Happiness according to Thomas Merton constitutes a balance of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of life and is not solely dependent of the intensity of these states. Happiness will ensure that the daily lifestyle you carry out is pleasant and positive. The way in which these 4 areas of happiness can be achieved will be listed in summary below;
Getting sufficient amount of exercise is important in order for the body to feel energized and fuelled. Regular push-ups, crunches, jogging or walking are helpful if you don’t go to the gym. Addition of some cardio and strength training will keep your body fit and healthy. Along with regular exercise, you should make sure that you eat healthy and nutritious food. If you search online you will be able to find “food pyramid” or meal plans that will help you balance out your calories according to the exercise you do. Regardless of what you do, it is important to be happy doing it even if it is exercising or as simple as eating. Find time to relax and enjoy yourself by picking out a favourite hobby like collecting antiques for example. These will help counter daily stress.
Planning out your day and setting out goals are important in order to feel purposeful in life. It is alright however, if all of these goals are not accomplished, the point is to be productive and progress every day in life. It will also help to find and develop your inborn talents, if you have any specific skills or talent, maybe playing the guitar, will help you live contently. Keeping a diary or journal will also help reflect on your life and how much you have progressed throughout.
Meditation can be one of the most effective ways in which you can gain self awareness and relaxation of the mind, body and soul. Taking up a practice like yoga will also be beneficial for your lifestyle. Make sure that you go on hikes or trips outdoors and communicate with nature.
Social and emotional
The social and emotional aspects can come from the daily actions that you do, for example try to do at least one good deed for another person in a day. As with any act of helping others, this will bring enormous self satisfaction to yourself and the people you have just helped. Listening to others is also a great way of understanding people and yourself more broadly. Getting a good job and education are materialistic as well as important for social conduct and well being thus enabling you to be more independent and happy.