Gratitude Is Good For You

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Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation. It’s  a mindful acknowledgment of all that we have been given. When we focus on the abundance in our lives, we discover a greater capacity for generosity, cheerfulness, and contentment.

Expressing gratitude is a rewarding habit that affirms the grace of the giver. Gratitude opens our hearts, encourages us to savor each gift that comes our way, and magically frees us from jealously guarding our possessions. It lets us celebrate today rather than waiting for the next level of accomplishment or wealth. It’s a reminder that one can always find reason to be glad.

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10 Ways To Be Happier!

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Few years ago, on a morning like any other, I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life. I decided on the spot to begin a systematic study of happiness. It did. I made myself happier. And along the way I learned a lot about how to be happier. Here are those lessons.

  1. Exercise more—7 minutes might be enough.
  2. Sleep more—you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions.
  3. Move closer to work—a short commute is worth more than a big house.
  4. Spend time with friends and family—don’t regret it on your deathbed.
  5. Go outside—happiness is maximized outdoors.
  6. Help others—100 hours a year is the magical number.
  7. Practice smiling—it can alleviate pain.
  8. Plan a trip—try it alone.
  9. Meditate—rewire your brain for happiness.
  10. Practice gratitude— increase both happiness and life satisfaction.

I 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 that are actually backed up by science. All the best.

 

Why Happiness Is So Important?

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Happiness is so important to us, both as individuals and as a world, primarily because happiness is really all there is. As human beings, although we possess cognitive abilities and are highly thought oriented, the quality of our lives is ultimately entirely determined by our emotions. For example, which life would you rather have; that of a very rich, attractive, successful, healthy, powerful person who despite all of those blessings is very unhappy or that of a very poor, unattractive, unsuccessful, unhealthy and powerless person who is nevertheless fortunate enough to be very happy?

Considering happiness within the framework of good and evil, or right and wrong, we find that what is evil or wrong is only undesirable because it diminishes the happiness of an individual or group, and that what is good and right is only so because it increases the happiness of and individual or group.

Happiness, which includes the pleasant emotions and moods that comprise it, is really the only aspect of our lives with any ultimate value. Aristotle described it as the highest good. Of what value is any good except that it facilitates the happiness, or greater happiness, of human beings and other life on our planet?

Happiness is not only important to our personal and societal lives, it’s also important to our global community. Unhappiness breeds wars and terrorism. Countries who unjustly attack other countries are doing so because they are not happy with certain international realities. As individuals and as societies, happiness is both our highest goal and an extremely effective means of achieving many of our other cherished goals. Both as individuals and as a planet, happiness is our ultimate reason for living.  Happiness is really all there is and all there ever will be; all else is only a means to happiness.

The biggest lesson that one can from great philosophers like Aristotle and Chanakya is the sense of achievement, as well as the sense of fulfillment, are equally important. You cannot run behind your goals all the time without spending time with people you love. Developing the bond of love, being happy, having faith is an essential part of human life.

Forgive And Feel Happier

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Few people realize the huge impact the ability to forgive can have on their happiness, nor do most people think of this as a skill that they need to teach and practice with their children. But important it is: forgiving people tend to be happier, healthier, and more empathetic.

The inability to forgive, on the other hand, tends to make us into those people—we all know a few—who can’t seem to stop plotting revenge or ruminating about how they’ve been wronged. Researchers find unforgiving people tend to be hateful, angry, and hostile—which also makes them anxious, depressed, and neurotic. So, unless we are okay with our children embodying those qualities, we need to teach them how and why to forgive others.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.

Forgiving is tough business. It takes courage and resolve to let go of negative feelings when we’ve been wronged. Fortunately, it gets easier with practice; especially if we start with the small stuff and get in the habit early on—and it makes us stronger and better people.

3 Types Of Happiness As Per Bhagavad Gita

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This is a whole new thing, a very unique perspective on happiness that the Bhagavad Gita speaks about and it’s in the very last chapter. Speaking to Arjuna, Lord Krishna says:

O best of the warriors, now please hear from me about the three kinds of happiness by which the conditioned soul enjoys, and by which he sometimes comes to the end of all distress. Bhagavad Gita 18:36

We’re talking about three different types of happiness, three different categories of so-called joy or joyful experience. And sometimes by experiencing one of these particular types of joy, it may help a person come to the end of all distress. These types are decsribed as modes of material nature:

  1. Mode of goodness: In this condition, you’ll see people being more attracted to simple lifestyle, natural kind of lifestyle, not being overly agitated and driven crazy by so many desires and things. People that live in a more peaceful existence.
  2. Mode of passion:  This is usually epitomized by intense desire and longing; so, this is intense agitation. The creative impulse is because of this mode of passion and so people are driven to build massive cities and to engage in passionate undertaking. But the result, the end result of this mode of passion is distress; it’s inescapable.
  3. Mode of ignorance: It’s epitomized by laziness, sloth in general, a very depressed mental and physical state or a state of intoxication when you cannot think clearly and you’re unaware of how you’re behaving and what you’re doing and it always ends in darkness; in darkness and great distress, in different forms of craziness or insanity.

