“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”– Chinese Proverb
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Have you watched urchins on the street splashing about in puddles of water in the rain? The way they play in the mud, some with bare torsos and others with their wet clothes clinging to their soaked skin, is a pleasurable sight. That is what I would call pure, unadulterated happiness. Absolute bliss! The one thing that brings them together is happiness. We can experience that kind of happiness too. All we need to do is let ourselves go. It is only when we have too much on our minds, and when we carry too much baggage that we find it impossible to enjoy anything.
Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy.
Haven’t we seen people lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds and trying to spot shapes in them? Haven’t there been times when the strains of old songs have brought back beautiful memories and left you smiling and remembering the good old times? Sometimes, just the smell of a hot cup of ginger tea on a winter morning makes one happy from the inside. However, these are momentary flashes of happiness that soon vanish in the chaos of the day.
To make happiness a permanent companion, here is what you can try to do:
- Seek the right company: Spend time with people who make you happy. Friends, who are full of fun, laughter and positivity can infuse you with the strong dose of happiness that you require to sustain yourself through the day and through life.
Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay
- Preserve your identity and values: People get so caught up in the lives they lead that they lose their true identity. For instance, when women become wives and mothers, they forget the girls they once were. They bury their hobbies, playfulness and even their abilities. Their whole personality undergoes a massive change, as they adapt to their new families. This kills them from the inside. No matter what you end up doing in life or whichever level you reach, don’t forget the values you grew up with, as they make you what you are. They give you’re your identity, and your identity is something you need to preserve at all costs. Only that can make you happy.
- Look at the bright side: Not everyone or everything is perfect. If you take a minute to think, you will find that you have many people, things and experiences to be grateful for. If you sit down to make a list of things for which you have to thank the Almight, you will be shocked to see how long it is. The moment you realise how privileged you are, you will be filled with happiness and gratitude.
- Dream on: It costs nothing to dream. Only if you dare to dream will you be able to achieve what you dream to achieve. Imagine a life where you have nothing to look forward to; no goals to pursue. How boring such a life would be.
- Enjoy ‘me’ time: No matter how busy you are or how tight a schedule you follow, make sure you take time out to do things you really love to do. If you cannot spare a little time to be with yourself, you cannot hope to be truly happy ever. Set an hour or even half an hour every day, to just read, or paint or dance or go for a walk all by yourself. It is as good as a relaxing vacation, and doesn’t cost a penny.
- Make others happy: To be happy yourself, you have to find ways to make others happy. When you share what you have with others, there is double joy. Do something fulfilling. Read to the elderly, teach some underprivileged kids to read and write or teach a poor woman a skill that will help her earn a livelihood. These are things that make you feel happy from the inside.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
- Follow your heart: It is not difficult to realise what it is that makes you happy. Your heart will let you know. When your heart seems to jump with joy at the sight of a Ferris wheel, you know that a ride will make you happy. Just get on to it and ignore others who may say it is a childish thing to do. When it suddenly starts to pour and you do not want to use your umbrella, go ahead and forget that you are carrying one and get drenched. The happiness you experience in that moment will sustain you for the whole week. The people who are staring at you are probably regretting not following suit!
Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay
- Feel your power: Only you have the power to make things happen for yourself and provide answers to the questions popping up inside your head. You alone can make yourself happy. Feel the power within you to realise your dreams, follow your heart and pursue your goals.
- Embrace change: Things do not always go as planned. There will be disruptions and deviations. Take them in your stride. Do not let them affect you emotionally. Change, if embraced, can actually do you good. They present you with challenges. Overcoming these challenges keeps you physically fit and mentally young. And of course, happiness can only be experienced if one is healthy outside and inside.
Image by Magnascan from Pixabay
- Be aware that you are different: What makes you happy may not make somebody else happy. So, don’t expect others to feel good about getting soaked in the rain or going on an unplanned long drive on an impulse. Others may not want the same things that you want.
Do what it takes to make yourself happy, but don’t force others to be part of it if they do not want to be.
Remember, to be happy inside and outside, you have to be healthy — physically and mentally. To ensure good overall health, you need to eat well, keep yourself hydrated and fill your mind with positive thoughts. Once in a while, if you feel like gorging on chocolates and sinfully delicious samosas, go ahead and indulge. After all, it will make you happy and being happy is all about deriving pleasure from small things.