Can we consciously feel happy?
We can consciously feel any emotion that is awake inside us. If joy is awake in you, you can conjure joy to the surface and express it.
Happiness, however, is not an emotion. Joy is the emotion that we associate with pleasurable warmth and a desire to repeat the experience that causes joy to arise.
Happiness is something else. It's the well-being experience of being ok and being without active concern. Most people don't spend a lot of time in happiness. Those who do, most definitely got there consciously.
You must go through a phase of letting go of all of your concerns, often over months or years, to achieve a state of happiness. It really is all you'd hope it would be.
Happiness doesn't come from having more. It comes from the acceptance that you already have everything there is.
Since I do, I imagine we can.
There was a question about happiness on Quora recently: someone wanted to know the difference between feeling happy and feeling good. To abbreviate the answer I gave, it seemed to me it was a consistent feeling of contentment.
Life today seems to be full of pressures to get ahead, to succeed, and, for many, to simply survive. It seems that feeling happy while feeling under a lot of pressure is probably not very possible.
Although I am retired now, and, admittedly, have more leisure to feel my happiness, I noticed how happy I was when I was quite a busy high school teacher. And, since I have always been the introspective type, I often enough had thoughts about happiness. I concluded over the decades that happiness was not something you achieved as in a goal, but a byproduct of service.
But, to go back to my earlier point, if you are feeling a lot of pressure or are under the personal pressure of your internal critic, feeling happy is probably not easy. One of the happiest people I have seen was my dad on his deathbed - in the last week of his life. He was not feeling good, no doubt, but the happiness exuding from his face and his words of love were extraordinary. He worked hard, loved people, raised six good children, and was a good husband to four women. He did nothing more: and he was a happy man to the end. When things were more of a struggle for him, trying to make ends meet with six kids, yes, he probably did not consciously feel happy.
Yes! Sort of. Scientists have done research that shows that simply by smiling you can make yourself feel happier. So it goes both ways.
Also, you can actively choose to do things that you know will make you feel happy. Research has shown that when you have future plans (say for a vacation, or a night out with friends), you get as much satisfaction from the anticipation as you do from the actual event. So make a conscious effort to make plans.
I realize these aren't the same as simply willing yourself to feel happy. But they're close!
Some people have learned to do this, and others could learn to feel happy consciously.
Lets see -
- I get myself my favorite purchase for the day A 2017 Mac Book Pro
- I have an amazing meal from a nice restaurant
- I get a really good massage from my favorite masseus
- I enjoy a great movie at my local movie theatre
- I come home and confirm another business deal that helps me make money for the next 6 months.
I guess I can make myself consciously happy!
Why not. As a human being, your basic nature is happiness. All you have to do, even in the most depressing time, is to hold on a thought that makes you immensely happy. You are a happy person. Everyone is. You only have to choose. Thats it. :)