We are living in the most stressful times than ever
The times when we have a lot of money but no peace
The times when we have thousands of friends on social media but no one to call our own
The times when we have multiple emotions to show on Whatsapp but none to feel
After being a successful professional for 10 years and being married to the most loving husband, I felt there was no reason for me to be sad. But yet I was.
I had enough money in my bank balance to go out on the fancy vacations or to buy branded clothes and bags, yet there was no sign of happiness in my life.
Every morning it was a futile struggle to put a smile on my face. To show the world that I was happy and I was doing great. But honestly – I wasn’t.
The question bothered me for almost 2 years before I took courage to find out the answer to it.
So, I made it my goal to study what happy people do to stay happy. And, when I started adopting those simple habits, things changed in my life. It turned out I actually became one of those happy people whom I used to be jealous of.
If you are like my older self, who wants to be happy but don’t know how to?
Then, here’s a list of daily things that I do now to increase my happiness. Try them and things might improve for you too – the way they have for me!
1. Allow Yourself To Be The Way You Are
Do you hate yourself because – you laugh aloud, you cry too much, you fail a lot, you trust people easily who break your heart?
Allow yourself to be who you are! People who are happy give themselves liberty to be different and unique. They celebrate their flaws as they know that makes them UNIQUE!
2. Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously
People who take themselves seriously tend to be unhappiest of the lot!
They strive to be perfect and expect nothing less than perfection from others too. Be it friends, parents, team or life partners – they want everyone to be perfect. And, sadly, in both the cases, the only thing that they encounter is a disappointment.
Because perfection is a mirage – it is a thing that pushes us towards unhappiness. So, handle yourself lightly. Laugh at your mistakes with amusement. Happy people never take themselves too seriously. Whenever life gives them a bump in the ride, the happy people yell back:
Big Deal! Why not?”
3. Stop Making Yourself Your World
“Stop staring at your own belly! Neither you look fat nor you are fat! “. Said my friend when I went to a party with her and I couldn’t find myself attractive enough. The only thing I could see the mirror was saying – “I was fat!”
With time I learned, happy people don’t make themselves or their problems – their world. They don’t focus on themselves too much. They don’t over-analyze themselves.
Now, during the low moments, I remind myself to not focus on myself – I push myself to get out; to meet friends or plan something fun.
4. Comparison Is A Thief Of Joy
A comparison is like a slow death – a death you give to yourself, to your self-esteem, to your dreams!
Whenever you compare yourself with others – you hurt yourself a little bit.
Happy people made me learn that we are neither better nor less than another person. We are just different. And, believe me, in life, there would be always someone, who is at a more evolved place and someone who is at a less evolved place.
Note to self: Let’s do our best and not care about the rest!
5. Let’s Make Adjustments To Be Happy
There are things that make us happy and there are that don’t.
We just need to keep ourselves away from the things that don’t.
Whenever your mood dips, or when you feel “off”, stay curious and self-aware. Understand the triggers that put you off in a bad mood and then make adjustments.
If you eat something that makes you feel sad later, why eat it in the first place? e.g. eating a slice of pizza in the night that makes you feel bloated in the morning or a glass of wine that makes you feel crappy in the morning.
When you’re feeling stuck or emotional or stressed – do something different that breaks your routine – meet up with a friend, tune-up with extra sleep or meditate or exercise or take a hot bath.
6. Give Back To Others
Want to be Happy? Learn to give back to others.
Happy people believe that they have plenty to share. They take time out to support friends and family members and do things for their betterment.
They commit themselves to service of others without expecting things in return.
But, in midst of helping others, happy people never forget to serve themselves. They make themselves aware of what makes them happy – they never lose focus of their own emotional/mental/physical/spiritual health.
Note to self: Spend time to love and care for yourself so that you have more to give!
7. Get Rid Of Toxic People – Just Keep The Uplifting Ones
In life, we have many relationships – some of them uplift us and some of them don’t.
Happy people know to stay happy they need to entertain the people who are uplifting, supportive, and loving. Unfortunately, most of us make a mistake to hang out with someone who makes us feel sad and depressed.
If you are also hanging out with someone who doesn’t make you feel great afterward and doesn’t have your best interest at heart, it is better to see less of that person and find other people to spend time with.
8. Don’t Focus On Being happy; Focus On Finding Peace
Are you focusing on being happy all the time? Are you looking for a life where you always stay happy with no feeling of hopelessness or depression?
Then I am sorry to break this news to you that it’s not possible. You need to remember things that go up – definitely come down. You can’t expect a life full of only highs and no lows.
So, happy people focus on experiencing peace or satisfaction with life rather than happiness itself. Because, when you are peace, you have attained a relaxed state of mind – which makes you more immune to depression and sadness.
9. Use Your Senses.
This one will be a bit surprising – Because it is very simple to follow but not many of us are aware of it.
I realized that happy people engage themselves in activities that help them experience the simple joys in life. And, more often than not, those activities are connected with our senses.
Believe me, this simple habit can create significant moments of happiness.
Try engaging yourself in:
Feeling the warmth of a teacup in your hands on a cold winter day or,
Singing your favourite song without caring if anyone is listening or,
Wearing your most favourite perfume or aroma
Everyone can have a different set of experiences that makes one happy, so don’t leave a chance to write it down when you experience it.
10. Don’t Make Your Marriage Or Love Affair To Be Everything In Your Life
I used to think my husband is bound to give me happiness or rather make me happy. Sadly, it wasn’t the truth. When I was waiting for my husband to make me happy, he was waiting for me to make him happy. That led to a lot of discontent and disturbance in our marriage.
It took me time to realize that no one is here to make me happy.
Relationships are just in addition to your life. They can’t be the start or end of your life.
Many happy people have this common thought about the relationships. They all feel relationships are beautiful additions to their lives but not an exclusive definition of life.
Note to self: Stop expecting your partners to make you happy, to fill your emptiness. And make sure your partner knows that it’s not your responsibility to do that for him either.
I am not saying that relationships and marriages are not important. They are! During the sad and bad days, we need love and compassion. But, what I am saying is rely on yourself to be happy rather than expecting it from your partner or relationships.
My list is still a work-in-progress product. If you feel I can add anything to this , please feel free to let me know here.
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