Happiness is the natural default state that we would be in if we were not pulled out of it by the drains. There is a natural energy like a battery that you wake up with each day. On some days it is more than others. But at least for a moment or so before the thoughts and awareness of the hindrances return to your mind there is a freedom and energy of happiness that we are connected to.
Most hindrances fall into five categories:
1. Wanting more of something or less of another
2. Ill will towards anything
3. Being restless or worried about something
5. Doubting that the whole process is valid
If you have a bucket filled with happiness the hindrances are like holes in the bucket that let the happiness drain out. By reducing the drains the happiness you already have will be more easily maintained.
After a short attention to mindfulness check for any of the drains that may be present. Pick just one to review. Choose between holding on to that drain or letting it go. Try letting it go (even if just for this moment); what do you feel?
Dropping the drains to happiness.
These are tricky and take some thought and practice. Read through the list and begin with whatever one or two resonate with you at this time and then go back to the list and try one or two others.
1. Just do it like Nike
2. Realizing that (like scratching a bug bite) getting more of what you want just increases what you need for the next hit and it only lasts for a little while anyway.
3. The same with its opposite of trying to push away what you do not want. There is always going to be something else.
Letting go of happiness drainsWhen bad news strikes just feel it, be sad then let it go. If you carry it around you just intensify the feeling.
4. What is, is. Let it be.
5. Visualization and meditation on mindfulness and dropping the hindrances during the meditation.
6. Decide to let thoughts and hindrances drop for a given time, like a 10 minute meditation or 1 minute at a time.
7. Build up a tolerance to let things go.
8. Become aware of the restlessness, surrender to it , let it be , take a breath and relax, reach for a drop of happiness.
9. Be less serious for a moment.
10. Sing a song
11. Smile and really feel it
12. Find your happiness trigger
13. Choose to be happy rather than insisting on being right.
14. Shift up and back between adding happiness with your trigger and letting go of the drains.