Happiness. It sounds so simple. It’s easy to be happy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to be happy. Yet, so many of us are caught up in work and our busy lives, we forget what it means to be happy. We were born happy, some of us grew up happy and the rest of us lost happiness once we succumbed to the pressures of life as an adult.
So what happened? Why are we less happier than we should be given life is much easier? We don’t have to worry about predators or hunting to find food, we have fewer problems than our ancestors and yet we appear to be unhappier. (Right? This must be the case…)
So how to find happiness? Here are a few things that might help:
Believe it or not, but the act that brings us the most happiness is helping others. Yes, as humans, self-preservation comes first and we may not have the time to go down to that homeless shelter when we could be watching an episode of Prison Break instead.
But even a small act of kindness such as helping that old lady carry her bag will arouse happier feelings within you. It’s something to do with being human. Inherently, we are full of empathy and want to help others, however, as we grow up and focus on goals, we don’t have the time for this. And we forget how it makes us feel. A lot of people dedicate their whole life to simply helping others because they know that the true purpose of life is to help others. As the saying goes, “You rise by lifting others”.
Smiling makes you happier and when you are happier, you smile. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You see, we can fool the brain into thinking that we are happy when we smile.
When we smile, we move certain muscles in our face. This muscle movement information goes back to the brain — and it reasons that you must be happy. So you become happy even if you’re not! (The brain is not as smart as you think – well maybe it is, but it also has its moments)
On the plus point, smiling at others also brightens up their day 🙂 and this may go viral and come back to you. Like in the youtube videos.
Relaxing, Yoga, Meditation and Exercise
Stress is one of the biggest reasons that we are unhappy. We are stressed because we are constantly worrying. Well, here’s some breaking news for you. Worrying does not solve any problems, so why worry? Timon from The Lion King puts it well, “Hakuna Matata”.
Yes, it’s easier said than done.
Therefore, undertaking activities that relieve stress such as relaxing (doing something you love), yoga, meditation and even exercise, will leave you feeling happier. This is because these activities take your mind off the things that make you worry and in the process reduce stress. Something to do with the chemicals released in the body.
We are constantly re-wiring our brains. Scientists are discovering that this is possible even when we are fully-grown adults.
If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts over a pro-longed period of time, you’ll be unhappy. And we are inherently biased towards the negative.
If we make positive thinking a habit and think positive thoughts over a prolonged period of time, we will be happier. Try it, there’s nothing to lose!
Friends and Family
Spending time with loved ones definitely makes us happier. As humans, our social circles are very important — we live as a community. It’s impossible to live alone and be happy because we gain happiness from our social communities.
Simply being part of a group — belonging somewhere — makes us happy. You don’t have to even say anything. Just being there – with those you love – will make you happier. It’s a human thing. (Chimps live this way too)
Spending time with friends, family, lovers and even other interest groups/communities will makes us happier.
One of our favourite activities that makes us happier is travelling! Visiting new places, discovering new things and experiencing new activities.
Travelling enriches our brains, reduces stress and opens our mind to all the beautiful things out there that we never knew existed.
Meeting new people from different cultures also enriches our knowledge and widens our perspectives. Constant learning and knowledge building will leave you feeling gratified, informed and happier.
One of the main reasons we are unhappy is because of our expectations.
Yes, it’s important to have goals so that we achieve something big in life but as they say expectations lead to disappointments.
The Buddha said, “Desire is the cause of all suffering”. And he is right. When you stop expecting things and take things as they come, you will be happier.
From our point of view, we struggle with this. Because if we have no goals/expectations, how can we improve as individuals?
We suppose it’s a matter of balancing gratitude with expectation. We asked our founder who replied as follows:
“Every day when I wake up, I think about all the things I’m grateful for and then think about all the things I would like to achieve. I then work towards those things. If I achieve them, I add them to my gratitude list. If I don’t achieve them, I still add them to my gratitude list. Because everything happens for the best. I always learn something even when it doesn’t go my way.”
This reasoning sounds cool to us. What do you think?
Hope you enjoyed reading this article and we hope you find your jar of happiness (or rather create it) 😉 Let us know how you find your happiness.