There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path- Buddha
Think of happiness as a result is not wrong, but happiness is also a key driver.
Happiness is a state of mind, more specifically; it is a state of “well-being and contentment.”
However, the definition can be tricky and assumptions about the word can create confusion. Most of us don’t even realize learning how to be happy is something that can be intentionally practiced. Some people, when they hear the word ‘happiness,’ assume it is speaking of an emotion such as pleasure or joy. For them, it is what people feel in the immediate here and now.
This is the reason some people even say, “Don’t pursue happiness, and seek joy. Happiness is fickle and fading, joy remains forever.” But this short-term definition of happiness is not how everyone understands the word. Some define it to mean long-term satisfaction.
Both definitions are understood to be correct and speak of different realities.
But are they really that different? Not really.
After all, a long-term experience of life satisfaction is almost certainly made up of many short-term feelings of joy and pleasure. Does that mean every day is a great day with no trials, temptations, or downturns? Certainly not. But it does mean when we look back at the many seasons of life, we can look back satisfied at how we navigated through them.
The long-term feeling of life satisfaction is most experienced when we embrace the emotion of joy in the here and now. And we accomplish that by taking steps each day to be happy.
While some factors that affect happiness are out of our control, (yes, genetics does play a role as do current life circumstances), there are always actions we can take to amplify our good vibes. Consider trying a few of these — or all of them! You’re guaranteed to give your day a little boost.
- Establish Gratitude
Focusing on the small things that we have can be blinded by our desire of wanting more. But this desire, built by envy and jealousy usually leads to great levels of dissatisfaction. Instead, just taking a break from the daily hustle and appreciating the little we have, the friends and family. Our health or well-being or simply a cup of tea/coffee can boost one’s mindset for the better.
- Defeat Anxiety
There is some wisdom in a Buddhist approach to emotions. A Buddhist-based mindfulness approach to overcoming anxiety is basically working with it. There’s unfortunately, no easy way to relieve one’s anxiety in a way that doesn’t involve masking it or just distracting oneself-that should be used. The second approach is to bringing mindfulness to the actual experience.
Sometimes, overcoming worry and nervousness is simply a matter of modifying your behaviour, thoughts, and lifestyle. Keep moving with your day-to-day routine, be open about your concerns and cut caffeinated products.
- Listen to Amazing Music
Music we love is one of the best antidotes to mental pain or heartbreak. Trying to boost and uplift your mood while listening to music actually can help.
- Create a Sleep Schedule that Works well for you
Getting a consistent good night’s sleep is vital. Chronic sleep deprivation is a huge problem nowadays, especially for those who work late or are keeping a busy schedule. It’s not just a lack of 6 to 8 hours of daily sleep which can be detrimental to your psychological health.
Start with small steps. Give yourself a sensible and realistic bedtime. Try to go to bed half an hour before your usual bedtime and stick to it. Evaluate this new habit every day by having a journal and writing down your progress.
- Do Spend Time Outside Every Day
Go for a walk during your lunch break. Go to work and back, taking a walk from one station to another. Spend a few minutes drinking your morning coffee or tea outside. Pick up running or walking in the green outdoors. It doesn’t even have to be for a long period of time.
- Say Nice Things to Yourself
An adjustment in your everyday vocabulary, both in your thoughts and even out loud. One should flip his dialogue to only positive outcomes. For example, instead of saying, ‘If I get that job,’ switch it to, ‘When I get that job.’ Those subtle changes in using positive language help to change your mind set to a glass half full instead of a glass half empty. You can also increase your positive thoughts by stating one thing you like about yourself when you look in the mirror each morning.
- Cut back on some of your Unhealthy Habits
We know when and which things are bad for us. You can curb that by reducing them, but not giving them up entirely. Reducing something within your own means can save you the stress of immediate change. Only when you are completely ready, stay away from harmful food, smoking or things that cause procrastination.
- Plan a Superb Vacation
The anticipation and planning of a trip are almost as good as the trip itself. Prepping for a vacation or a journey has been shown to increase our happiness levels.
- Do Invest in a Quality Relationship
If you want to have good long-term mental and physical health, you need to first see if you have meaningful, loving relationships. Picking one or more people close to you, and start planning to spend quality time together. Loving meaningful relationships are good for our mental and physical health.
- Fake a Smile and it will Stick for Sure
This might sound like a piece of weird advice. Because smiling may be the last thing you want to do when you’re in a sour mood. But it could help to turn that frown upside-down. By dedicating yourself to make a slight grin, people around you will perceive your optimism and will return the favour. faking a smile can help elevate our mood. This even has an effect when we’re not genuinely into it right away.
- Please Meet New People
Get out of your circle of friends. In order to find new companions and to expand your world, you need to go out there and meet new people. Everyone has an interesting history or story to tell. So move out of your comfort zone cast a smile and have fun when meeting others. Don’t need to over think it.
- Accept your Flaws
Expecting perfection guarantees you’ll feel like a failure at least part of the time, and that can lead to serious anxiety. By accepting the fact that as humans, we make several mistakes, is fundamental to avoid living in judgment.
Learn the art of progress, not perfection. We are setting ourselves up for failure from the when we expect to ‘have it all’ perfectly balanced. In other words, we will always feel like we are failing.
- See a Therapist – They can definitely Help
If you were trying to get in physical shape and had no idea where to start, you might turn to a coach or personal trainer. Mental health works the same way. There are so, so many benefits to seeing a therapist.
- Skip the Small-talk and Go Deep
This is especially important with family and friends, and people who can relate on a personal level. Anyone can talk about the weather. Let yourself get a little more connected and have a substantial conversation with someone.
- Write in a Journal
List some small dreams and thoughts you might have. Express your emotions in writing and read them later to yourself. Instead of allowing your brain to go to a place of anxiety and stress, arm yourself with grateful thoughts. Writing them down also helps. If you write down that which you have to be grateful for, your brain becomes better at finding even more gratitude.
- Turn your Phone Off Please
It has been proven time and again in many studies that too much tech time can negatively impact mental health. Whenever the phone rings or we get an update, we instinctively try to reach to our devices. The temporary dopamine chain people to their phones or even computers. Every night or weekend, try and become less available via text and email so you don’t feel emotionally tethered to your phone.
If you want to be happy, be. – Leo Tolstoy
About the writer:
Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.
Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.