Happiness and The Human Mind

We all want to be happy.  Typically, we also want more happiness in our lives.  It is a worthwhile pursuit if we try to obtain happiness in skilful ways. 

But what is happiness?  In the first blog in our series we discussed how having-it-all is no guarantee of happiness.  So how do we find happiness?   

The Role of the Mind

Happiness is all about perspective. The mind is the key.  We perceive the world through our senses and our mind.  Obtaining more of something doesn’t ultimately bring happiness because we are still vulnerable to our runaway minds, and our emotions once ruffled can hijack us and our happiness.

Thus, rather than a focus upon conquering the external world, what we need to do is train our minds to cultivate an internal world that is less subject to being thrown off balance.  Eastern philosophies, particularly Buddhism, offer profound insights into understanding and cultivating contentment. 

One aspect of this practice is seeking to understand how our minds work.  For example, our human tendency to divide experience into black and white and to grasp onto certainty and resist change.  Buddhism also teaches that life is suffering, but that there is also an end to suffering.  Rather than this being a bleak message, we can see that once we can understand the problem, we can end search for solutions. This might include building skilful ways of interacting, cultivating mindfulness, compassion and acceptance and more.

Increasing contentment often involves slowing down, calming the mind and noticing the urge to control experience. Of course, this is much harder than it sounds and is far from an instantaneous process.  Meaningful connection with others is also important.

At the Centre for Clinical Psychology, we understand that trauma anxiety and depression can detract from wellbeing and treatment can help people get their lives back on track. Call to book with one of our psychologists. We know trauma therapy and we can help you with depression and anxiety.  We can also support you to find greater peace and wellbeing.  To speak with one of our psychologists, call to book an appointment 03 9077 0122 or book online at www.ccp.net.au.