how hard you try. And I don't recommend you try and make them feel anything. They will feel joy when they're good and ready and not a second before. I like to think of it as everyone arrives to the party in their own time. Some later than others.

I want everyone to be happy and to know that is what the Universe intends for them. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I like to imagine a place where everyone's heart radiates with love. And happiness.

What are some things that make you happy?


  1. Growing up I had a pillow case with Linus from the Peanuts cartoon. It said, "Happiness is a thumb and a blanket." My great grandmother used to say, "The secret to happiness is being happy with what you have."

  2. I agree with your great-grandmother. Our lives are filled with abundance and blessings. All we have to do is take a look around. There is plenty to be happy about. Thank you for the post!