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How to become ecstatically happy

By Barbara Carrellas

So many of us wish we were happier. But when was the last time you felt a taste of ecstasy? For lots of people, the answer is: during sex, or more specifically, when they had an orgasm. Most people believe that a truly ecstatic feeling is, at best, fleeting — almost accidental — and certainly not anything you can plan or predict.

A woman who is happy at work

You may be surprised to learn that you can bring ecstatic experiences into your life on a regular basis. It’s true. In fact, I help people do it all the time.

I’ve been an ecstatic explorer for decades. As a sex/life coach I help people find and create ecstatic experiences regularly and in all areas of their lives, including sex, love, relationships and career. I believe that ecstatic experiences are necessary for the maximum appreciation of life. (That’s why my last book is titled Ecstasy Is Necessary: A Practical Guide.)

Let’s clear up a couple of misunderstandings you may have about ecstasy. First, it’s not really just a more intense form of happiness. Ecstasy is actually transformative. After an ecstatic experience, you’re changed in some lasting way. You’ll likely feel that you have a whole lot more possibilities than you thought you did. This alters how you look at the world and gives you more choices about how you want to live.

Second, even though sex might be the first thing the word “ecstasy” brings to mind, an ecstatic event cannot be described solely in sexual terms. I’ve heard ecstasy referred to as a lightness of being, complete and utter freedom, pure energy, liquid sunshine, and, often, an out-of-body sensation. You can experience ecstasy in many settings and under a variety of conditions.

Having more ecstasy can help you live your best life

People have had ecstatic experiences while giving birth, making art, playing music, dancing, being in love, taking mood-altering substances, eating, going to church, playing sports, being in nature, in the middle of an attack of laughter, and even while crying intensely.

Having more ecstasy in your life doesn’t mean you’ll walk around all day every day in a perpetual state of bliss. But regular helpings of ecstasy will help you create (and live) your best life.

Find regular helpings of ecstasy with these three ideas:

  • Whatever you are, be a good one. Let yourself go fully into everything you do, think and experience. Don’t hold back in new circumstances or surroundings. Be yourself, but be all of you, not some edited, muted version.
  • Love what you’re doing or let it go. When you feel tentative or unsure about something (or someone), examine the effect it’s having on you. Is it energizing or draining? Give more energy to the things that feed your heart and soul, and starve the things that drain you. Ditto for any people in your life who fit this category.
  • Practice Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance is the art of accepting things exactly the way they are with no expectation that they will change. You do not have to be satisfied with the way things are, you just have to accept them. Practicing Radical Acceptance creates the opportunity to find infinitely more creative and ecstatic possibilities.

Living ecstatically is a practice, like meditation or yoga, and it’s a good thing to be interested in. Once you begin, it gets easier to both create — and allow — more ecstatic experiences in your life.

For more about bringing ecstasy into your life, read my book, Ecstasy Is Necessary.

Last Updated: November 9, 2022
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