We have thousands of reasons to be happy. But we have one reason to be miserable: the mind. Instead of seeking happiness, just drop the mind that seeks.
Why pay so much attention to your thoughts when you can live from the level of intuition, the spontaneous guidance of the heart? The energy of intuitive living feels completely different than the energy of mind. And once you awaken the intuitive heart, you will look back to see that mind is a quaint 18th Century custom we can no longer afford: it has grown sour and toxic. It's been uncorked too long.
How does one choose happiness? Well, here is a very ancient way. Let go of thought, sink down through breath, rest in the heart. This is the beginning and end of all spiritual practice. Precisely these instructions are given in the ancient Shiva Sutras of India, and the Philocalia, an early Christian manual on "Prayer of the Heart" from the desert Fathers.
If you don't believe that you are entitled to choose happiness, at least you can choose to breathe prana, the healing energy of the cosmic life-force. Prana is all around you, at every moment, in abundance. You just have to learn the techniques for infusing its power, its shakti, into every cell, every nerve of your body. Depression and negative thinking cannot survive in a physiology saturated with prana, in a nervous system infused by the breath of life.
How do we imbibe this life-breath into our bodies? Find an Art of Living center in your city, where you can learn to practice the Sudarshan Kriya, introduced to the world by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sudarshan Kriya is a most efficient and practical healing art for those who seek relief from depression, exhaustion, and the plague of chronic negative thinking.
Why keep rowing when the wind fills your sail? It's you choice.
Photo by Laurent Berthier