Happiness is a state of mind. Sadly, all of us define attempt to triumphs/accomplish ments that will make us happy. We tell ourselves that we will be happy when we get our job and promotion. We persuade ourselves to think that life will be better when we get married and complete our family. Once this is achieved, we try to convince that happiness will be ours only after the children are professionally settled and so on. We thus spend our lives waiting to be happy sometime in the future. Little do we realize that there is no better time to be happy than right now. Remember, life will continue to be full of challenges-we cannot let our triumph over these challenges determine our happiness.
Here are 21 simple and straightforward practices that will put you on the road to happiness.
We usually smile when we are happy. Studies prove that the converse is also true : smiling can actually make us feel better and help us to see the lighter side of things. Certainly, a smile makes us approachable.
Happiness is nothing but the ability to be content. It has little to do with what we possess materially. It has even less to do with achieving your self-determined goals in life. Contentment comes from enjoying life as we live it-hurdles and all-from day to day. See what you have, not what you lack. Secondly, limit your wants and needs. Our desires are insatiable, be it clothes, furniture, jewellary. As soon as one desire is fulfilled, another desire awakens. Limiting our desires will help us focus on things that we already have.
At any time during the day, pull yourself up. Try to recall what you were thinking for the past 10 minutes. It is very likely that you were either dwelling on past problems (how the other person was nasty to you or outsmarted you,etc) or worrying about future concerns in your life (we may not have our job, our children may not get admission in good schools and so on). Such thoughts leave not let us enjoy the present. Remember, "Now" is the only time we have and the only time that we have control over. Practise keeping your attention on the "here and now".
4. Plan things you can look forward to:
Living life the same way everyday is boring. We need to sustain interest in our lives by doing new things. So, surprise your hubby with a tasty candlelight dinner one evening. Go out with your friends for a picnic lunch. Book tickets for a movie you have been wanting to see for a long time.
In short do anything that takes you away from routine and gives you something to look forward to in the evening, the next day, over the weekend, or any time in the future.
5. Don't try to compete with our Neighbors:
Most of us share a common tendency. It is that we compare ourselves with other people and their status or compare our accomplishments with those of others. When we feel short of successes, we work harder and push ourselves beyond the limit. Life thus begins and ends as a struggle to "prove ourselves". Jealously takes a heavy toll on us. It hurts, confuses, angers, depresses, humiliates, builds up stress, and leaves us feeling inadequate and inferior.
The truth is: we are what we are. We cannot be someone else. There is no point coveting another's perfect figure, looks, lovely hair, beautiful bungalow, magnificent jewellery, etc. Learn to accept yourself. Everyone has unique strengths and challenges. Identify yours, set your goals for fulfilling your dreams, and get going.
However else you may wish it, it is as it is. A mistake has been made, the plan has been delayed, something has been broken and you cannot change it. All you can do is: accept it and go on with life considering the unforeseen twist of events. Optimism means turning something that seems all bad into something good. Research shows that optimism lowers stress, which in turn, decreases the risk of heart disease. Optimism can make us smile and be content and happy.
Clutter is the other name for chaos, confusion, muddle, jumble and what not, and contributes greatly to our irritability and annoyance. So avoid cluttering your cupboards, rooms, home with extra-unwanted things. It prevents us from accessing useful things when we need them, thereby generating stress and frustration. So keep your home organized and clean.
When we keep jobs pending, especially the ones we don't like for some reason, we live under stress. Whatever else maybe engaged in, these jobs constantly niggle at us at the back of our minds. So, get going. Resolve to complete all pending jobs today. Moreover, first complete jobs that you particularly don't like to do. The anticipation of finishing jobs that you enjoy doing later will keep you going even through the earlier, not-so-enjoyable ones.
10. Keep things in Perspective:
We usually live our life as if it were one big emergency. Whether it is being late for a meeting, a messy room, garbage thrown by the neighbors, a barking dog, a traffic jam, irritable kids, we usually tend to overreact. We shout, we rave and mat irrevocably damage our relationship with bigger mess. So, accepts life's quirks as they come, put things in perspective and become happier.
