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Deepak Chopra's 1st Key to Happiness

“Listen to your body’s wisdom, which expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort or eagerness, proceed.” –Deepak Chopra

While compromise is key to maintaining healthy and happy relationships, we should not feel obliged to participate in every situation, activity, or engagement that is presented to us. Oftentimes, we find ourselves doing things that we really don’t want to do because we feel obligated for one reason or another. It takes a lot of energy to be engaged in something that we don’t feel necessarily comfortable or excited to take part in. You don’t always have to say yes.

Society, work, family, and friends oftentimes put a lot of pressure on us. There are all these “you should,” situations that maybe we shouldn’t feel we have to do. It is key to listen to your inner voice and physical body when making a decision, big or small. The more we learn to listen to our initial feelings and intuitions, the happier we will be in the long run.

Example Scenario 

You’ve worked hard all week and come Friday you find yourself worn out and ready for the weekend. Your friends have invited you to go to happy hour and out on the town Friday night. All you really want to do is put on some comfy clothes, make a big salad, curl up with your dog, and watch a movie. The idea of going out makes you even more tired. Your gut is telling you to stay in, but you decide to go out because you don’t want to disappoint your friends and are worried what they might think if you bail. The whole time you are out, you wish you were home.

This scenario is a common one. We give into social pressures because we are concerned with what others will think and how they will react. It is these types of decisions, especially when made regularly, that inhibit us from being truly happy. If we are constantly giving in to what others want us to do and don’t listen to what we really want to do, how can we expect to be truly happy?

When we are presented with an opportunity, whatever it might be, it is wise to listen to how our minds and bodies react. Does the idea of saying yes make you anxious, uncomfortable, or regretful? Or do you feel excited, eager, and confident? Engaging in activities that make you feel uncomfortable or anxious, among any other negative physical feelings and emotions should be avoided. We need to start listening to our instincts and inner voice of reason. It is okay to say no when the initial reaction to saying yes is negative.

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