The essentials for being happy

by Chaitali

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

At this point, most of us are quarantined worldwide and there are only limited things that we can do right now to keep us entertained or happy. Although, when you look around, there are a group of people who are happy being locked up in a house, while the others are losing their grip.

Being a counsellor and therapist has taught me the basic process of helping my clients reach their full potential, whereby they can help themselves. Not all are able to get help from professionals, hence, I’ve simplified the process and put them into steps that can be incorporated in our daily lives. These pointers are general and help us stay happy at all times, irrespective of the circumstances. However, if you can, please sort help from professionals whenever needed.

We often equate happiness in terms of reaching somewhere or achieving a goal but miss the essence of enjoying where we are headed.

Take a moment and contemplate on the following statement:

“I’ll feel happy when…”

There are a million ways to finish the statement of which none actually give us that what we are looking for. Most of the times it’s a never ending cycle of wanting more.

So how do we break the cycle?

The answer in fact lies in a question — If you don’t enjoy getting there, how do you except to enjoy being there?

You can’t force a person to reach the top of the mountain when he hates hiking. He will despise the very challenges which are usually pleasurable to a hiker. Similarly, if we do not enjoy the thrill of overcoming challenges, learning the lessons and dreaming of the goal, it’s unlikely we will enjoy reaching the end goal.

However, there need not be a constant strive to set goals. Happiness can be created at any point. Here is how:

Doing something: This is for our body.

Completing basic tasks keep us going. Therefore it’s essential to keep doing something, anything that requires you to move and think. It could be as small as completing a chore or checking off things from the to-do list. It need not necessarily have to be something you enjoy, but something that could be done. Eg: tiding your room, doing the dishes etc.

Loving something: This is for our soul.

Doing something that you enjoy. Something that makes you forget time. This could be anything from indulging in a hobby to taking the time out to pamper yourself.

Hoping and imagining: This is for our mind.

We have often been told that our thoughts create our reality and it is true. Hence it’s paramount that we have something to look forward to, something to be hopeful for. And if there is nothing you can conjure up then creating and dreaming up fantasy lands is equally invigorating and healing. Go ahead, be a hero and create your story in your head.

Finding meaning: This is to keep us going.

One of the most important aspects of living is to give it meaning. How often have we found meaning of events in hindsight? Or heard the cliché “it all happens for a reason”? The aim is to find your WHY, and keep learning and growing. Even the most tiniest event can give us lessons because the world operates of the principle of cause and effect! If you know the cause, you can alter the effect.

In therapy we often try and reach the root cause to help clients have insights/ find meaning. And it is done by simply facilitating the process of doing certain tasks, exploring something we love in or around ourselves, visualising what it would feel like to be happy and finally having the most powerful insights to grow from. It’s time to start creating our own happiness.

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