We all want to be happy, right….but we all have different ideas about what happiness is and how to pursue it. So many times in life, we fail to find happiness in places, people, work, or in material things. Can science find happiness? It would be wishful thing to think science could find such a thing as a happiness formula…..Yes, scientific research has shown that happiness is, to a large degree, determined by our genes and psychologists believe we can pursue happiness by thwarting negative emotions and fostering positive emotions. Okay, but what can make us HAPPY?
Sometimes we think, if I had that ‘X’ (this is personal, X could be money, job, love etc) I will surely be happy, but is it true? There are so many rich, married to their love doing well professionally in this world but ask them are they happy? A big, NO. Or you may think, let it be that I don’t ever face bad/adverse period in life, thanks to Shani, mangal, rahu-ketu, then I will be happy but this will only make you weak and vulnerable but certainly not happy. I believe, regardless of what we do in life, it's never going to bring about an enduring state of happiness. Again it is my belief only, happiness isn’t possession, and there is never a perfect time, place, love, material possession that can bring enduring happiness.
Young seem to think all their happiness awaits them in the future years, while so many older people relive their best moments in the past, whereas happiness truly is in ‘present’ and maybe that is why it is called ‘present’ meaning a gift. Happiness is a mindset and found only in present.
So, let’s try finding happiness in ‘present’ and my new blog post MAY help or inspire you to pursue happiness…
1. Shift away from materialism to experience.
Man by nature is conqueror, always looking towards others to gauge its own material success. Nobody can deny the power of ‘money’ in this world, so I wouldn’t, but I may say recognize that more money doesn’t mean more happiness. But ‘experience’ of enjoying something wonderful, need not be connected with money, sometimes bring happiness in some moments in life. The experience of living in the 'moment', is an idea that slowly but surely, gaining momentum from the fringes of society to the mainstream. The knowledge, that we get more happiness from ‘experiences’, than we get from materialistic buys is something we need to think about. The ways we live our lives, all this affluence, is causing us to be depressed. Today use of anti-depressants and tranquilizers are becoming so common. If, money could buy happiness all rich people would have been happy but it’s not true. We need to value the experience, the process of enjoying our present moment.
2. Spend time with friends and family.Family, as per karma theory, are destined to be part of our lives to help us grow as better individuals and friends come to us part of good karma. Remember popular TV serial ‘Friends’, a show about six friends in New York as they navigate their way through life, learn to grow up and value friendship and all, with the help from each other to get them through the obstacles that life naturally has for us. Having the right friends can improve our self-esteem, make us feel needed but hey, if you have toxic friends, DUMP them ASAP. If you have a friend/s that make you feel terrible about yourself or ruin your life with their negativity, it may be time to let them go.
One Australian research study, found that people over 70, who had the strongest network of friends lived much longer.
It is not always so easy to find and make friends probably this is the reason for increasing popularity of social network sites- Facebook, twitter, etc. Happiness unshared can scarcely be called happiness in the long run, even social networking sites have ‘Share’ button… Happiness, as I mentioned in my 1st point, must also be shared as experience. A soul may shrink and wither away if it finds no other inspiration or relevant conversation. So whatever it is that makes you happy, do it and share it with your family and friends.
3. Meditation, it rewires your brain for happinessMeditation is often touted as an important habit for improving attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm and may improve your happiness quotient.
In one research study, a team from Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in research in mindfulness meditation. The research study concluded that, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress and sadness shrank. Now, how amazing can that be!!!Meditation is not related or specific to any religion or faith. You may simply empty your mind of all thoughts and chant on ‘Om’, do this regularly and more so when you feel happiness deserting you.
4. Help others – it works like magicIt’s not good to be selfish, we all know that, but we all tend to put all our efforts into taking care of just ourselves. In Vedic astrology, one of the most counter-intuitive advice is to help others, do charity, etc, it is found that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others, so spending time and money on other people is more likely to bring happiness than buying stuff for ourselves.
5. Look after your body
Feeling good about your body can go a long way in helping you be happy. Physical and mental well-being is the most things in this life. Paying more attention to what you eat, what kind of lifestyle you lead and exercises, be it yoga, walks or gym can dramatically change how you feel about your body, not to mention how it looks. Physical exercise has such a profound effect on our physical and mental well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. Having a healthy mind and body contributes a great deal to a happy life.
I would love to be happier, as I’m sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person. I have listed only 5 things that can bring happiness, of course there are many like- marriage, babies, traveling or even living close to work etc and it would be interesting if you would like to share your thoughts on HAPPINESS……