If there’s something that’s difficult to do, it’s to be happy – just plain, simple happy. Yes, as simple as it may sound, being happy is one of the most difficult things to do. And ironical it may be that it is an easily achievable target. It doesn’t need pots of gold or fame or fancy clothes or outlandish houses. All it needs is a few changes in the way we do things, minor tweaks in our attitude and more importantly, the will to try them out before we get all cynical or brush it off as new-age pish-posh. No harm trying it out, what say?
- Make gratitude a part of your life.
Feeling grateful is the first step towards becoming a better person. We need to understand that we do not work in isolation. There are many seen/unseen people assisting us as we go through our day. There are so many people whom we just take for granted and notice them only when they aren’t around. So being grateful is important. It’s the acknowledgement of the contribution of others in our lives. Try recollecting 5 incidents that brought a smile to your face and you will realise the importance of being grateful.
2. Love yourself.
This is absolutely a must-do in our daily schedule. Exercising need not be restricted to the high-end gyms with expensive personal trainers. Nor should we think that exercising will eventually lead us one day to have an Adonis-like body. Exercising will lead you to be more conscious about your body. A simple joint pain, a nagging cough, changes in our physical appearance, are subtle reminders of the need to take care of our body. Exercising can include anything but should be something meaningful, something focused, done honestly and consistently. The only person reaping the benefits is yourself. I’m sure we can manage a few minutes to do something useful for our own self.
3. Regularly practice some form of exercise.
In our efforts to look after everything and everyone, we tend to overlook the most important person in our life – ourselves. Irrespective of our age or gender, taking care of ourselves must be our priority. Our happiness is in our hands. You don’t have to own an enviable wardrobe or spend hours at the salon to spruce up your looks. You have to just take yourself seriously so others do it too. Walk tall, a pleasant smile, neat clothes, comfortable footwear (believe me, an ill-fitting but fashionable pair of footwear is a perfect ingredient for a sullen mood) and voila! you are ready to take on the world. It does oodles to your confidence and self-esteem.
4. Spend money on experiences.
Don’t add moments to your life but add life to every moment. It holds true every time. I mean when you have to encapsulate your life, it should not be restricted to just going to work and back. Travel, see new places, explore the lesser-known. Or pick up a hobby you have been wanting to learn for some time. Join some classes – baking, painting, dramatics, languages. Invest time in yourself. It’s the best form of investment, with assured high returns in the form of happiness and contentment. Every time you look back, it’s bound to bring a smile to your face. So investing in me-time is a must-do which should be on the top of everyone’s list
5. Smile and greet.
The most exquisite and priceless asset you own is your SMILE. So don’t think, just flaunt it. A smile costs nothing yet it touches the lives of everyone you meet. It lights up the face of the other person with its warmth. It fills the heart with happiness, even if it’s for a few moments. When you are entering the elevator or walking through the lobby or crossing someone on the office floor, just smile and the walls between us start melting. A warm hello or good morning or namaste is the best ice-breaker. But apart from all these, there’s another often overlooked aspect of smiling and greeting people – it shows you are a confident person, not hiding behind the veil of anonymity. So go on, flash those pearlies and say ‘Hello World!’
6. Eat well. Sleep well.
Enjoying food and trying out new things is a passion incomparable. But it’s important to understand food and make the necessary changes towards maintaining a healthy balance. Skipping breakfast is an absolute NO. Various studies have time and again proven that breakfast should not be avoided. It’s the first meal of the day, after a long gap during the night. A balanced breakfast provides the body with the much-needed energy to start off the day. It’s also important to give sleep its due. Staying up late, waking up groggy, getting caffeine-dependent to get through the day, are bound to wreak havoc with the body at some later date. So it’s best to do it right from the beginning. Get a good night’s rest so that, with a good breakfast tucked in, you are all set to take on the world the next morning.
7. Face your challenges.
How many times have each of us experienced anxiety and stress over things not done? It’s not an unknown, unfamiliar feeling. This happens because either we have overstretched ourselves or do not want to face the unpleasant situation. Well, ask yourself – has it solved the problem? I’m sure the answer is NO. Challenges are good; they provide us with the opportunity to push our boundaries, test our limits, move out of our comfort zones. Challenges make us think creatively (not the arty kind of way but the ’out-of-the-box’ thinking kind of way). It’s a way of discovering yourself. To deal with the day-to-day challenges, plan your day, organise your work, prepare for the imponderables. Develop a plan for the week – list out the tasks day-wise. Develop your own strategy and watch the happiness seeping into your life once again.
8. Surround yourself with happy memories.
What’s life without memories! It’s the kaleidoscope of our life that keeps us connected. Put up pictures of fun times with your friends or family, of people who mean a lot to you, of unforgettable events, of amazing travels and vacations. Put up pictures of every occasion that brought a smile to your face and a warm glow to your heart. Let the screensaver of your laptop be the random pictures from your albums. You don’t need expensive or fancy photo frames to adorn your walls; the pictures will speak a million words. Every time you cross the fridge or the laptop or the wall, I’m absolutely sure you will find it irresistible to stop and look and SMILE!
9. Listen to music.
Someone wise man had said that music is the elixir of life and I wouldn’t agree more. Music to me is like meditation. It calms me down, not in the yogi sense but gets me to a peaceful space. Make a special playlist of your favourite songs – different ones for different occasions like one for work, one for leisure, one for your exercise time. Listening to favourites is a sure-shot mood elevator. Try it out and explore more new genres; I’m sure this will be one journey that you will not regret. Destination – pure happiness!
10. Choose your friends wisely.
Yes, it’s true. Friends make or break us. Friends become an important part of our lives at every stage. In some ways, they are the reflection of our subconscious. We make friends depending on the circumstances or situations. From the playground friends to our work colleagues to college buddies – friends are continuously changing yet are a dominant part of our space. That makes it all the more the reason why we must choose them wisely. I mean when we meet people we don’t think I want him/her as a friend; a good friend can be an invaluable asset, a positive force while a ‘bad’ friend can pull us down, lead us down the wrong path or just plain be demotivating. So, it’s important to surround ourselves with well-meaning friends, who share our interests and thoughts and values.