Happiness and well-being of the people are the new indicators to measure the country’s actual progress. Governments all over the world are beginning to recognize the relevance of creating and sustaining the happiness of the citizens, which is now influencing the public policies.
The latest “The World Happiness Report 2017” published under a UN initiative, is a matter of concern for us as a nation and also as individuals. India ranked a low 122ndon a list of the 155 world’s happiest countries, dropping four slots from last year and coming behind China, Pakistan, Nepal and Iraq.
Experiencing happiness forms the key element of most of our pursuits in life, from the time we are born.
If you ask people why are they not happy, typically,the fingers would point at others or outside situations. A difficult boss at workplace, a sour relationship, an annoying traffic jam or the troubling domestic help, no promotions, a troublesome world, and the list can go on and on. Seldom do we take responsibility for our suffering. The question arises, can we take ownership of our own happiness? The answer is – Yes, of course!
So what measures do we take to cheer us up and make our lives happier? In quest for a moment of happiness we seek comfort and excitement in that which could be perceived through our physical senses.Most of us when feeling a little sad or depressed go out and shop for clothes and accessories while some others look out for someone to make them happy. Some grab a chocolate bar or an ice-cream. Still, others pack up and head for a vacation. All these provide us just a fleeting moment of happiness and then we are back to where we were.
Remember, that no one or nothing in this world can make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Being happy is a choice. A choice to take care of the mind and the inner self. The first and most important step is understanding the inner self – the spiritual entity.
The eyes of those awakened to their true self would not be drawn to anyone’s flaws or weaknesses. Nor are they drawn to other people’s attainments because the one with awakened self is complete with all attainments. They are complete in their nature, in their relationships and contacts. Such a person will not experience anything lacking in their treasures of attainment and because of being full in the mind they will remain content.
Below are some simple happiness mantras that we can be practiced in everyday living.
Don’t Wait, Be Happy NOW
Most of us wait for that perfect job, that dream house, an ideallife partneror a relationship,a perfect healthy body to be happy. We postpone our happiness into the future, instead of relishing the present moment. Enjoy the journey to achieving goals of life. Embrace the beauty of the imperfect world.Don’t put your happiness on hold till everything in your live is perfect. Be happy now!
Be grateful for everything you have. Each morning be grateful that you are alive. Be grateful for the gifts of life – no matter how big or small.Look around to see the ones who are deprived. So many things we may have taken for granted. Take time out and be thankful for them.
• Write down at least 10 things/ achievements / incidents / gifts that you are grateful for in your life. You can add to the list everyday.
• Stick this list on to the wall or keep it near you bed, and read this list everyday.
• Remind yourself of the goodness of life!
Stop Complaining, Start Accepting
Acceptance brings contentment. Contentment leads to happiness. The list is long when ones begin to complain about things in their lives. There is dissatisfaction with the self and also with the life of others. The habit of complaining has become so deep that some complain about things which are beyond their control. Waking up in the morning some grumble why does the sun rise so early? During a chilling winter night some enjoy a bonfire while others complain about the chill. Instead of respecting the natural phenomenon and adjusting oneself, they wish to alter even the sunrise and sunset.
The constant complaining mode hampers our ability to be content. When we are wearing the glasses of a critic and grumbling, we lose the opportunity at hand. Each moment of life has something to offer us. A positive approach is actually a realistic approach. Accept a person or a situation as it is, and not what it should or ought to be. Needless to say, being continually discontent erodes our happiness. Therefore, instead of complaining, start accepting.
• Write down the top complaints in your life.
• In another column write down the action plan – What can I do in my capacity to alleviate to improve the situation?
• Next time the complaint pops up – accept the situation and remind yourself of the action plan.
There is an ancient story available in various versions. A villagerwas on his knees and searching for something on the ground under a street lamp. A friend passed by and asked him what was he looking for. The villager replied, “I’m looking for my key.” The friend offered to help him and started looking for the lost key. After thoroughly searching for over an hour the key was not to be found. The friend asked, “Are you sure you lost it here?” “No,” replied the villager, “I lost it inside my house.” “Then why are you looking here?” “Because the light is here!” said the villager.
We begin our quest “outside” to find what is missing within. Majority find emptiness and darkness when they attempt for a search inside because we have forgotten our true self. The real self, the soul is full of peace, happiness and love. When we forget our real identity as souls, welook ‘out’ to fill the gap ‘within’.
To have wealth or material possessions is not wrong. However, it cannot be substituted for that which is abstract and spiritual. The awareness of the self as a spiritual entity the soul, enables us to explore latent qualities of peace and happiness.There is a need to put on the switch of self awareness and explore the treasures within.
• Every time you want to buy an expensive dress or spurge on a gadget – Ask yourself do I really need that or am I trying to fill an emotional need within?
• People, things, places do not make me happy. I am already peaceful and happy!
A sure way to remain content and happy is to practice meditation, to be aware of your true self, the soul sitting inside this physical body and connect with the Spiritual Father, the Supreme Soul, the ocean of love, peace, happiness, strength and bliss.
Meditation is time taken for quiet reflection and silence, away from the hustle and bustle of daily living. Taking time out enables us to come back to a centred place of being. In our modern world, the pace of life is growing ever faster and we are losing touch with our true inner peace and power.
It is a state of being in that place just beyond every day consciousness, which is where spiritual empowerment begins. Spiritual awareness gives us the power to choose good and positive thoughts over those which are negative and wasteful. We start to respond to situations, rather than just reacting to them. We begin to live with harmony, we create better and happier, healthier relationships and change our lives in a most positive way.
I sit comfortably and gently inhale and exhale. My whole body is relaxed.
I reflect on how I can turn what seems to be negative into something positive…
I let go of any negative thoughts, lightening the load in my mind…
Feeling light inside …
I focus my mind on the positive …….
Visualising the problem…choosing to see it as a challenge…
Visualising any mistakes… seeing them as opportunities to learn…
Tuning my mind into a more positive outlook … my day begins to change
The bottom line is that happiness is a daily decision.