Do you notice the stories you are telling yourself? How do they make you feel and act? Do they leave you inspired, joyful, clear, and confident? Or do they generate negativity, doubt, or resistance? Many of us take whatever our mind conjures up as the truth and don't challenge our thinking even when it is not working for us. What would you need to tell yourself to feel joy and happiness?
In the Yoga Journal article "Joy Story," Sally Kempton is describing a practice of happiness that can help us cultivate the inner states of joy and content that are often missing in our busy, hectic lives.
Then remove the memory of the scene or situation and just feel the feeling. Find the place in your body where the feeling is centered, then let it expand until it fills you. If you're very visual, it might help if you give the feeling a color—a warm one, like gold or pink. Or you might work with the breath, breathing into the feeling and letting it expand on the exhalation.
Sit with this feeling of happiness. See if you can hold it. See if, for this moment, you can let the happiness become your primary feeling. This is a glimpse, however small, of your true reality.
If you want to learn about the four meanings of happiness, read the rest of "Joy Story."