In #1 The Smiley Story (the first post in ‘Making Happiness a Habit’ series) I have shared a personal anecdote about how I came to realize the importance of ‘Being happy in the PRESENT. While there are days when I slip up, one thing never changes- I always keep trying:) I would love to share with all my readers how I go about it and if anyone decides to do the same, I’m sure this will help coz it works for me every single time!
To ensure that every day in my life is filled with rainbow, sunshine, smiles and good vibes, I follow a simple 3 step process-
1. Live in the Present coz it’s a present!
If I ever find myself worrying about the future, I force myself to stop and live in the present (after all, worrisome thoughts are just fanciful imaginations working in overdrive and that too in the wrong direction!):P When I find myself over-thinking about anything, I put a stop to it by consciously making an effort to divert my mind. I do that by asking myself – ‘What am I doing now?’ This makes me fully aware and conscious of my present surroundings.
As a result of this question, I am immediately drawn back to the present moment .This helps me give my full focus and attention to any activity at hand – be it eating food, studying, writing a blog post, enjoying a day out with friends, reading a book or even watching a movie and therefore I am able to fully immerse in the moment and enjoy every experience. I believe there is true wisdom in Alice Morse Earle, an American historian and author’s words – “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
2. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Whenever I am unhappy, I always make an effort to think about all the things that I am grateful for, even though that’s the last thing I want to do in that moment. I start by thinking about all the things that I’m grateful for in the present and all the things that I had been blessed with in the past which still continues to be a part of my life- such as my family, my friends, my home………
I count all my blessings on my fingertips and gradually the list increases with such an alarming speed that I finally lose count (which makes me all the more happy! ;P) As I start thinking with this new perspective, a whole new world opens up in front of me- a world that’s filled with love, warmth and contentment. A sense of peace and calm fills my heart and all those things that made me unhappy begin to feel insignificant in comparison and then, altogether disappears like a bunny inside a magician’s hat. In the end, what remains is pure, unadulterated happiness! ( Here I must give full credit to the book “The magic” by Rhonda Byrne which made me realize the magical power of Gratitude which I try to emulate every day.) So even if it feels like a struggle, try and keep trying till you don’t develop an Attitude of Gratitude.
3. Choose Happiness- Always!
I believe that to be happy or not is a choice that we have to make, every single day of our life. In the end it all boils down to how you choose to react to a particular situation or event. You can either try to find a positive side to it and be happy no matter what or instantly attack the situation like a bird of prey with angry shouts and sharp claws of criticism and complaints. The truth is, how you react is always a CHOICE, and the ability to make that choice solely rests with you.
Whenever I’m faced with an unfavourable circumstance that threatens to upset me, I quickly remind myself that my first and foremost priority in life is to be happy. I believe that happiness never depends on outer circumstances, it always depends on us. The adage ‘Happiness is an inside job’ cant be further away from the truth and that’s why I know for a fact that the only person who has the power to make me happy is Me.
The day we acknowledge and accept this truth is the day we truly begin to lead a happy life. To acquire this optimistic attitude does require constant and daily practice and making the choice to be happy- no matter what, is something I endeavour to do every single day. It is with small but concrete efforts that I try to make Happiness a Habit.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
― John Lennon
While I completely agree with the legendary John Lennon, I would like to take his beautiful thought one step further and say- Why wait to be happy till you grow up? Instead, decide right now that you want to be happy and just go for it! 😀 Don’t you think that if we all resolve to be happy in the here and now, life would be simply ah-mazing? This, according to me is the secret to a true and everlasting Happiness 😀