Do you want to be happy in your life?
Happiness improves physical health
A popular greeting card attributes this quote: “Happiness is like a
butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you
turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your
Two decades ago a colleague of mine told me, “Lal! You are, like, the
happiest person I know! How come you are so happy all the time?” He
knows very well that in salary wise, I was drawing a very low salary as
compared to others who were on par with my status. Still I was the
happiest person whom he had ever seen. How can that be?
It was probably a surprising question, but I had a very long answer
to give. See, I was unhappy for most of my life, I had even considered
to give up my employments many a times.
Then I spent a couple of years following the series of training
sessions of happiness. Now, happiness is my natural state. I cannot
remember any time I felt unhappy for longer than 20 minutes.
All humans want to be happy, and happiness is useful for other
Setting happy goals
Happiness enables you to
make better decisions
It is a very much known fact that happiness improves physical health
and improves creativity. Happiness’ even enables you to make better
decisions. It is harder to be rational when you are unhappy.
“What do I want from life?” This is the question each and every one
of us asks us. Everyone might say “Well…I want to be happy.” I had many
reasons to be happy: My husband was the tall, dark, handsome love of my
life; we had two delightful boy and girl; my wife is beautiful and most
understandable woman in the world; I was a writer, living in capital
city. I had friends; I had my health; I did not have to colour my hair.
But too often I sniped at my husband or my clerk. I felt dejected after
even a minor professional setback. I lost my temper easily. Is that how
a happy person would act?
Do let the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired
every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad
feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger
catharsis is poppycock.
Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies
bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.
Another tip is fake it till you feel it. Feelings follow actions. If
I am feeling low, I deliberately act cheery, and I find myself actually
feeling happier. If I am feeling angry at someone, I do something
thoughtful for her and my feelings toward her soften. This strategy is
uncannily effective. In my opinion, challenge and novelty are key
elements of happiness. The brain is stimulated by surprise, and
successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense
of satisfaction. People who do new things? learn a game, travel to
unfamiliar places? are happier than people who stick to familiar
activities that they already do well.
Doing things that make you happy
I often remind myself to “Enjoy the fun of failure” and tackle some
The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt and loss of
control and other negative consequences deepen the lousiness of the day.
While it is easy to think, I will feel good after I have a few cups of
green tea…an ice cream…a good snack in the evening, it is worth pausing
to ask whether this will truly make things better
Play and have fun. Do not take life too seriously. Although we all
have responsibilities there is no reason why we cannot approach much of
our lives in a playful manner. In fact, those who do so will undoubtedly
be happier. I would like share a few tips with you regarding the
happiness which I have read in a book.
Make happiness a priority. If happiness is not at the top of your
list then other things will take precedence. If other things take
precedence, they may well interfere with your efforts to feel good.
Make plans to be happy. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Just like in any other life domain, the successful pursuit of
happiness requires planning.
Set happy goals. Following on from Tip 2, planning requires effective
goal setting. And do not forget to make sure your goals are SMART
(specific, measurable,achievable, relevant and timed).
Do things that make you happy. Although this sounds obvious, many
people simply forget to do things from which they gain pleasure. And do
them as often as possible.
Set yourself tasks from which you will gain satisfaction. As well as
pleasure and enjoyment, satisfaction is also an important part of
happiness. So make sure that when you are planning your tasks and
activities you include things that might not be fun, but from which you
will gain a sense of achievement.
Identify where your strengths lie. Know where your faults and
weaknesses are to avoid problems. Know where your strengths lie to be
really happy and to succeed in life.
Utilise your strengths. Although we all can and should endeavour to
improve in areas in which we are weak there is just as much, if not
more, to be gained from focusing on the maximal utilisation of your
strengths (including all your positive qualities and attributes).
Moreover, happiness will be achieved differently for different people. A
person suffering from depression due to chemical imbalance may get more
help from a pill than from learning better social skills. A healthy,
extroverted, agreeable, conscientious woman can still be unhappy if she
is trapped in a bad marriage. Some people were raised by parents whose
parenting style did not encourage the development of healthy
self-esteem, and they will need to devote significant energy to overcome
this deficit. For some, the road to happiness is long. For others, it is