The above words are so true! Most of us tend to blame the people and circumstances around us for measuring our happiness quotient. If only we could come to realize and accept that we alone are responsible for how we feel on any particular day. The people around us are not going to change anytime soon and we have absolutely no control over a lot of the things happening around us.
Like for example, you are running late for office and you take the shortest route possible to get there on time. You think you will just about make it in time when you suddenly take that turn and see a huge traffic piling up the street due to some accident that happened a while back. What do you do? Do you think you had any control over that accident? Of course not!
You get my point, people will continue to be the way they are and things will happen around you that may or may not be of your liking. Yet, what you need to understand is that there is no particular time that you can set for yourself to be happy. You cant be like “ok, let me get that big promotion and I will be happy” or “Just let me get out of this city and I will be so much more happier”. You cant set a future date for happiness like you set up the alarm to get up on time the next day. If you want to be happy, it has to be NOW!
So, let’s try and focus on simple things that can help us move closer to our goal and answer this important question for us – How Can I Be Happy…
# Focus on the moment – This is one of the best ways to weed out negative thoughts and stress. Just notice how our mind works, most of the time we tend to think about past or future events and conversations. Most of us also realize how futile this entire exercise is as we cannot do anything to change what has already happened and the future – well, its all pure imagination!
If only we could train our minds to focus on the current moment, we can break the negative thought pattern of the mind. One of the highly renowned and ancient meditation practices, Vipassana, teaches just that – how to observe the present moment as it is. The mind will wander a thousand times, but every time it wanders – simply bring it back to the present, observe your breath. Slowly, you will be able to eradicate all the impurities of the mind and learn to be a lot more happy than you currently are. Just try this for exercise for a few days – every time your mind tries to create a web of thoughts, simply break away from it and try to remain thoughtless. Begin with a few seconds and gradually your mind will be able to break from the clutter of incessant thoughts.
# Appreciate – Learn to appreciate and thank the good that we have in life. Friends and family who love and care for us, the small baby who never gets tired of your presence, the comfort of a warm hug from your child, the cozy house that is we can come back to after a hard day’s work, the sunny day outside, the beautiful rose in the garden. There are countless number of things we need to be thankful for – cause we get more of what we think about a lot.
Just try a simple exercise:
– In the morning, right after you wake up – think of ten things that you can think of
– In the night before you go off to sleep, think of 3 good things that happened to you during the day. It could be something as you helping a old lady cross the street or a big thing like a surprise birthday party thrown by your friends. Just learn to be thankful of things around you and see the magic!
# Add more humor to your day – ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ is not just a fad, it actually is true!
And guess what, our brain cannot distinguish between real laughter and fake laughter – the result from both is the same. Your stress levels come down instantly as laughter releases the good hormones, endorphins, which helps in elevating your mood and makes you feel better about yourself.
Don’t hesitate to laugh out loud, give yourself a hearty laugh at least two or three times a day. You also have the option of joining laughter clubs or learn Laughter Yoga, just in case you feel that you cant find enough reasons in your day to really laugh about. Do what works best for you – watch a cartoon or a stand up comedy act, spend time with people who can make you laugh, think about the funny moments from last week – just don’t forget to include the Ha Ha Ha routine in your daily lives:)
# Exercise – We all know that exercise is good for our mental and physical well being, that it increases the blood flow within our system and that it makes us feel better about ourselves. In spite of knowing all this, there are so many times when we want to curse the alarm cock when it goes off early in the morning, thinking – I will start from tomorrow! And you do wake tomorrow up but again for the next two days – we allow a few extra minutes of sleep to disrupt our daily exercise routine. What one needs to understand is that exercising on an ad-hoc basis will not do us any good in the long term. If we are not making a regular and consistent effort, we will not gain anything other than sore muscles!
A lot of us like to exercise in the evening, that’s absolutely fine. I mentioned morning above just because I like to get done with my exercises in the morning as I hardly find the time or energy in the evenings. Whatever time of the day you decide, just make sure that you stick to a daily routine. Also, always try to include some outdoor activity like walking, running or yoga in the park in a week. Going out in the open is really therapeutic. Even if the sun is not out or its a cloudy day – the natural light is needed by your body and it definitely does a lot of good for your mental well being.
Do try to include these simple things in your daily life. You may not become the happiest person on this earth overnight but you will definitely start your journey towards a happier and fulfilling life. And taking the first few steps is so very crucial. So, get going with these simple, yet effective methods for increasing the happiness quotient in our lives. Let us know about your experience, we would love to hear from you!