People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.
More often than not, we are dissatisfied with things around us, it can possibly be our demanding job, or a bad to the bone boss, or an envious colleague, or those unpredictable relatives, nosy neighbor, moody spouse, or if nothing else, our beloved "tantrum kids" or sometimes, it's just plain "Life" that happened to us. But, with that said, have you ever come across people who tell you that they are unhappy because of who they are? Seldom right! well, that's where the problem lies, as most of us have mastered this subtle art of holding others responsible for our happiness or unhappiness.
Damn you Life! It's my way or the highway! some of us think it works, some of us believe that we can alter every situation, life puts us through. But, we totally forget that sometimes, life already has a plan for us, it is that we have to look through and give it a chance to unfold and see what it has in store for us. But, if we keep fighting against it, and keep swimming against the tide, then one thing is for sure, we would face stress, anxiety and overall unhappiness.
Once in a lifetime we come across those happy faces, those warm and welcoming ones, who are constantly smiling, but if we dig deeper, we'll be amazed to find that most of them have been through hell and back, yet smiling. So, what goes into their heads, they have been put through the same or maybe worst testing times in life as me and you, but all that eventually failed to turn them into a grumpier version of themselves. If we look closely, most of these people have some basic qualities which helped them return to life with a happy face.
Basics to a Happy Life:
1) Practice Gratitude : The most important aspect to lead a happy life is to be grateful for what you already have, as you may know that there are many who can just dream of having a life like you.
2) Don't hold others responsible for your happiness : In his lecture on "The Surprising Science of Happiness", Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy?language=en talks about Synthetic and Natural happiness. Further explained in "Natural and Synthetic Happiness at Work- Here's why you need both",Natural happiness primarily relies on external factors whereas Synthetic happiness primarily relies on internal factors. As such, Synthetic happiness can be a more long-term, stable form of happiness than natural happiness.
3) Learn to enjoy Solitude : It may sound funny but those who are capable of spending sometime alone during the day turn out to be happier, try to meditate and do some self introspection in your alone time or develop a hobby (Gardening, Painting, Reading, Writing etc.)
4) Live in the moment : It's good to plan to live a more organised and successful life, but sometimes things don't go according to our plans, and thus, don't lose your sleep over it (easier said than done, but try) things eventually will fall into place so patience is the key. Try to make the most out of every moment of your present. Like the saying goes, "If life gives you a lemon, make a lemonade"
5) Surround yourself with positive people: People who cheer you up when you are feeling low are the best kind of people, surround yourself with positive people, who encourage you or who believe in your dreams. If unfortunately you're finding it hard to get such people, be patient and enjoy your solitude for the time being. It's better to be alone than to be with a bunch of fools or narcissists.
6) Appreciate Art and Nature : Art and Nature naturally revitalizes our toxic lives. Try to read self help books, listen to inspirational songs, go out in the sun, take a walk in the woods. It brings a lot of positivism in our lives.
7) Exercise Regularly : Exercise boosts our mood and helps in channelizing our energy into positive direction, leaving us more happy and satisfied in life.
Having said that, we all are human beings, and humans are prone to complex emotions, therefore, it is okay to feel a little gloomy from time to time, when things don't turn out our way. Don't beat yourself up if at times, certain things leave you emotionally drained or leaves you feeling a bit low and tired. Life has it's way of working for all of us, so let's be patient. But, try not to let these temporary set backs, leave you waspish by the end. Happiness sometimes comes naturally to us but most of the time, we have to make a deliberate attempt to keep ourselves happy.
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