11. Get in Touch With Old Friends:
Carrying on with life, we occasionally remember cherished friends, dear colleagues, and old neighbors from our yesteryear. We keep them in thought. So, take the initiative and dig up old dairies, look up their numbers and do invite them over. Meeting dear old ones de-stresses us and makes up for all irritants and setbacks in our life.
12. Take Out Time For Yourself:
Every minute we are busy doing something or the other. How many of us take time out to be absolutely alone with our own self? Being alone give each one of us breathing space that we need. Yes, even from our spouses. Being alone gives us a chance to think quietly. It helps us ponder over things that we would like to do and dreams that we would like to realize. It enables us to be at peace with ourselves and makes us happier.
13. Create a Peaceful Environment:
When we live and work in a properly arranged environment, it is much easier to develop and maintain a positive attitude. Make the surroundings restful. Ensure optimal lighting and temperature. Keep the rooms clutter free, put in comfortable furniture. Bring in plants, music, and pressure decrease, our muscles relax. This helps us to concentrate better on the job at hand. A job well done-be it cooking, cleaning, or office work-brings with it a sense of achievement and elation.
Your kid did not clear uo her plate after dinner. The driver in the car on your left swerved too close to you, the bank clerk was being too slow. Do not get bothered and react in the expected manner. Let it pass. At all costs do not shout whatever the provocation. Anger makes it impossible for you to think rationally. Moreover, a reactive person who shouts is a real turn-off others. Note that being non-over reactive does not let ant stress build up in you. You remain more focused on the job at hand.
15. Bring Humor into Your Life:
By choice, have occasions that make you laugh happily into your day. Share jokes
With your family. Watch a humorous film, and tell your colleagues funny incidents.
In short, anything that will amuse you and others around you.
16. Accept People as They are-Even Your Spouse:
If only my husband would help with some chores in the morning. If only my mother-in-law would take more responsibility of the children, if only my father-in- law would remember to lower the TV volume, things can be different. We expect everyone to exchange according to our point of view. Obviously when this does not happen, we are disillusioned and we keep complaining. This brings negativity into our relationship with these people. Do accept people as they are. Once others see your unconditional love for them, they will try their best to do things that will please you.
Begin by noticing in what way you are dependent on others-your family, your friends, relatives, neighbors, and even people who serve you such as servants, shopkeepers and so on. Let them know that you genuinely appreciate all that they do for you. While there may certainly be differences. Remember, gratitude, inner peace, and happiness go hand in hand.
We always believe that if anything has gone wrong with things, it must be someone else's fault. In life, others are responsible for our frustration, stress, and unhappiness. This means that we do not control our life: our frame of mind is dependent on the actions and behavior of others. For a change hold yourself responsible for your happiness, for your circumstances, for your life. This will put you in charge of your happiness.
19. Make Someone else's Day Happier:
Everyday, resolve to so at least one thing that will make someone other than you happy. It may be as small a thing as buying milk for your neighbor or giving away a frock for your maid's daughter or giving up your seat in the bus for a woman with a child. These little, often unnoticed acts of kindness, will fill you with warmth that will grow inside you all day long and before long, become your own way of life. More importantly, don't talk about the good deed to anyone at home, workplace or elsewhere.
20. Tell Your Family and Friends That You Love Them:
We know that we love our family and friends, and they love us in return. Yet, we are at times too shy or too stiff to utter them to the people we love. Don't hesitate, say what you feel to your loved ones and you will be filled an inner peace and confidrncr on heating them say the same words to you.
Always keep a dairy and pen with you. Make a habit of writing down all the good things that happen to you during the day. By writing down about the precious moments of your life, they become a part of our lives. The positive feeling comes back whenever we revisit happy moments through our dairy.
So next time you are unhappy, remind yourself that you and you alone can make yourself happy.