Finding a happier you

Here you’ll find a few tips for how you can discover your inner happiness, and details about free meditation classes on offer in Melbourne’s CBD.

When it comes to finding happiness, people often look in all different directions. Some want a successful career, some feel the need for a relationship, others crave positive feedback or even “likes” on social media. Many think a pay rise or promotion will pave the way to a happier future. But Jake Zakarauskas, a meditation teacher with Kadampa Meditation Centre Melbourne, says some people may be looking in all the wrong places.

“The first step towards happiness is to accept that it’s all in the mind,” he says. “Many people have been looking outside the mind, but happiness is a state of mind, therefore in order to find it, that’s where we have to look.”

Zakarauskas is one of the teachers who you might find at Melbourne’s Fed Square as part of the free Health & Wellbeing Classes offered by Bupa Plus. 

He says meditation can be a great way for people to begin to understand their mind, and teach it to think a certain way. 

“Everyone can find happiness despite the external conditions which might be going wrong in their lives,” he believes. “Even if people are dealing with illness, grief or injury. If we can find that peace of mind amidst those turbulent conditions, then we can find happiness.”

The free meditation classes draw on Buddhist teachings and are open to everyone. 

“In Buddhism we’re teaching people to look inside the mind and find a peaceful heart. If we can [help] teach people to feel love and compassion, those qualities [can] naturally give right to a happy feeling.”

There are many different types of meditation in Buddhism, but there are particular types which help work on not only developing a peaceful mind, but also a good heart. 

"The practice works to improve our patience, our wisdom, and all these other spiritual states of mind which aren’t included in traditional mediation," he says.

Group yoga class

Many city workers squeeze mediation classes into their lunch breaks, or take part in the morning before work, to help start their days with a clear head.

“With a clearer mind, you may be more productive at work. It’s all that mental turbulence which can cloud our mind and cause us to waste so much time in our workplace,” he says.

“So, by setting aside that time, it’s not just helping us to become a better person at work, we’re likely to become a better person at home with our families, and around our friends too.”

Zakarauskas says even if you can’t attend a meditation class, incorporating meditation into your life, can help lead you on that path towards happiness.

“Try to have a daily mediation practice, even if it’s just five minutes a day. It may help you to learn how to come back to that peaceful heart every day. And if you try to incorporate that into your day and allow it to pervade all of your experiences, then your whole life could start to become happier and more peaceful.”

Bupa Plus also offers free Tai Chi, Yoga, Health Qigong and Feel Young classes which take place at Federation Square, for a full list of classes and session times, click here

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