In his sutras Patañjali pragmatically recommends we observe the rules of Yama and Niyama as the first two requirements on our eight-step path to enlightenment.
Yamas relate to our relationship with others and our social interactions in general, while Niyamas are connected to our inner personal life. They align our inner feelings and create discipline within. These include Sauca, Santosha, Tapas, Svādhyāya, Ishvara Pranidhana.
Santosha means being content with what we have. Wealth is not what we have, but being satisfied with what we have. The feeling of contentment grows in line with our development; our demands become smaller, our lives become more simple, thus we are more content. We develop the ability to remain calm even when faced with challenges. “Serenity is not the freedom before a storm, but the tranquillity throughout it.”
We become more secure, hence we do not need possessions to alleviate anxiety. As we are happier the world around us is a happier place. We have a feeling of mastery and more energy in our life for functioning efficiently, therefore our self-perception is high. We are capable of giving and accepting love, as well as communicating well with people, thus our relationships with others are more fulfilling.
In addition: Happiness is the feeling which we get when we experience strong joy, fulfilment and love. Like other emotions, the feeling of happiness is fleeting. Happiness is the height of emotions and is, as such, volatile.