“Am I really happy?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, then congratulations… you’re human! It is our nature to feel uncertain and analyze our thoughts, which can make us feel decidedly un-happy if we ruminate too long.

Instead, we can focus on overcoming the things that hold us back in life. Here are 5 quotes to help you live in happiness and joy, from 5 of the greatest spiritual teachers of all time:

  1. “Happiness is what you think, what you say, and what you do when you are in harmony.” (Gandhi)
    When we feel happy, it is usually the result of many small steps towards our wellbeing. If we keep our bodies happy, the mind follows, and so does the spirit. Then, everything we do and say is a reflection of our inner peace.
     
  2. “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” (Dalai Lama)
    Sometimes we spend too much time thinking about happiness instead of going out and doing the things that actually make us happy. When it comes to feeling your best and loving life, action is more valuable than thought.
     
  3. “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)
    Smiles don’t always have to come from a place of perfection. When we remind ourselves to allow happiness into our lives, we are not disregarding the obstacles that exist around us- we are simply acknowledging that we can find reasons to smile no matter what.
     
  4. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)
    A great way to release your fears and lift your spirits is to think in big-picture terms of existence and the universe. This life journey, while unique and unfamiliar to us, has been completed millions of times by those who came before us. They have found the path, and so will we.
     
  5. “Happiness is secured through virtue; it is good attained by man’s own will.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)
    More potent than success, relationships and material wealth is the power of small acts of compassion to bring happiness into our lives. Each work of good that we do for others is an investment in our own wellness and feelings of self-worth.

And while these quotes are centered around deeper views of existence, remember that happiness is a state of health, determined by many factors including physical wellness, intellectual stimulation, healthy sleeping and eating habits, and more. Do your best to energize every aspect of your life to create whole greater than the sum of its parts!