Being Happy
Photo by Arjohn Janroe Queral on Unsplash

Introduction

“How to be happy always”, “How to be happy alone”, “How to be happy again”, “How to be happy from inside”, “How to be happy by yourself”, “How to be happy all the time”, “How to be happy after breakup”, “How to be happy when you are sad”, etc. are the questions being asked by individuals of all ages on google and other search engines. This article not only discusses the topic in great detail but also gives tips to help you achieve mental and physical well-being which ultimately results in happiness.

What is happiness?

Happiness can be described as an emotional state of mind characterized by feelings of contentment, satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment. In short, happiness is an overall sense of experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones. Some people are inherently happy and stay positive in all situations, whereas others derive happiness from events such as “starting a new relationship”, “getting a new job”, “becoming a parent”, “becoming pregnant”, “passing an exam”, “buying a new house”, “getting a hike in salary”, “getting bonus”, “getting a promotion”, etc.

Happiness is a journey and not a destination. The only person who can help you be happy always is you. When you are happy within outer disturbances can’t affect you.

Current Situation

We are living in very uncertain times. Although prosperity is increasing and lifestyles are improving but the wealth is confined in the hands of a few. It is believed that globally 90% of total wealth is controlled by just 10 percent of the people. It is being argued that the rich are becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer.

With the emergence of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc the world has come closer. On one hand, people across the globe are interacting and helping each other learn & grow, and on the other hand, a few fanatics/ terrorists are spreading hatred & enmity based on religion, cultures, traditions, values, etc. This leads to violence, clashes amongst human beings which could be avoided.

The world populace also faces challenges with the emergence of new and deadly diseases, such as smallpox, chickenpox, plague, HIV-AIDS, COVID19, etc. Some of the diseases are so deadly that till the time vaccines are developed millions of lives are lost and people devastated. This often leads to economies of countries collapsing and people losing jobs.

As is clear from the above paragraphs we are living in very uncertain and unpredictable times and people are often unable to cope with the stress which often affects their mental and physical health and this ultimately leads to a nervous breakdown or perpetual unhappiness. People are finding it hard to be happy.

Today, everything is being commercialized. The importance and influence of the corporate sector have grown several times as compared to past decades. With falling economies and the growing number of private sector companies, the competition amongst the private players is increasing and their profit margins are being badly hit. To overcome this, fewer employees are being hired or people are being asked to leave the jobs. Thus, people in jobs are being forced to work for 16-18 hours each day. Many companies don’t even allow their employees to take leaves and even if leaves are given to the employees, they are forced to work from their homes. All this ultimately leads to stress and anxiety which affects mental and physical health and this ultimately leads to unhappiness.

Some proactive and compassionate companies are now hiring “Happiness Consultant” or “Happiness Expert” or “Happiness Coach” or “Happiness Officer” or people with similar designations. There is a huge demand for such experts in countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, and other European countries. During the past two decades, researchers & scientists have discovered the science behind what makes people happy. They have been able to discover techniques & practices to help people overcome negative thoughts and become happy.

15 tips to help you stay happy always

Scientists have discovered that our body produces ‘happy chemicals’ such as, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, etc which help us feel good. Our body also produces ‘sad chemicals’ such as, cortisol which makes us feel sad, angry, bad, etc. Now, the secret lies in knowing how to release these ‘happy chemicals’ using neuroscience. Given below are fifteen tips that can help in the release of ‘happy chemicals’ enabling you to be happy always:

