The pursuit of happiness is a noble objective, and one which everyone aspires towards. True happiness comes from within. It’s a balance between internal and external dynamics. If this state of mind can be crafted by the things that we do, then everyone can work towards achieving this emotionally uplifting paradigm. Imagine if you were informed that there were 10 things you could do to feel happier within the next 5 minutes, would you believe it?
Our countdown to happiness begins now!
- Ask the hard question: Why am I feeling unhappy?
Believe it or not, there is often a trigger that sparks a feeling of discontent. It may not be something you’ve done – it may be something you haven’t done. Have you eaten? Have you exercised? Are you avoiding getting something done and becoming anxious over it?
The first way to feeling happy is to question why you’re feeling unhappy.
- Is it something that someone said, or is it the way you’re reacting to the situation?
It’s a funny old thing life. The way we currently feel is less about how others treat us and more about the way we react to these stimuli. If we are continually anxious and irritable over the way others behave or the types of situations we find ourselves in, it’s time to step back and reconfigure. Often, it’s a thought process that needs to change, or be adjusted. What others think of us is less important than what we think of ourselves. This is especially true if other people’s thoughts are abrasive, critical or inflammatory. It all boils down to mind over matter: If you don’t mind, it really doesn’t matter.
- Feed your happiness – literally!
Nourishment of the soul, the mind, and the body is essential to your long-term happiness. And there’s nothing quite like a succulent treat, dish, or beverage to instantly pep up your spirits. Of course, avoid sugar rushes and caffeine splurges since they generate whipsaw behaviour in moods. Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Stock up on the right foods and you’ll never have to worry about mood-induced malnourishment.
- An attitude of gratitude always works
As human beings, we are programmed to want more, and not be content with what we have. It’s a societal problem, and it’s precisely what drives economic activity. However, it’s also one of the main reasons for discontentment in society. If we focus on what we have and not on what we don’t have, we would see a tectonic shift in our happiness. Take a moment to be grateful for what you have and smile.
- Quietly absorb the positivity around you
This is an interesting approach to adopt. Your environment is a beautiful canvas of interlocking, interactive elements. The view from your office window, a smile from a co-worker, a compliment from a friend, the rising sun, the setting sun, the wind in the trees, the smell of spring, the crunchy leaves in fall, or the smell of the ocean – there’s beauty all around you. Take it all in and exhale all the negativity.
- Take a break for a couple of minutes
Everyone needs a break, so why not take a break right now! Your happiness depends on it. A break could mean getting up from your desk and walking around, shifting your focus from your work to a fun-filled activity like comic books, Sudoku, word puzzles, or even cube pop games at the Google Play Store. In fact, it doesn’t really matter what fun activity you do – take a break and smile.
- Get up, get busy, get moving!
Ever heard the expression: The devil finds work for idle hands? It’s true, there’s simply too much negativity that results from inactivity. Choose not to lead a sedentary life – get up, get busy, get moving. Take a walk, ride your bike, head out to the beach. The options are endless – you’ve only got to move.
- Smile, even when your heart is breaking!
A smile is the tincture you need for everlasting happiness. The act of smiling generates a feeling of calm and inner peace. Remember the Nat King Cole music video, ‘… Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by. If you smile through your fear and sorrow; smile and maybe tomorrow…you’ll see the sun come shining through for you. Light up your face with gladness; hide every trace of sadness. Although a tear may be ever so near, that’s the time you must keep on trying. Smile, what’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.’
- Be present. Be mindful. Be happy. Live in the now!
Mindfulness is all about living in the moment and appreciating the present. The past cannot be undone, and the future is promised to no one. All we have is right now. We should focus our energy on where we are and what we’re doing.
- Go to ‘Camp Sammy’
Camp Sammy is a generic term for a getaway; a retreat that is geared towards a peaceful self-indulgence. It is a timeout from the pressures of the world, where you can just relax and be you. It could be a place in your mind where you retreat for an hour or two, or it could be a physical locale where you can engage in activities you enjoy.