Happiness is that elusive butterfly that almost everyone wishes to catch but very few succeed. Some think money will bring happiness their way while some others associate happiness with a better job, bigger house, a fancy car, or a bigger pay package. Yet, what many forget is that you need to take an inward journey rather than look outside to become happy. So, what exactly is the sure route to happiness? Well, it’s simple. Just be generous and practice gratitude. Love and gratitude are the simplest ways to bring happiness into your life. No matter where you are in life, find something that you are thankful for. It could be the food on your plate, the clothes you wear, or the electricity that makes all your gadgets work. Being thankful for what you have right now in your life will help you start attracting more such things that make you happy.
Being generous is another way to attract happiness. Perhaps you have heard “Money can buy happiness” but in reality, you can buy happiness only when you spend the money for someone else’s benefit. In fact, connecting with other human beings and feeling a part of something that’s much bigger than yourself is a sure-fire way of bringing happiness into your life. Feed someone, donate your old clothes, volunteer at an old-age home or get involved in any other activity that helps you to give back to the society. Being generous doesn’t always mean you have to donate or spend money. Spending your time and effort could be equally good as long as the goal and intention is to do something meaningful for others.
Takers vs. Givers
Happiness can be yours if you transform yourself from being a taker to being a giver. Usually, takers are those who pursue happiness and try to take as much as is possible from life using means and ways that make it happen as soon as possible. But such instant gratification doesn’t bring long-lasting happiness. Worse, not getting what they seek could make them extremely miserable.
Contrast this with givers who seek a meaningful life. It’s true that giving could be tough to practice for everyone but in the long run, it would be fulfilling. Just imagine how you felt after watching a hilarious movie and a few hours your spend feeding hungry people. The happiness after watching the movie would probably last for a few hours, while the satisfaction and joy you got from feeding those hungry people would perhaps be remembered even after 6 months. So, how do you practice being generous and thankful? Here’s a blueprint that can help.
- Say “I love you” and “thank you” more often: Love is the most powerful emotion that can bring happiness. So, don’t shy away from telling your loved ones how much they mean to you by grabbing every opportunity to say “I love you”. Spend quality time with friends, family and the people you love as they would make a big difference to how you feel. Another powerful way is to say “Thank you”. From the cab driver that helps you reach your office and the lift operator who operates the lift, to the restaurant waiter who serves you, show your gratitude to people by saying aloud “Thank You”. Appreciating people (with an accompanying smile, if possible) would make you feel good and happy.
- Maintain a gratitude diary: Get into the habit of writing what you are grateful for. It could be having cordial relationships, a satisfying job, time to pursue your hobbies, skills to earn money or even something as simple as the clean water to drink, food to eat and a bed to sleep in. The key is to reinforce your belief into having a good life and showing your gratitude for the same in written words. Even when you are going through hardships, you should have at least a few things to be thankful for, which you can put in your diary and derive strength from them.
- Give without any expectations: Be it money, time or effort, donate them for a greater cause without the expectation of getting anything in return. When you are doing something selflessly for others, you will break the shackles of “Me-Myself-Mine” and find a purpose and meaning in life that would bring you long-lasting happiness.
- Practice visualization: Train your mind to see yourself in happy conditions even when the going gets tough. Studies have shown that with meditation and mindful techniques, you can train your mind and subconscious into believing things, which would soon get manifested in the physical world. So, visualize yourself in happy circumstances and feel the joy brushing over you to make the images you see in your mind become real soon.
Being happy isn’t that tough if you know where to look for it. Practice the steps mentioned above and you would no longer have to depend on outer stimulations to stay happy.