Want to be happier? Here are 9 points!

Prasanth Aby Thomas
Published: September 2014

There are many guides to being happy. In fact, from the time of ancient Greek philosophers we have been trying to find the best route to happiness. This has not been a total success, man has not yet found the ultimate formula for happiness. However, modern studies have shown us that happiness is not a destination, nor is it the absence of sadness. In fact, happiness is a process, a state of being that requires certain attitude. Here I shall list out nine points to begin your trip in the right direction.

1              Take time out to be with Nature

This is perhaps the most underestimated aspect of life. Modern man has become so entrenched in concrete jungles that the concept of nature is becoming more and more alien. In many large cities we no longer have spaces to be with nature, hence we create ‘artificial nature’ as parks and gardens.

Whatever the location, make sure you take a few minutes every day to be with nature. This will calm your mind, reduce stress, improve memory and increase your overall wellbeing.

2              Do some exercises

In India we believe that it is more important to exercise your mind than your body. In schools, our teachers are often heard saying “Don’t play too much and end up getting low marks”. But research has clearly shown that in order to help our brains function, we need to give proper exercise to the body. Other benefits include increased smartness, confidence, better sleep and a better feeling about yourself.

3              Be with friends and family

A happiness expert at Harvard University Daniel Gilbert specifies being with friends and family as one of the most crucial points to happiness, reports the Time Magazine. Relationships are worth more than we understand, not feeling socially connected can have serious health consequences. Loneliness is found to lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes. The longest lived people on the planet all place a strong stress on social engagement and good relations are more vital to a long life than even exercise. Friends are key to enlightening your life. Share good news and actively reply when others share good news with you to develop your relationships. Want to instantly be happier? Do something kind for them.

4              Give thanks

The expression of gratitude is a major point for attaining joy.  Author, Sonja Lyubomirsky in ‘The How of Happiness’ says that thankfulness is different things to different people.  It is marvel; it is obligation; it is looking at the bright side of a problem, it is understanding richness; it is acknowledging somebody in your life; it is recognizing the supernatural; it is “counting blessings.”  It is enjoying; it is not taking things for granted; it is managing; it is present-oriented.

Gratitude is a cure to negative sentiments, a neutralizer of jealousy, desire, enmity, anxiety, and frustration.  The average person, however, possibly connections gratitude with saying thank you for a gift or profit received.

5              Meditation

Meditation can alleviate happiness, give meaning in life, social support and attention span while decreasing fury, worry, sadness and tiredness. Along similar lines, prayer can make you feel better — even if you’re not religious.

6              Get enough sleep

You can’t make your body not get enough sleep and not have it affect you. It is difficult to be happy when you are tired and are in need of sleep. In fact, lack of sleep increases your chances of becoming ill. The old saying “Sleeping on it” does improve decision making, because a rested mind is able to think clearly and take better decisions.  Lack of sleep can make you more likely to behave unethically.

Naps or short spells of sleep are great too. Naps make your mind more alert and improves performance at work, improves learning ability and purge negative emotions while enhancing positive ones.

7              Try something difficult, challenge yourself

Research shows that learning a new language can keep your mind sharp. It is also found that learning music increases intelligence. Challenging your views toughens your mind. Growing determination just needs a little struggle each day and it’s more accountable for your triumph than intelligence. Not getting a schooling or taking advantage of opportunities are two of the things people look back on their lives and remorse the most.

8              Laugh more

The old saying goes, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’. People who use humor to manage with tension have healthier immune systems, lower threat of heart attack and stroke, go through less pain during dental work and live longer. Laughter should be like a daily vitamin. Just recalling about humorous instants can develop your relationship. Humor has numerous advantages.

Laughter changes us in the loveliest ways. When we lighten up we feel more positive and optimistic, more hopeful and engaged. We’re friendlier, more resourceful, more attractive, more radiantly alive.

9              Be positive

Optimism can make you better, cheerier and prolong your life. The Army teaches it in order to increase mental toughness in soldiers.

Being an optimist or a pessimist is all about the way you communicate with yourself. Optimists firmly assert that their own actions can lead to positive outcomes, that they alone are in charge of their own happiness, and that they can expect life to improve in the future. When bad things happen, they avoid putting the blame on themselves, they see them as occurrences outside themselves. For example, an optimist who lost his job does not blame it on himself, but blames it on the policies of his company.