The sparkle of happiness
What is happiness in life?
Ever wondered why do we feel happy?
Do we want to be happy?
We just "Be happy." In a way, we choose it!
"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim, and end of human existence." - Aristotle
We consider happiness as the goal to achieve in life. But does happiness mean the same for everyone? For some, it could mean traveling around different places. For a few, it could be to eat a different kind of food, or for some, it could just mean to relax in a calm place.
Happiness differs with every individual. Mostly it is something that exists inside us which we find in ourselves under different circumstances. The one simple way to be happy and remain in that state is to realize that it is our choice to be happy and not something that comes from external sources. Before we get into a more philosophical way of understanding happiness, let us see the different types of happiness that we generally find in our lives.
The first one is general happiness that we get out of the mere pleasure of being involved in something we enjoy. For example, if we love spending time with our loved ones or eat our favorite delicious food, we tend to be happy.
The second type comes from achieving something that we are passionate about in life. It is a step below the third happiness that is related to our ultimate goals. These goals will certainly vary from person to person.
Among these types, we always tend to be more familiar with the first two, and almost all of us will be stuck over there. Only a few of us will try to reach and understand the final step and attain the purpose of happiness and, in turn, of life.
Apart from these defined ways of happiness, there is one universal way that is the fact that depends on the basic nature of a person. Besides having any kind of situation around, there are few who would try to be in a state of happiness due to their nature to see happiness. They just develop the habit of being happy.
There is no need to find happiness as it is something that already exists within us, and we just must realize it and embrace it. No one is born with the wisdom of understanding happiness. This is developed over the experience one gains along the paths of life.
Joy is the path traveled; not the destination:
There are few changes to be made in our thought process to bring happiness into our lives. First of all, assuming that accomplishing something we want or attaining something that we need does not define our happiness. Instead, being happy and working towards what we want brings us more joy and satisfaction.
Let us not pin our happiness on the successful outcomes. Let us put our happiness into all our efforts and simply enjoy the process of development.
What will you be happy to add to your life?
Well, we can observe in our everyday life that the happy ones are the most successful ones in professional and personal life with good health. They have the innate tendency to turn around negative thoughts and situations into positive ones.
To what extreme happiness has been established as an important ingredient in life can be understood by knowing that there is a separate field of research dedicated to happiness, called positive psychology.
Researchers have found out that happiness is attained by practicing it daily. Control negative thoughts and emotions, observe yourself, try to find at least one good thing every day, maintain good relationships with the close ones around.
Developing positive emotions and thoughts also helps us in reducing the stress hormones in our body. This, in turn, leads to good biological health. After all, health is also one of the major factors that affect happiness in life.
Hence, one must not fail to realize the interconnection between health and happiness in life. Improve interest in extra activities other than just studying or working. There is more to life than just to earn money for a living, such as learning music, dance, drawing, cooking, etc. Instead of pointing to one source for all our happiness, it is better to find happiness in everything that we do.
A few of the qualities that will guide us through the hard times and create happiness are showing kindness towards other living beings and creating humor out of every hard situation. We are truly happy when we lose track of time. And that happens when we are engaged in some activities that keep us productive and happy.
Improve emotional intelligence:
With the increase in technology and gadgets, it is high time for us to concentrate on the emotional quotient just like the intelligent quotient. Improving certain emotional skills can help nourish better relationships, which, in turn, develops happiness among us.
As the saying goes, "It is easier said than done," it is not always simple to express the emotions or to understand them. Awareness about empathy should be created to attain this knowledge. There are many blogs, books, and videos on empathy that will guide us through the process. It is the tendency of the people to mistake empathy for self-sacrifice. There should be a thin line between both.
It is good to understand others' emotions and adjust accordingly, but one must not give up one's own happiness. It is always important to say "NO" when we are not happy to get involved in something. Never accept anything uncomfortable into your life for the sake of making others happy. It is not selfish to take care of yourself.
Another important factor that adds to happiness is gratitude. It is important that we learn to appreciate what we have in our lives rather than complain about the things we do not have. With several busy factors in our everyday life, it is important to stop and appreciate ourselves and everyone in our lives.
Happiness is not in the running towards our goal. It is in paying attention to every step and analyzing, enjoying the progress over a duration of time. Give time to every little, but the important thing, and that will happen only when we go slow and steady in life. Always maintain time for socializing or helping others, for there is no better joy than lending hands to the needy ones.
Ways to make happiness a habit:
Making happiness our habit will help in attaining the goals in life. There are various ways to make it a habit. They are to stop complaining about anything in life. Things that we get, or we do not get; everything happens for a reason.
Keep the trust in the bigger picture rather than worrying about the smaller disappointments. Put energy into setting goals and achieving them. It is not necessary that things will go in our way always; when there is a failure, keep up the hope and continue with the same efforts. We need not be perfect to achieve our goals; we just must be patient and persistent.
