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Science and religion do not always go together. It is always fascinating when what is said by religious and spiritual sources for thousands of years is confirmed and agreed upon by certain scientific findings. A recent scientific study revealed some interesting principles of happiness that are very similar to Buddhist beliefs. The scientific research published by Yes magazine has identified some amazing facts that can make you happy. And it has to do with how Buddhists find happiness.
Especially, mindfulness helps people manage their mental health or get more out of life. It involves making a special effort to focus your full attention on what is happening in the present moment. Focus on what is happening in your body, your mind, or those around you. One of the main reasons people become increasingly depressed is that we often worry about what happened in the past and what might happen in the future. People always think “what I have” and “if so” rather than enjoy the present moment. Buddhist teachings emphasize that we have only the present moment and that every second should be spent with full understanding.
Psychologist Sonja Lubomirsky noted in her scientific research that most of the participants in her study demonstrated a significant increase in happiness and a decrease in stress levels when they focused on the present moment. Therefore, we should not live our lives in an automatic pilot way where our mind travels in opposite directions to the second of our life and should spend every second consciously.
Do not strive for material desires.
Buddhism teaches that we who depend on materialism cannot find peace and happiness. Money is indeed important to meet our physical needs, but we do not get long-term satisfaction from striving for money and material goods. The most common assumption in modern society is that more money equals more happiness. That’s why we work hard, worry about the stock market, and save for that expensive dinner, watch, phone and car. We are led to believe that wealth is happiness.
And also, the results of many scientific types of research prove that the above assumption is wrong. Research by Tim Kasser and Richard Ryan shows that people who make a fortune on their priority list are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Money seekers get lower marks in tests of vitality and self-verification. The desire for wealth comes with the fear of losing it. In many cases, people who are always chasing money and wealth have less priority over people and relationships, which can bring happiness. If you invest too much in yourself and are not good enough for other people, you will end up in loneliness and misery.
The Lord Buddha has always emphasized the practice of giving. Buddhism or Buddhist teaching speaks not only of giving money or things of a materialistic nature but also of the benefits of giving non-intangible gifts. Such as time, wisdom, and support. Researcher Stephen Scientifically backs Buddhist teachings that ‘helping a neighbor, volunteering, or donating goods and services can create a “high emotional level of support” and you can reap greater health benefits from exercising or quitting smoking. He added that listening to a friend, following your talents, celebrating the achievements of others, and forgiving can contribute to the happiness that Buddhists consider to be invaluable gifts.
Learn to let go
In Buddhism, impermanence or “impermanence” means that life flows continuously as we know it. We can never go back to a moment that has already passed or never does it again. As each day goes by, the cells in our body change, our thoughts grow, the temperature and air quality change. Everything around us is different. Whenever we feel unhappy, the thought of impermanence can be very comforting. It means that if nothing is eternal, then our pain is not permanent.
Especially, the idea that everything is constantly changing can calm our minds. As we meditate deeply on the concept, it helps us to appreciate everything we are experiencing in the present moment. It could be our relationships, body, mood, health, weather, our favorite shoes, jobs, our youth, or anything else. Constantly knowing that good or bad will not stop causes us to appreciate more than anything we normally take for granted.
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