  1. Love yourself: This is one of the most important and least talked about topics. Devote some time for yourself and do things that interest you, such as, singing, painting, meditation, cooking, writing, etc. Being happy and content within helps in the secretion of ‘happy chemicals’ which leads to a feeling of job & happiness. When you are happy, you will help spread happiness around you. It’s a well-known fact that happy people spread happiness. This is particularly important for those staying alone or who have experienced break-ups, etc. The more you involve yourself in activities that you love the lesser time you will have to feel lonely or feel sad for the break-up, etc. Remember one thing, it is better to be alone than being with the wrong person. Better begins with you. You are the best person to motivate yourself. Whatever situation you are facing or have faced, it is never too late to start all over again.
  2. Accept things that you can’t change: We are all living in uncertain times. You might come across situations (such as broken relationships, conflicts in the family or neighborhood, arrogant boss, non-cooperative colleague, etc) that are challenging for you but are beyond your control i.e., you cannot change. Just accept this fact as a way of life and find ways to avoid it or minimize its influence over you. The moment you shift your energy from CONFRONTATION TO RESOLUTION miracles happen. One minute of UNHAPPINESS means sixty seconds of HAPPINESS lost.
  3. Feeling of gratitude: I am sure you have a lot to be thankful for. Please do not compare yourself with others and feel pity for yourself. We all have so much to be thankful for but most of us concentrate our energies on the negatives or the challenges that we are facing. If you have a house, a family, food to eat thrice a day, are mentally & physically able, have a job, have money in your account, have internet, then you are better than at least 80% of the world population. Be happy for what you have and have a feeling of gratitude. Always count your blessings. Your mind is like a magnet. Whatever you think most about is what you attract in your life.
  4. Eat healthy food: Eat healthy food and ensure consumption of a balanced diet so that your body’s requirements of all micronutrients are met. Avoid overeating and consumption of oily food. Overeating and consumption of oily food make you feel lazy and lethargic. This may make you feel low and unmotivated. This can lead to stressful relations with colleagues, family, and friends. Ensure consumption of water and/or liquid diet. Ideally, a person should drink 8 glasses of water each day. Avoid excess consumption of sugar and coffee.
  5. Call or meet with family and friends regularly: We are living in stressful times and we hardly find time to spend quality time with friends and family. Talking/ spending quality time with family and friends helps us rejuvenate. Make this a priority. Be in the company or group of people who themselves are happy & motivated and are supportive of your dreams and motivate you to try and achieve your dreams.
  6. Seek inspiration regularly: Try to seek inspiration each day by listening to motivational speeches, reading motivational quotes, watching motivational videos, hearing motivational podcasts, etc. Just 15 to 20 minutes spent this way can help you be inspired/ motivated/ charged for the entire day.
  7. Laugh/ Smile as much as you can: Do you know that smile not only enhances your face value but also helps in keeping your facial skin young and charming. Laughing out loud and smiling helps us in being healthy and happier. Do you know it takes 17 muscles out of 43 muscles in the face to smile? Studies have revealed that laughter helps change brain chemistry and helps boost the immune system. It also helps people to release fears, anger, and stress, all of which can harm the body over time. So, laugh often and smile as much as you can.
  8. Do exercise/ yoga/ meditation regularly: Experts recommend setting aside 20-30 minutes each day for yoga, tai chi, meditation, exercise, etc. Adopt any as per your choice which helps you in relieving stress & anxiety.
  9. Practice the art of giving: When you give to others out of free will without any expectation in return, certain areas of the brain associated with social connection, trust, pleasure get activated. A study conducted by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton and colleagues in 2008 found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more than spending it on themselves (despite prediction by participants’ that spending on themselves would make them happier).
  10. Hug for 20 seconds or more: Studies suggest that every time you hug, cuddle, kiss for 20 seconds or more, a chemical called oxytocin i.e., the love hormone is released. This helps you become less vulnerable to infections, helps in reducing blood pressure, and also helps reduce the feeling of pain.
  11. Make your passion your profession: This is easier said than done. This is the ideal situation. When your passion becomes your profession, you will never feel the stress but you will be willing to work more and be more productive. For example, if you love traveling, you can consider becoming a travel guide. If you are interested in photography, you can consider rendering services as a photographer covering marriages, events, workshops, etc.
  12. Have fun at work: ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’ is a famous quote which you might have heard? Right? This is applicable not just in schools or colleges but in offices as well. Having fun, cracking jokes, sharing information, laughing together helps build companionship, trust, and a feeling of oneness amongst the co-workers. It’s essential that intermittently there is fun in the office.
  13. Sleep well at night: Although this is the least talked about but its importance can never be undermined. For an adult, good quality sleep of at least 6 hours is advisable (may vary from person to person). Adequate quality sleep helps release ‘happy chemicals’ such as serotonin which helps improve happiness & mood which ultimately results in improved productivity and better relationships (with friends, families, colleagues, etc).
  14. Summarise positive events at the end of each day: Each day before going to sleep remember all the positive events/ things that took place on that day and feel thankful for them. Always go to sleep with positive thoughts and a mind full of love, affection, and gratitude. As far as negative experiences/ events are concerned just learn lessons from them and move on. Let Karma do its job.
  15. Learn from adversities and move on: Each one of us would have come across negative people who enjoy harming/ hurting others. If you have met such people and they have hurt you, don’t let your experience(s) with them disturb your peace and happiness. Avoid/minimize your contact with such people and don’t let your experiences with them change your thinking about humans in general. The world is full of wonderful people and negative people are just a few. Believe in the law of Karma. Believe in the famous quote ‘What we sow is what we reap’.

Conclusion

Mark Williamson says, “Happiness is about the sum total of what makes life worth living, and that includes dealing with adversity. It’s about finding ways to be more resilient, to cope with the downsides and make the most of the situation we find ourselves in.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who’s stronger, smarter, prettier, or richer. The only thing that matters is who is happier. Being Happy Always is more important than being successful.

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