Can we train ourselves to be happy and good just like going to the gym? What is the magic recipe on how to be well?Eudaimonia is a Greek word and translates into happiness. In October 2016 the Central YMCA in London was hosting an event which aimed to explore the word in more depth. This article summarises 8 things I have learned on how to be well.
How to be well?
How to be well involves the Integration of Body, Mind & Spirit.
Well-being means flourishing in all areas, living a fulfilled life and finding the balance between body, mind and spirit. Spirituality in the sense of the extension of what it is to be human, the place where ideas are coming from and where and creativity is born.
Origins of non-well-being:
1) I have a problem with XYZ
2) I'm avoidingly attached and can’t let go of XYZ
3) I'm anxiously attached (and also can’t let go of XYZ)
The problem of today might lead back to the era of romanticism, thinking too much can cause problems, so feeling is better than reasoning. But let's look at the components of well-being.
Training the Body
Exercise your body, e.g. with the 5 Tibetan Rites to begin with, then follow what you enjoy. I'm into swimming or taking long walks (getting lost in London).
Training the Mind
The mindfulness movement seems to be the latest trend. There are various directions to train your mind though, I enjoy the philosophical meditation.
Training the Spirit
Find your spiritual side, notice when you are able to go within. What's the time of the day? What is surrounding you? What did you do right before?
What else, can we do more?
Experiences, Work, Home, Tech, Networks
“I better seek as many experiences as possible in order to feel fulfilled” so one day I can say "I have done everything in life." Why not twist it around and tell yourself: “Don't worry, just be, celebrate who you are.”
Stress up, control down. Young city workers jump of buildings. Let’s set up cultures where we can be who we are, where we get everyone to connect to the purpose of their job as in the contribution to society.
We have a yearning to feel at home and that feeling at home is differs among us: being in silence, going to the steam room or walking in the forest. Expand your spectrum of definitions where you feel home.
Technology is good but does not save us in any way, it is merely a mutation of language and configures our actions. Every single word we use, we really just quote what was once defined. Let's not expect a technology to make us happy (a language never has).
What comes to us when we are unplugged? That is what we need to deal with and sort out to be well. Don’t avoid it or you may wake up in the middle of the night. Try the occasional sabbatical or digital detox to explore where it takes you.
In the beginning of our human evolution, the instinct to be suspicious towards others outside of our tribe was a necessary for survival. Now we are slowly evolving towards a new kind of interpersonal human. London is a city of different cultures but our networks are not so diverse. The church seems to be the only place where people from different backgrounds meet.
Let's have diverse networks! We yearn to be with people like ourselves who chase after the same unique dream potential we are after. Let us accept each other as what we are.
The Moral of the Story?
Is happiness is really what we should be thriving towards? If yes, will we ever reach a stage where we would have policies of leisure? For example, in the sense that we have to work out, meditate x minutes in a week or have y different contacts in various network circles? Policies only really make a difference if it's a policy desired by the people (e.g. smoking bans) or should governments provide a universal basic income in order to ensure a happiness level for its citizen?
I think we as the people are not sure on an individual level, if ultimate happiness is what we are after. If I could something it would be to have an schooling system which would educate children from the very beginning how to deal properly with our emotions.