Your first and most reliable guide to happiness is your body. The body is designed to support the mind, and working together they create the state known as happiness. When you’re deciding whether or not to act, ask your body, “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends back a signal of physical or emotional distress, reconsider the action.
If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, proceed. Together, the mind and body form a single field. It is artificial to separate them as we usually do. Every experience has a physical component. If you’re hungry, the mind and stomach are hungry together. If you have an incredible spiritual experience, your heart and liver cells share in it. You cannot have a single thought, sensation, or feeling without your body responding.
The first key to happiness tells us that by being aware of your body, you are connecting to the underlying field of infinite possibilities. Why do mind, body, and spirit feel separate when they are not? Because of lack of awareness. Awareness has tremendous power. It tunes into every cell. It regulates the body’s countless interactions. Awareness is the invisible, silent agent that lets your body know what your mind is thinking, and at the same time it sends feedback from the body so that the mind feels supported and understood.
Ideally, when you experience being loved, your mind will grasp that you are loved, your cells will be nourished by that love, and your soul will rejoice that you have reached deep enough to find the source of love. Every good thing in life saturates your whole being.
Signs of the absence of harmony are discomfort, pain, depression, anxiety, and illness in general. When mind, body, and spirit are in harmony, happiness is the natural result.
Adapted from The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2009).