To me, it’s been years I’ve chasing after happiness and don’t seem to be able to catch it? What does HAPPINESS look like?
I looked back asking the same questions to all my friends, colleagues, family and strangers, what are their Happiness? Their answers are, it’s a bigger job, higher salary, a Penthouse, fancy car, an adorning partner, determined for nice abs, getting thinner- such as “ anorexic “ or any number of things that society have deemed would make us happy.
People always say money can’t buy you happiness. Should we really forget cash though? I’ve forgotten my wallet a few times when going out, and it’s never made me happy at all.
Here is why people often look so miserable. They have not yet know the secret of Happiness lies within each one of us.
I remember traveled to Italy, having a chat with an older white lady who eventually bought me a Gelato. As she handed the treat to me, she wore a wide, discomforting cosmetic smile and spoke through her clenched teeth as she shook her head in a playful, Italian gesture.
“Who’s the happiest girl in the world, huh? Who is the happiest girl in the world now, sweetie?” I did not answer.
My silence was not the result of not knowing the happiest girl in the world at that very moment. I knew her. It was Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love” in Rome.
But I could not respond to the lady because I took offence at how she was infantilising me on the first day I wore my new pair of jelly boots and felt like a little woman. I could see the lady’s face wrinkle into disappointment as I gave her a cold stare instead of allowing gelato to transform me into a happy little girl — the happiest in the world!
That memory was triggered a few years ago when I attended seminar to deal with Physiological Behavior . It became evident that whenever I thought about who the happiest girl in the world was possibly, it was always some other girl.
The secret is that happiness is a choice. Unexpected and seemingly negative circumstances happen to everyone. Where to begin with. How we deal with these experiences determine whether we are happy?
Here are my secrets to share, what is a Happiness to me;
- Admit your mistakes and stop blaming others for being unhappy. There are times when it is natural to feel sad. We grieve the loss of loved ones, for broken dreams and other meaningful reasons. To me everything that we have now is temporary and although things will never be the same again, there is a future we can shape.
- Make someone else happy. Helping others enhances our self-esteem and sense of life purpose; both of which are key factors in increasing our happiness. Make a habit of being considerate and giving to others; it will reward you with an increased happiness set-point.
- Be kind and start giving rather than asking. Make it a habit to find reasons to be grateful. Especially when you are feeling down or sad, change your mood by searching for and giving thanks for the good things in your life. Looking for the existing positives will increase your feelings of happiness by putting your focus on the things that bring you joy.
- Exercise. I train my mind and body with Pilate. When we move our bodies, positive endorphins are activated and soon we’re feeling better! Spend regular time stretching mindfully and moving; your body and mind will thank you.
- Smile more. Our facial expressions influence our moods. When we are frowning, we feel pain deeper and are sadder. Just moving your facial muscles into a smile will trigger an internal process of shifting your mood to a happier one. Soon, you will feel better and the smile will come naturally from within.
- Travel. To me travel heal everything. Take many photos as you like. Explore to local ground, walk, talk, behave like locals and learn new culture and languages. Trust me is lot’s fun than having a relationship.
Life is a journey, things happen for reasons that we may not understand at the time. Trust that life is unfolding as it does for good reasons, and you will be happier each day. It’s your life you get to choose, choose happiness.