Have you ever been sad and down, and in that moment you have to take a photo and smile for the camera? Suddenly you feel better. What happened there? You sent a message to your body to smile, thus creating a positive emotion which made you feel happier.
Reflect on that for a while. Can you see that you created your happiness? It is a concept not understood by many. Instead, we often believe that a holiday, buying something we desire, getting a pay rise, one thing or other are the keys to happiness. Don’t get me wrong, these things can make you happy but such external validations are momentary and you’d soon be looking for the next shiny object.
True happiness is a state of well-being and contentment. Our thoughts are consequences of reactions to events in our lives. It’s how we react to problems that create our state of mind. Once you realise that happiness is a product of your own mind and choose to live a happy life, you need to work on cultivating the right mindset and attitude every day.
For a long time when I was younger, I didn’t understand this. I ticked all the right boxes for a successful life. I was not short of but I wasn’t happy. Then I realised that happiness derived from material things is just illusory, temporary, and simply a brief moment of pleasure. If we chase happiness in material things, our pursuit for happiness will never end as there is always, always something more to obtain.
By now, you may be wondering:
‘How can I create true Happiness for myself?’
There is a lot you can do and I’m happy to share my experiences with you:
Meditation. Learn to meditate. This will enable you to control your mind rather than vice versa. There isn’t a better way of understanding and letting go of your mind’s negative self-talk than learning to quieten them and letting them go without accommodating and feeding them. Once you can do this, you’ll be better able to direct your mind and become comfortable with stillness which brings peace and calm.
Be surrounded by positive and inspiring people. Social interaction is one of the key components to living a happy life. Be precious with your time and who you spend it with. Enjoy it with people whom you aspire to as they have a value that you appreciate, people who exude a positive aura, someone whom you enjoy conversing with, someone who motivates you in the right way. Spend quality time with them to nurture yourself. It wasn’t easy for me, but I have learnt to cut-out the naysayers and energy-sucking vampires from my life, and it has made a difference to my well-being.
Eat healthily. Our second brain is the gut! There is plenty of research confirming the importance of looking after your gut as this affects your mental health. The food you eat not only fuels your body but also your mind so it is important that you have a nutritious and balanced diet. I do an Ayurvedic detox every year as a supplemental benefit. This flushes out any toxins from my body. I feel light as a feather afterwards and my mind feels clear. And always listen to your body as we have different gut bacterias and may not digest all foods similarly. Just because the newest superfood is chickpeas doesn’t mean that it will be a superfood for you. It certainly isn’t for me!
Know where you want to go. It is perfectly fine to have some aimless, unplanned and spontaneous days. But a life spent willy-nilly without any goal is unfulfilling. I cannot imagine anything worse than a lifetime of nothingness! We are not made for that. We all need something to work towards, whatever it may be. So set a goal or goals and work towards it. I’m not a fan or believer of the yearly resolutions but I am a big fan of goals and knowing what I want to achieve and putting my energy and time behind them.
These are the things I live by to restore my glow to feel content and well! :)
Happiness is all about living in alignment with your values – knowing what they are, what is important to you and living a healthy and balanced life. When you can create your own happiness from within, nothing and nobody can take that away.