By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
Happiness is something we all crave. In fact almost everything we do willingly has happiness as its indirect objective. Whether it is the job we want, whether it is the love we want, whether it is the money, the car, the house we want, it is all because ultimately we seek happiness as a result of achieving those objectives. Happiness the thus the real to success.
But does happiness necessarily require achieving certain objectives in life, failing to do so we will never be happy? Not necessarily so. Here are 11 amazingly useful and simple (although some require discipline to be implemented) ways to be a lot more joyful in life!
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 1) Understand that you can’t appreciate great joy without great despair. One who can tolerate suffering suffers less.
First things first, understand that it is impossible for everyone to be happy all the time. No matter how mentally well balanced you are, you are going to go through times when you will be sad, upset, angry or depressed. You are going to go through times when nothing will work out. And that is perfectly fine. Because you cannot appreciate happiness if you do not know what it is to be sad. These experiences exist there for a reason. Accept these negative experiences as a part of life and then move on. Don’t latch on to them.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 2) Give back. Help others, whether humans or other living beings.
Let me tell you a story. In Hinduism we believe in the concept of reincarnation or rebirth where it is believed that the soul does not go away never to return again after death but keeps taking rebirths until it achieves Moksha or Freedom. So there were two guys, one was only interested in receiving, never helping others while the other wanted to help people as much as possible. So the first one prayed to God, “Dear Lord, please ensure that in the next birth I don’t have to share anything with anyone else. I only get things, I don’t have to give back anything.” The second one prayed, “Dear Lord, please ensure that I always have enough to give to others and that nobody who ever asks something from me should ever be disappointed.”
Guess how the story ended? In the next birth the first guy who only wanted to receive but never give back, became the poorest beggar in town and the guy who only wanted to give back, was born in a royal family and became a benevolent king!
There is greater joy in giving than in receiving. Most of us want things in life rather than giving back. But if you want to learn how to be happy in life, remember that happiness does not necessarily come through satisfying your own needs. Sometimes you get greater satisfaction from fulfilling the needs of someone else. And by doing so, you can find fulfilment in your own life.
Also, you do not always need to give back with money. You can help others with your time or the things you create and get the same joy.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 3) Live in the moment
Most of the times we are either caught up in the past or in the future. We are either thinking about the regrets, the mistakes, the memories or the pain of the past or are too worried about the uncertainties of the future. In both the cases we are not really living in what matters the most, the moment we are in, the present.
Yes, it is good to reminisce about the good things of the past and anticipate about the good things coming in the future, not being in the present also brings along another package where we are depressed about what has already happened or worrying about what will happen. The former is not under our control at all and the latter is often also not totally under our control, but somehow think that by thinking about it, things are going to improve. They don’t. Instead we stop appreciating the present. In order to be joyful be aware and appreciate everything happening around you. So if you want to learn how to be happy in life, smell the roses or your entire life will go by and you will wonder what happened.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 4) Learn to let go of things and people when it is time.
One of the main reason for misery is excessive attachment to things, people and desires. Buddha said it is attachment that causes pain. You don’t have to stop enjoying things or stop having relationships or stop pursuing goals, but you cannot become excessively attached because if you do, sooner or later you are going to experience a lot of pain. You have to learn enjoy things and experiences with a sense of detachment, which means appreciate them while they are still there and learn to let go whenever it is time. If you hoard things or materialistic possessions or even excessively hold on to the memories of people who once used to be a part of your life, you can never really move on. It is ok to be sad, it is ok to grieve but sooner or later you need to move on. The more you practise detachment on a daily basis, the easier it will be.
I know this is hard to practise but this is in fact of one of the simplest, albeit not easy steps to have a happier life.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 5) Exercise Physically and Mentally
Unless absolutely urgent, always do something to stay physically active a few times a week. Not only can you concentrate on the work you are doing better when you also workout, without physical fitness you won’t be around long enough in the world to enjoy the fruits of your work. Research has shown that any sort of moderate physical exercise not only helps you get to an ideal weight, it also boosts endorphins or the “happy chemicals” in the brain which uplift your mood a lot.
Secondly treat mental fitness with the same respect. Stress, Anxiety and Depression are very real problems that can massively affect your ability to live a happy life and work towards your goals. Do whatever it takes to ensure you are mentally fit as well. Whether it is meditation, breathing exercises, hypnotherapy, time out, or doing anything that uplifts your mood in a natural way, do something to remain mentally fit. If you are depressed or anxious, all the time, how are you going to be happy?
If you treat your body and mind with the same respect that you treat your work, you are really going to learn how to be happy in life, and also enjoy the rewards.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 6) Get the Sleep Your Body Requires
It is amazing how lack of sleep has been glorified by society as if it is something to be proud of. In times of emergency or urgency it is okay to maybe cut back on sleep for a limited period of time, depending on how urgent the job is. But if you constantly sleep below your body’s requirement for week after week and month after month, you are going to burn out, you are NOT going to be at your productive best and you are going to bring on a lot of health risks. What is the point of building an empire if you are going to sacrifice your health for it ? If you sleep and are well rested you will be much happier and be able to deal with situations positively.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 7) Spend time with family and friends
The meaning of life is not to work 24/7 on your goal. What is the point of even achieving your goal if you were not able to spend time with people for whom you have been working so hard. What is the point of making money if your kids only think of you as someone who never seemed to want to spend time with them. Life is meant to be balanced. There are many aspects to life and getting a great career or profession goal is only one aspect of it. The real backbone of life is your family and your true friends. Always value them and spend time with them or time will fly and you will realize that you spent your life chasing things that did not matter as much as the people you ignored.
