By Shilpa Gupte
It’s early morning. Your family is fast asleep while you are awake. You appreciate the silence in the house and bask in the serenity as you sip your favorite brew by your window, gazing at the sky as it changes colors from inky blue to an orange hue.
How do you feel as you read these words? Do they evoke a feeling of tranquility?
In the past two months, when the entire world was caught in the web of COVID-19, following social distancing, working from home, or just staying indoors to stay safe, our hearts filled with despair as we sought moments of peace and happiness to lift our spirits.
How would things unfold? When would life get back to normal? How will we cope with the uncertainty?
These questions haunted us night and day making us wonder if we would ever find a ray of hope, some moments of joy amidst the gloom, isn’t it? Even today, we pray for normalcy to return to our world, and we pray for happiness — an invisible entity that we fail to notice even as it sits right across from us!
HAPPINESS IS WITHIN OUR REACH
Happiness is always present by our side, in the little, insignificant things; in places where we fail to look for it in sheer desperation.
Sadly, for us, it takes a crisis to realize the true meaning of life, the true meaning of happiness, and the places to go looking for it.
So, how about we take a look at the places and things where we are sure to find happiness so that the next time we are desperate for it, we know exactly where to find it?
PILLARS OF HAPPINESS WHEEL:
Our people — our family and our friends — are our constant source of happiness. During the lockdown, when the entire family was at home, together, we had countless moments of happiness as we spent time with them.
With work keeping us away from our family for so long, spending so many days with them gave us such a beautiful chance to reconnect.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we somehow tend to forget what it is to really be present in each other’s life. I am sure the past couple of months has taught us to cherish these intimate moments.
All we need to do is give each other the time — the one precious commodity that slips through our fingers — and some much-needed attention.
Our pets have a calming effect on our minds. Their presence raises our feel-good hormones, lowers our stress, and gives us a sense of contentment.
Spend time grooming them, or take them for walks or play, and experience unbridled joy.
Doodling, even when done absentmindedly, calms the mind, and reduces anxiety. Just imagine how good it would be to spend time regularly pursuing a hobby that helps us discover our hidden talents! A hobby will also help you realize your strengths, and your artistic bent of mind, and could give a whole new direction to your life.
Doing something we are passionate about increases the chances of being happy while doing that activity even in the form of ‘work’.
Just pick an activity that makes you instantly euphoric and follow it. You will find moments of joy even during the gloomiest of times.
Exercise, and your body, and mind will thank you. Working out ups the serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain giving your mood an instant boost.
You will feel happiness even after a half-hour walk or jog, so you can imagine how cheerful you will feel working out every day.
There are a variety of exercise forms to choose from. Just pick the one that suits your health, body type, and schedule, and get going.
A walk in the cool evening breeze or the gentle, early morning sunlight uplifts the mood and rejuvenates the spirit. Or for a change of scene, you could try going for a walk in the rain. Remember how joyous you felt when as a kid you splashed about in the puddles on the street in heavy rains?
Music in any form gives happiness and a sense of peace to a distressed mind. It’s therapy for so many of us. Add some dancing to it and you can forget your sorrows. Just dance like no one’s watching and there will be happy dancing alongside you!
When feeling miserable, imagine a favorite place, and see how happy it makes you. A change of scene always helps relieve tension. But, when one can’t step outdoors to visit a different place, one can always bring the place to mind and lose oneself in its beauty.
Happiness is present all around us. All we need to do is look for it in the right places; in places, we would never explore otherwise. Let’s not expect happiness to be a tangible thing that we will find on spending money, but an emotion that we will experience if we look at life a tad differently.