Happiness is not something we can buy. Can we learn to be happy? Happiness is about being con necte d. If we learn to be more deeply connected with others, we become happier.
There are ancient Buddhist teachings called the Four Noble Abodes which focus on learning how to connect. The four abodes or modes of being are loving-kindness, compassion, gladness, and equanimity. These four mind-states can be cultivated and lead to more happiness.
Loving-kindness is a heartfelt wish for happiness and wellbeing. When we are loving and kind, we tend to be more patient, tender, gentle, and generous. You can see that loving-kindness is the perfect antidote to dislike, resentment, hatred, fear, and bitterness.
And there is a clear connection between loving-kindness and happiness. As Sharon Salzberg points out:. Are there people in your life that you dislike? What about your boss, your ex-partner, or your noisy neighbour? Quite simply, if you think that only your own wellbeing matters and everyone else can go to hell, you will not end up particularly happy. Maybe you are a person who is kind to everyone, yet is still unhappy?
If so, let me ask you: Are you kind and loving? Do you forgive yourself for mistakes?
Do you encourage yourself? There you have it then.