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Gillian Sanger

What does happiness feel like?

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This week's question asks:

What does happiness feel like?

A third question to wrap up this series of weekly questions on emotions, I invite you to consider what happiness feels like in the body. What sensations do you notice? What posture does your body hold and how does it move? You might also explore what joy, contentment, or peace feel like for you. Do you notice a difference between joy and contentment for instance?

You can find the first two questions in this series here:

What does fear feel like?
What does anger feel like?

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I have enjoyed these inquiries.  Thank you, @Gillian Sanger.

For me, in the absence of fear and anger, there is a general sense of ease, which I equate with happiness, joy, contentment, and peace.

My mind is fluid, slow moving, and my body moves in a way where there is no real obstruction or discomfort.  I speak inwardly to myself with gratitude for those moments- pausing to appreciate the tiny spaces where things feel just right- emotionally, mentally, physically, and even situationally.

An example of when it is a situation that prompts the sense of ease- when I watch my daughter dance.  In movement, she appears free of the trappings of things she struggles with, and when I see her- I sense that 'just right' feeling.  I know it is fleeting, but I sense and appreciate it nonetheless.

Wishing all of you here happiness, joy, contentment, and ease.

Be well-


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Your description of happiness really rang true Rachel. I especially loved hearing your enjoyment of your daughter dancing. Beautiful! I have a granddaughter who dances and I share your sentiment. I am very happy when I laugh. My wife and I had our two grandchildren for a weekend recently and we played a hysterical board game in which each player choses a totally inappropriate response to a life situation described on a card. We all laughed until we cried. It was fun to share a slight "breaking of the rules of social interaction" with them in a safe situation. Because none of us would EVER say these things it was delicious to hear them come out of our mouths. My body shook with the joy and fun of it all. Those moments of pure fun made us all really happy. It was bodily, mentally and emotionally releasing. Also a moment of acceptance. We loved it. Daniel

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Thanks to you both, Rachel and Daniel, for your lovely reflections. 

When I feel happy or content, my body feels light and unencumbered. My mind feels clear and I sense a deep connectedness to life's flow. Still, there is a slight difference for me between being happy and content. Happiness feels like elation whereas contentment feels quieter and more peaceful. Both are beautiful.

Laughter and dance are two ways of connecting with these feelings (specifically happiness), as you two have mentioned. I have also experienced deep joy and happiness during kirtan while I was studying yoga. I haven't had the chance since then to join kirtan live and online kirtan does not have quite the same impact. That said, I can certainly get a taste of that connectedness and elation during online or even personal chanting practice.

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