Never be too hard on yourself. Learn to celebrate every little success in life with the close ones as that would bring more happiness into life than attaining the goal itself.
Just remember that we cannot solve all the problems at once; break them into several pieces and concentrate on them individually. Because the best way to reach any aim is to break them into easily doable everyday tasks, these become day-to-day activities. And when we achieve those little activities, we experience happiness every day.
Let me jot down all these into a set of very attractive tips and tricks for happiness.
1. Practice gratitude
As mentioned earlier, if we do not appreciate what we already have, we do not get any more goodness in life. Expressing how grateful we are to obtain certain things in life will bring more fortune in terms of health, wealth, and happiness. Be thankful for breathing, for possessing every basic need, for having everything that helps us to learn and grow in life.
2. Let go of the past
How to let go of the past and live happily? There is a great book called "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. That describes the importance of being at present and shows how that is the only reality. When we think about it, the regrets or sadness from the past and the fear of the future are only in our minds. They are not real because they are not happening now.
3. Spend more time with children
Have you ever observed that the children are always at present? They only throw tantrums until they get diverted with something new, and it hardly takes a minute to make them forget the past. They have a unique yet carefree way of performing under stress. The older we get, we tend to lose that inner child and forget how to be carefree and happy anymore. As the saying goes,
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with ." By Jim Rohn
Spending more time with the children will bring the childish nature and thought process in us back to life. Thus, helping us to restore hope, creativity, and happiness.
4. Appreciate yourself
Is there anything you keep complaining about yourself? Maybe that curly hair or the straight hair or dark skin or irregular academic tracks? Stop it! Make life easier by appreciating yourself for every little achievement in life.
5. Believe in yourself
It is easy to be happy when everything goes in our way. But what if it gets difficult even to find a single thing to be grateful for in a day? That is when we must take control of our thoughts and actions.
Never give up on your plan to attain the goals. Always pursue with confidence, follow your own path. There are only two things that can happen when we follow our own path.
We either succeed and tell our success stories to people, or we fail and guide others who travel after us. Both these will only increase our self-worth, strength, and wisdom of life.
Everyone is unique, and that makes all of us a special person who deserves to be happy. Keep your focus on what are the strengths and develop the area of weakness, instead of dwelling on it. Avoid toxic people who can drink your happy energy and make you feel worthless.
6. No one is perfect
Even though there are many personalities right from history to the present, there is no one who is perfect among them. Hence, comparing ourselves with others would only lead to anxiety, frustrations, and low self-esteem. It is just human to be imperfect and accept what you are. Acceptance of our true nature with utmost love and care is the way to leading a stress-free life.
"A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it; it just blooms." By Jen shin.
Just learn to live the life you want as everyone has their own process in the world. There will always be one better than the other; it just means that there is no end to the comparison. And hence, there will not be any time left to live when you keep comparing life with others.
Moreover, as it is already said, there is no one perfect for comparing ourselves to. The best baseline that we can have to improve our life is just ourselves the day before.
7. Self-Love and Self-Care
It is not something new, but it is the most powerful tip among all, Love yourself. If you do not value yourself enough to care and love, you cannot expect others to love you. There is no destined life; it is always in your own hands to make your own story. Make it as loveable and kind as possible. It might be a busy day, but take time to do some skincare, book-reading, meditation, prayer.
Take the dog out for a walk, pamper yourself with your favorite new clothes, healthy and delicious food, regularise the exercises, have a deep and complete sleep, hydrate yourself, take yourself on a trip to places. Create your own memories and joyful moments in life. Create situations to be happy. Do not be a victim of the situation.
8. Stop the negativity
"A negative mind will never give you a positive life." By Ziad K. Abdelnour.
As difficult as any circumstance can get, always remember that there is a way out of it. Approaching any situation with a positive mindset will help in tackling the issue better than a negative mind. Self-depleting thoughts can only lead to destruction.
Do yourself a big favor by speaking only the positive things. Remember that there is always a voice-over playing behind the screen of your own mind, and it is better to keep them positive since you always listen to them.
Nothing comes easy, so it will not be easy to speak only good things to yourself, especially when things are not going fine. Though it gets harder, always remind yourself of the ultimate goals and keep hoping for the best.
Practice makes a man perfect. Hence keep practicing positivity and self-esteemed thoughts until it becomes a habit.
9. Be selfish for your own happiness
People in our lives are only visitors. We are the only and best companion for ourselves. So, do not spend your time pleasing others. Make your comfort and happiness the priority in life before living for others.
If you cannot give respect, care, and love for yourself, you cannot expect others to give the same for you. Selfishness is bad, but it is necessary for your own happiness at times. Do not always say "Yes" to other's requests. The importance of a "No" should be appreciated at times to make yourself happy.
Those who can stay with you even after hearing Nos are the ones to treasure in life. The real ones stay, no matter how many times you say No to them.