Everyone desires happiness.
Few people realize that it is not a free gift, but a state of mind that needs to be nurtured. Being happy need not always depend on the situation. A willingness to go through the daily grind of life just to enjoy a moment of happiness paves the way for long-lasting joy.
While there’s no school that teaches one to be happy, no one can master the art of staying happy in a day. Taking baby steps in this direction is a great way to move towards the “happiness goal” with a sense of steady progress.
Here are a few skills that can bring you immediate happiness:
1. Persistence – A Constant Attempt to Enjoy the Small and Good Things
Life’s numerous small instances can leave a profound imprint on our minds and hearts; provided we choose to notice them. All those seeking immediate happiness should always keep their eyes and ears open to things that have a positive bearing. Such a skill has the capability of transforming a particular moment into a memory to cherish alongside creating happiness.
If we inculcate a keen sense of admiration through observation, everything around us will become worthy of appreciation. Admiring the natural beauty that surrounds us is the best skill that can bestow immediate pleasure upon observant onlookers.
Happiness is also about fondly recalling all such pleasurable situations, which can ignite joy in you. Activities such as playing with kids, helping someone in need, or even spending quality time with family and close friends can instill happiness and make your day. Go ahead and do all those things that can bestow a sense of pleasure not only upon you, but also others.
2. Gratitude – A Noble Skill
This adage can be applied by everyone as a thanks-giving gesture for all the positive things in life. It is only when we consciously register our blessings that we realize we have plenty of reasons to smile and feel happy about.
For those who wish to look for reasons, simply look around yourself. Your health, family, friends, and even your ability to see, hear, think, and speak are reasons to be thankful for. Think of all those people who are deprived of these privileges and you’ll realize you have innumerable reasons to be happy and grateful.
3. Positive Thinking – Treading the Happy Path
A negative thinker can have endless reasons to feel unhappy. But a positive thinker feels that a single reason of unhappiness overshadows a hundred reasons to smile and be happy. Keeping yourself positive even in adverse situations may be difficult, but it is imperative to maintain your calm and be happy. It helps in sailing through hardships smoothly.
There is immense constructive power that can be experienced through positive thinking. On the flipside, one negative thought can contaminate the mind to resort to unhealthy practices. While negative thoughts drain our minds of happiness, an endeavor to nurture positive thoughts goes a long way in creating appreciable outcomes. Reading inspirational quotes also helps greatly in infusing positive thoughts.
A deliberate attempt to nurture positive thoughts will slowly turn into an acquired skill, allowing the person to look for goodness in everything that happens around him. Even if anything untowardly happens, he will employ a sense of proactivity rather than crib about unhappy situations.
It takes a lot of effort to shun negative thoughts and inculcate a positive frame of mind. It is only when we, as individuals, are focused towards the positive aspects of life that we turn into happy beings for others to mimic and learn from.
4. Healthy Self-Esteem – Feel Its Power
Self-esteem is a noticeable trait that is evident in happy people. Defined as a combination of self-respect and self-confidence, a healthy level of self-esteem helps the person experience a sense of self-worth coupled with the confidence that he is the master of his destiny.
Such people do not seek validation from others, primarily believing that they have the capability to succeed independently. With success, comes happiness that can be enjoyed not only as a momentary pleasure, but also as lifelong joy.
5. Empathy – The Virtue of Giving
Move away from the belief that presenting and receiving materialistic possessions brings happiness to the giver and receiver, and think of times when you brought a smile to the lips of a person through a meaningful and affectionate gesture. An expensive gift can undoubtedly cheer up the receiver and giver, but only until it can be put to use.
The human element attached to valuable gestures goes a long way in building a healthy and happy relationship. While empathy does not cost you money, it does bring happiness through a “win-win” situation.
“Giving is caring.”
This adage, through its insightful coaxing, helps individuals develop the habit of sharing what they have with others. It need not always be money or materials. It can also be time, which can become an instrument of happiness not only for you, but the recipient as well.
Consider a visit to an orphanage or an old-age home, just to spend time with the residents. Such efforts can make you a happy person with the realization that you are the reason behind others’ happiness.
6. Hopefulness – a Positive Thought That Can Bring Goodness in a Gloomy Situation
Irrespective of the situation, people who are hopeful of their future will not get bogged down by the misgivings of life. They are strong-willed individuals, who will not waste a single moment lamenting about an unfortunate event. For them, there is nothing called “ill luck” as their eyes are always set on the hope that they will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel.
7. Mindfulness – the Characteristic of Being ‘Present’ in the Moment
Another secret to immediate happiness is to always live in the “present.” People who are conscious of the current moment they are experiencing tend to be happier than others whose minds keep wandering. If your mind constantly gives in to distractions, the pleasure of the current activity is not felt, damaging the “happiness effect” of that activity.
The “present” is a gift and our key to immediate happiness. People who live in the present are mostly happy, since their minds do not wander with their worries and insecurities. They always stay focused with the task at hand, living the moment. This way, they are safeguarding the pleasure of the current moment and will be able to focus upon a trying situation when it actually crops up.
8. Resilience – the Indomitable Spirit of Bouncing Back after an Adversity
Many a time, life seems unfair. It can push you into a trying situation, which can come in the form of an unexpected loss. However, through resilience, one can get back to his normal state of a stable mind. The pace at which one can wriggle out of the testing situation to a state of normalcy is a measure of one’s resilience.
It is up to you to either fret about the unfortunate incident or move on with your head held high. The ones that brave the adversity will slowly, yet steadily become a part of the “eye of the storm,” bouncing back to normalcy in a short span of time. This can be a prudent way to get back to a happy state of mind.
The famous neurologist and psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl aptly puts forth that happiness cannot be pursued, it ensues.
It brings the profound thought that happiness comes at an unexpected time and simply fades away without our knowledge. It is only when we reach a mental state where we can ward off signs of depression and stress, can we become truly happy.