You want to be happy. We all want to be happy.
But we know that we’re not happy all the time. So what’s really happening? Let’s face it; most of us are waiting for happiness to find us. Despite what fairy-tales might tell you, happiness does not appear by magic. It’s not even something which just happens to you. It’s something you need to cultivate and then nurture.
What Science Says on Happiness
The bulk what determines your happiness quotient is your personality: that is your thoughts, thought process and behaviour. This means that you can learn to be happy and you need not be born to be happy. Now things like material riches, wealth etc. can make you happy for some period of time but they do not contribute to lasting happiness. The fact is that being happy cannot be boiled down to one particular thing. Happiness can be regarded as the sum total of your choices in life. Broadly, it can be built upon following foundation pillars:
· Devoting time to family and friends
· Appreciating what you have at hand and making the most of it
· Maintaining an optimistic outlook
· Feeling a sense of purpose
· Living in the moment
So science believes and says that your thoughts, choices and actions can determine your happiness level. It’s not as easy as it may seem but it isn’t that difficult too. Here’s how you can get started:
Invest in Relationships
Surrounding yourself with happy people can be a great mood-uplifter. Most such people would come under the category of ‘friends and family.’ These people help you celebrate the good things in life and support you during harsh times. Many people take friends and family for granted but the truth is that these relationships need nurturing. Build long lasting relationships with people around you. Appreciate all they do for you and offer to do things for them.
Gratitude is anything but something definitely more than saying a mere “thank you.” It’s a sense of true appreciation for the good others do to you. Most people let such things bypass and take them for granted. It often takes a crisis, a critical illness, a big loss for a person to realise the real worth of a person/thing in life. Don’t keep waiting for something like this to happen to you. Make it a habit to practice gratitude. Happiness will slowly start trickling in.
In this world a lot of bad things have happened. And they’ll continue to happen. But, at the same time, there are a lot of good things as well, and many bad things have a flipside. You need to develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things. You need to see through the veil. Don’t let the negative things warp your entire outlook on life. There are people who are not optimistic by nature but it doesn’t mean that they can’t develop a positive outlook in life. All it takes is some time and some effort. If negative thoughts cloud your head, pause for a few seconds, relax and ask yourself these three questions:
· Is the situation really as bad as I think?
· Is there another way to look at the situation?
· What can I learn from this experience that I can use in the future?
Find your Purpose
In life, it’s very important to find your “true calling” and rise above a mundane existence. There should be a purpose in your life. It can be anything - gardening, rearing children, becoming an engineer, doing social work – literally anything. Having a goal will provide you with a sense of fulfillment. It will boost your self-esteem and will help you meet new people.
Living the Moment
Never postpone your joys in life by thinking that I should wait for the day when life is less stressful and less busy. That day might not even ever arrive. Relish the small joys in life by focusing on the positive things at hand. Don't fret over the past and don't get anxious about the future.