So, it’s not that a person—even within a day, a person may be feeling in different times the influence of these three different forms of energy in different times and responding differently to different types of stimulation. The quest for happiness or pleasure is also very shaped by which one of these types of energy or a combination of them that we’re being influenced by.

3 Keys To Happiness

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Something to Do. How many times have we felt unhappy with life because we simply had too much idle time? I know it has happened in my own life. When I get bored, I get down, and I only snap out of it when I start to get busy again. The thing is, we have to recognize this pattern and stay busy to keep our mood elevated. Find a hobby. Volunteer your free time. Learn to cook. Coach youth sports. There are endless possibilities for something to do if we take the time to look.

  1. Do What You Love: You must find that calling that you were meant to do and go for it regardless of the pay. If you get good at anything there will always be a sector of people who are willing to pay it. This way you won’t be counting down the years left in your career, but counting up the years that you’ve been doing it and hoping for more. There is no retirement for me, I’ll do this till the day I die. There is more to life than just getting by.
  2. Have What You Need: Things don’t make us happy, they may be exciting at first but once the thrill wears off you are just left with bills in the mail causing even more stress than before. If you minimize and simplify your life one step at a time you will create more freedom and free time to do the things that you enjoy. Money does not equal happiness, it is more just a tool to help you get the things you need. Don’t just buy things that you want, it’s a never-ending cycle. There is always another gadget to buy, another subscription to join, only causing you to fall further in debt and making it so you have to work more.
  3. Help Other People: They say if you want to be happy focus all of your attention on making other people happy, and if you want to be miserable focus only on making yourself happy. We like to think we are independent but, in fact, we are interdependent beings.

If I put you on a desert island with nothing but your computer and Facebook friends you would end up being extremely lonely and very unhappy over time, we need each other.

Compassion, or concern for others, helps to humanize us and connect us making us feel like we are part of something bigger and, in return, making us feel better about ourselves and happier in the process. Just start in small ways to care about others, it doesn’t happen overnight. You can train your mind to become anything you want, it just happens slowly over time. Set your intention to be a more compassionate and caring person and as time goes by you will become just that and end up a much happier person than when you began.

10 Tips To Help You Choose To Be Happy

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  1. Find the good and positive in every situation: This is not difficult. In every situation, there must be something good, happy or amusing. Why not focus on it? Your mind might drag you down, to think about negativity and difficulties, because that’s how it is accustomed to think. Don’t let it. Endeavor to change the way you look at things, focusing more on the bright side of life.
  2. Focus on solutions: It is very easy to find problems and difficulties everywhere, because it requires nothing, but a negative attitude. Instead of focusing on the problems, focus on solutions.
  3. Watch your thoughts: Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, change them to pleasant thoughts. Do this time and again.
  4. Watch funny movies: Prefer to watch funny comedies that make you laugh, rather than thrillers and violent movies, especially before bed time.
  5. Reading: Each day, find the time to read a few pages from an inspiring book or article.
  6. Look at what you have already accomplished and focus on it: Often, we start the day with the intention of completing several goals or tasks, but we are unable to complete them. At the end of the day you might feel frustrated and unhappy, because you haven’t been able to do all of those things.
  7. Each day do something good for yourself: It can be something small, such buying a book, baking a cake, going to the theatre, visiting friends, or inviting friends to your house.
  8. Seek the company of happy people: Happiness is contagious. If you are in the company of happy people, there is a great chance that you will be infected by their happiness, provided you don’t focus on unhappiness while in their company.
  9. Don’t take anything too personally: Do your best to stay a little detached when things do not progress as want them to progress. Don’t allow negative remarks or behaviour affect you mind and feelings. You might not succeed the first, second or third time, but if you are persistent, you will eventually succeed.
  10. Listen to relaxing, uplifting music: It is said that music is the language of the soul. Listen often, to relaxing music, or any kind of music that uplifts your spirit.