Try this, if you have not been spending much time with family and friends for the sake of your career, devote one day or one week, whatever suits you to only spend time with them and do nothing else. No checking emails, no following up with work, no phone calls, nothing! Just enjoy that day or that time with your friends and family and you will be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel. And if doing that makes you happy then repeat this as often as possible!
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 8) Understand that nobody can make you feel bad, except yourself.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. That saying is incredibly true but we often forget it. We think that somehow whether we feel good or bad depends on whether others accept us. While hard to implement at times, this is going to be one of the crucial factors in determining your overall happiness level as well as whether or not you attain the kind of success you wish to achieve.
When I was starting out with starting out with charting my own path of running my business, creating my movie project, coming out with books and doing motivational speaking, I faced quite a lot of flak from people around me and for a while it bothered me but then I realized if I kept caring about what people think, I would never be able to FOLLOW ANY DREAM in my life. Now I am at a point where I give my best without caring a lot for the results. If someone appreciates me, great, if they don’t that is acceptable as well. My level of happiness and self esteem does not change with their reaction.
It is a fallacy to believe anyone else can make you feel bad about yourself. They cannot. They can only plant a negative suggestion in your mind and those suggestions themselves are meaningless. It is only when you consciously choose to accept what they said that those words begin to have any sort of power over you.” Nobody in the world can make you happy or sad, except yourself, for every feeling you experience involves the conscious reaction of your own mind to external situations.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 9) Be grateful for whatever you have.
This is backed by research, several studies as well as Harvard’s Health site says that practising gratitude or being thankful for what you have in life, no matter how much or how little you have makes you happier. People often say, first let me get something that makes me happy and I should actually be thankful for and then I will express gratitude. Unfortunately, if you subscribe to this mode of thinking, it will be hard for you to be consistently happy because you are taking things for granted. If you gotten something new in life, the novelty will soon wear off and you will soon not respect its existence that much any more and seek happiness in new things. When you get the new stuff, you will stop being happy after a while again. It is only when those things are taken away from you will you ever realize their true value.
I would like you to do a quick exercise. Imagine one thing or a few things in life that are dear to you but you have taken them for granted and don’t respect them very often. Now Imagine that thing or that being or that person is taken away from you permanently. How do you feel? Desperate? Sad? Enraged? Now imagine it is given back to you . What emotions would go through your mind and heart? Joy, Elation, Being Thankful that you finally have it back? Treat what you have as a gift no matter how little or much of it you have and ALWAYS treat it as a gift. This habit will make you tremendously happy and help you appreciate what you have in life.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 10) As far as possible, forgive. If you cannot forgive, then move on. Try not to plot revenge.
I know it is hard sometimes, especially to forgive people who have done something terribly wrong to you and I am not asking you to forgive everyone or every act. What you wish to forgive or do not is entirely up to you. However if you think that revenge is the only way for you to be happy, you are mistaken. If you try to take revenge for every wrong thing ever done to you, it will make you an incredibly negative person who is always boiling from inside and complaining about the atrocities done to him or her. Also revenge can get you into trouble, not only does it become something that consumes you from the inside, it also often invites more unnecessary trouble. Gandhi was not a fool when he said that an Eye for an Eye makes the whole world blind.
If you decide to forgive someone, it is going to make you feel a lot more lighter and release a lot of pressure that you have built up inside you. If it is not possible to forgive the person, then simply stop thinking over and over and over again about what has already happened and move on with your life. Consider this, if you hold grudges you only continue to hurt yourself. If you plot revenge, you may get temporary elation but it soon becomes an addiction that can destroy you. Accept what happened and move on. If they really did something TRULY wrong then Karma will take care of them.
How to Be Happy in Life: Tip 11) Surround yourself with positive people. Avoid chronic whiners.
Ever noticed how your mood is often correlated to the type of people you hang out with? What happens when you hang out with negative people who are always complaining, always whining, always attack people around them, always feel the world is doing injustice to them, always seem incredibly angry and very jealous of other people who get ahead. You start thinking in the same way, your energy levels start to go down. You may not know it but you are dealing with vampires, energy vampires. Just like a real vampire sucks the life force out of you by drinking your blood, an energy vampire takes the life force out by draining all your energy, motivation and mood by their constant negative talk. Attitudes are contagious, avoid such people if you want to be happy.
Now the good part is that just like energy vampires pull you down, positive people or energy givers supplement you with the positive energy you need. Hang out with people who are happy, who are driven, motivated, those who are grateful for what they have, those who do not become jealous of others accomplishments but rather seek inspiration from them. Those are the kinds of people that are going to tremendously positively impact your levels of happiness as well as your ability to achieve your goals in life.