The Pursuit of Happiness: Nurturing Mind, Body, and Soul
Since ancient times, humans have been in the pursuit of happiness, and this quest has continued throughout history. Today, it can be seen in the endless pursuits of success, wealth, and material possessions. Yet, despite all our advances and achievements, we still struggle to find lasting happiness. Matshona Dhliwayo’s quote, “When I was young, I admired old people. Now that I’m old, I admire wise people. When I was a youth, I admired strong people. Now that I’m old, I admire meek people. When I was an adult, I admired wealthy people. Now that I’m old, I admire happy people” perfectly represents that the definition of happiness evolves over time.
In his pursuit of happiness, the author met with scientists, saints, and sages to understand their views. He found that scientists believed pleasure was the key, while sages believed relationships were the key, and a few saints said it was work or self-denial. However, he remembered the story of King Solomon, who had everything but still despaired at the end, concluding that the pursuit of happiness is not just a matter of the mind or body, but it also requires nurturing the soul.
The author suggests that to achieve everlasting happiness, each person must nurture all three parts of the human being: mind, body, and soul. These three elements need proper care and attention to create an overall sense of happiness and well-being. Below we explore each aspect further.
Mind – Happy Thoughts, Happy Life
Happiness begins in the mind, specifically with positive thought patterns. We become what we think, and happy thoughts lead to happier lives. Negative thoughts, on the other hand, lead to negative outcomes. Therefore, learning to cultivate positivity within our thoughts and beliefs is essential to achieving happiness. Mind and body are connected, and happiness in one part leads to happiness in the other.
Body – Exercise and Self-care
The body also plays a vital role in achieving happiness. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to boost mood and lower stress. Exercising triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals that reduce stress and create a feeling of happiness. Eating a healthy diet and practicing self-care like getting enough sleep, practicing deep breathing, and taking warm baths, are also essential for the body’s overall sense of well-being.
Soul – The Spiritual Component
The soul is the highest part of the human being, according to the author, and it needs nurturing too. According to studies, prayer can prevent people from getting sick and can aid healing. Therefore, nurturing the soul is as important as nurturing the mind and body. It helps to create an overall sense of inner peace, happiness, and fulfillment.
The author provides ten insights to help people find happiness on their journey, including seeking what you want for others, holding onto joy, and letting go of negative emotions like anger, resentment, and disappointment.
In conclusion, the pursuit of happiness is an ongoing quest that requires nurturing of the mind, body, and soul. The author discovered that the endless pursuit of success, wealth, and material possessions cannot bring lasting happiness, but rather nurturing one’s spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being is vital. Achieving overall well-being requires a focus on positive thoughts, self-care, and spiritual growth. Following these insights can lead to a fulfilled and happy life.