Everyone wants to be happy. That is a simple universal truth, though the ways in which people perceive happiness is not universal. It varies from person to person. Yet, the frenzy to achieve happiness, grab it with both hands runs common among all the earthlings. They do everything possible to attain happiness – work harder, plan more efficiently, dive into the sea of all those self help books, some may totally give in to all the worldly pleasures and on the other hand, some may decide to forgo all of them and go to the Himalayas. The quest for the true meaning of happiness and the ways one can be happy has been going on since time immemorial. Where some people have given it all up to find happiness, some have made up their minds to believe that more material possessions, more money can make them happy. But as the clichéd phrase goes that money can’t buy happiness, it actually holds true. Yes! The fact that more money leads to happiness works only in the cases of poverty, where the money is used to meet the subsistence needs. You can argue that you can buy all the stuff you like with the money you have, expensive cars, fancy gadgets, jewels, clothes, and a big house. Having goals and wanting to achieve something is not bad, but if you’re aiming only for material, at some point or the other, all these things will cease to give you pleasure and won’t amuse you anymore. You’ll find yourself in a vicious trap of running after material possessions. If you’ll be lucky enough, you will realize how the small, simple things in life were just enough to make you happy, to make you smile; that spending on experiences, making memories could have made you happier instead of spending it otherwise.
So what actually is happiness? Concisely, it is a positive emotional state; it is the joy without any regret, without any penalty or guilt. It is not just giving in to moments of pleasure, but living those moments when you feel grateful that you are alive and you earn those moments, your life rewards you for what you are and what you have made yourself to be.
If this is so, how can one be happy? The ways also differ from person to person, but listed here are some ways that can surely add a little sunshine in your gloomy days:
Though the memory of your mathematics textbook from your school days would make you want to deny this fact, but books can make you happy! Yes! Board on a book and it can take you to places you have never been before. Pick up your favourite book and get ready for the journey. You can learn a lot from books, they compel you to think, sometimes encourage you to write too, teach you, make you laugh, smile and sometimes make you cry too, but the experience is totally worth it. Over all, a book definitely leaves you more informed, more experience, with the feeling of having learnt something new and happier.
9) A good nap:
Some Irish proverb says that a good laugh and a good nap can cure almost anything. Very true! I believe sleep is actually something magical. For some time, you lose yourself in some unknown dreamland and become completely unaware of the world and its worries. And that is the time when your brain and body repair their wears and tears. So, whenever you wake up after having just the right amount of sleep, you feel refreshed and energized and ready to face the world with a positive attitude.
8) Playing with children:
Playing with little children can be a total stress-buster (as long as you don’t consider children to be irritating and noisy). Their enthusiasm, energy and the spirit of never giving up can inspire you. On the other hand, their simplicity and innocence will surely melt your hearts. In fact, even if you don’t have any little kid in your family you can play with, watch children play! Watching little children play can make you giggle, smile and altogether, happy.
7) Bask in the memories:
The word “memories” itself makes you nostalgic, doesn’t it? If you are having a hard time in the present, you can always take a flight from the present to the past in your memory lane, and live all those happy memories all over again! Look at old photographs, videos or maybe the journal you used to write. Losing yourself in the happy past for sometime isn’t a bad idea at all! When you feel better, you can come back in the present and get back to work!
6) Music Therapy:
Music has the power to make you feel good. Feeling a bit low and tuning in to sad songs? Bad idea buddy! Listen to something happy, inspirational, which will set your feet in motion or something soothing, even religious songs and chants would do! But please don’t torture yourself further with something sad. What’s better? Get up and move with the beats and shake your worries away! Let it all out! Dancing is the next best thing to listening to music. The combination of these will surely raise you up.
5) Good health:
With a healthy body and a healthy mind, you’ll be able to tackle the world better. You’ll be able to carry out your plans, meet your goals and have a sense of achieving something. This sense of achievement makes one happy. It is not just about performing better in your workplace, with a healthy body and a healthy mindset you perceive your surroundings in a better way and find the world a friendly place. Having a short run or a brisk walk in the park or playing some outdoor sport or anything related to your fitness can uplift your mood too.
4) Take a day off:
Is your life all about work? Are you turning into a workaholic? Is your life all about meeting the deadlines and cracking the deals? Very much like Samantha Sweetings from the Undomestic Goddess? Then it’s high time you take out time for yourself! Take a day off, call your friends for a sleepover, and go out for a movie or a picnic, even to an amusement park! If you want your day all for yourself, dress up in your favourite pyjamas, grab a cup of hot chocolate or whatever you like and watch your favourite movie! Meditate! Invoke the child inside you, go crazy! Pursue your hobby! Draw-sketch-paint! Connect with old friends! Your day- your wishes! Make them all come true.
3) Nature calms:
Nothing heals better than nature. Want to feel better? Dance in the rain; take in the scent of the wet soil! Go out to your garden, a park, a lake side, river bank, a beach, to mountains, anywhere close to nature! Breathe in the fresh air, just sit back and observe! The dew slipping off the leaf, the smiling flower sneaking out of the grass, butterflies and bees going from one flower to another, the conversations of birds and squirrels, the ripples in the lake, the beauty with which the river flows, the soft gushing stream, the vivid colours of the sea water, the inspiring mountains! Words are just not enough to describe their beauty! That’s why, just go there and in silence, let your soul take a dip in the natural beauty and come back to the surface rejuvenated.
2) Follow your dreams:
Nothing gives you that satisfaction and happiness than following your dreams. Do what you love to do, follow your passion! Do good to people, to everyone- even if they cannot reciprocate it! In fact, try doing good to someone who won’t ever be able to return your favour, see yourself experiencing the happiness you never felt before! Work hard and inspire people around you! Do something for the society! This will make you happy and as they say, happiness is contagious! Be happy, spread happiness!
1) People who care:
Sometimes, having a true friend, a person who truly cares for you, is all you need! Life would be dull if you don’t have friends to share it with! At the end of the day, you might possess all the wealth in the world; but your heart will still crave for love, for people you can talk to, gossip, tell stories to, share secrets with, people you can fight with, and hug them to make up again. And yes, money can’t buy love, take it from The Beatles. At the end of the day, all that matters are your loving family, true friends and the love of your life! Enough to make you happy, enough to make your life worth living!