Can you remember the last time you genuinely felt happy – the last time you didn’t worry about anything else but just smiled like a five-year-old?
In this era of constant emotional rollercoaster, the question of finding happiness is often shot at different social pages. And the number of answers available on the web about happiness is quite plenty – some people suggest to focus on mindfulness; that way the mind can be trained to focus more on inner peace; some say to believe in the philosophy of ‘accept more expect less’ whereas some theories even state that human bodies are not constructed to stay happy.
Now, after reading all those articles, and hearing hours of those motivational speeches, podcasts on finding happiness, you don’t feel uplifted – do you?
You feel like you are back to square one again; and the damn question is still knocking in your head – can you really make your happiness stay?
To be honest, the answer is you can’t. You can never feel happy all the time – it’s just the way of this universe to put you in a lot of turmoil so that you value happiness when it’s given (cause it is human nature to never appreciate the things they are given plenty).
So, now the question remains – is there no way to find the happiness you have been chasing your whole life?
Now, I am neither a psychologist nor a philosopher – I am just another flawed human being like you who is trying to find peace, happiness amidst every cyclone that comes my way.
And I am only here to share the ways that I find useful whenever I feel like my whole world is falling apart; when my thoughts stuck in a destructive emotional loop.
1. Focus on the bright memories:
We are all human beings. And, we all have days when we want to break all our stuff and scream at the top of our lungs. It’s nothing unusual.
But in those moments, most of the time, our mind tricks us into focusing, only on the black spots of our lives – for those moments the black dots become prominent; the black dots control all our existence.
I used to do that too; every time my life felt stuck, I wanted to run away from all; I overlooked all the good things that have ever happened to me. I only focused on the black spots; I tended to believe that happiness is an illusion ‘every one chases but no one ever reaches it.’
But as I grew up, I realized a few things. A person’s happiness depends on a lot of things – and the most unique part is, it changes with time. The choices, the priorities, the environment, with every minute change in these aspects the definition of feeling happy changes.
Now let me tell you the hack that I use, every time I feel unhappy, sad, depressed, or panicked – I close my eyes for those few seconds and take a deep breath. I cease my inner voice for a moment and dive into my memories.
While rummaging through the flashbacks I try to remember all the stuff that happened well for me; the last time I laughed before crying like a maniac; the last time someone’s presence made me smile; the last time I felt immensely contented because I achieved a milestone; the last time I felt proud of myself because I learned something new and the last time, I felt all the gushes of happiness flowing through my veins when everything felt ‘it is always gonna be alright in the end.’
All these happy memories sink into my heart; they embrace me tight; they convince me that these sad black dots are just mere little dots; the white part is still there to focus on.
And I am not saying reminiscing the happy parts of my life takes my sadness away or just instantly uplifts me to a happy place or makes my troubles easier.
It just gives me the strength to fight; it reminds me that I will be alright again; I will feel that smile again; I will feel that happiness again that I thought was long lost.
2. Finding happiness in little things:
If you are anything like me who has read countless articles and heard dozens of mindfulness podcasts about finding peace and happiness, you have probably heard of this exact same phase loads of times.
Now, believe me, I am not going to repeat those philosophical words again. Just like I said before, I am only sharing things that help me to cope with my negative emotions and give me a heads-up to work, fight, love, and survive…
Currently I am in that phase of my life – where nothing is stable on the table. If I try to balance one side, the other side leans to the ground. And it creates such an emotional typhoon for me every other day to let me focus, to figure out the things I want to do, I want to achieve and, in the meantime, I am also trying to convince my traditional parents as well.
So, I needed to be tranquil; I needed to stop the chaos inside my head and find my happy places again. That’s when I started to celebrate little things in my life – every time something little happened in my life that made me smile; that made me feel butterflies in the stomach (not only love gives you butterflies; sometimes achievements do) I embraced that feeling.
I was contented the day I crossed 2K views on a short on my YouTube channel; I jumped on my bed when for the first time, my story got published on a website; I smiled at reading the first positive review from a stranger about my story, about my unique writing style on the internet.
Because one thing I understood while growing up, happiness doesn’t wait for you in the future, neither it gets stuck in the past – it’s something that you feel in the present. So, I don’t believe in holding up all the excitements, the happiness that I feel.
Cause what if I don’t get to experience that next big thing anyway; what if the things that I am currently imagining will bring me happiness ‘someday in the future’ will not work out exactly the way I want to feel – and what if I won’t wake up the next morning to enjoy the next big step for which I am saving all of my excitements in the attic?
And for what will happen in ‘the future’, why shall I deny all the gifts, presents, and happiness which are provided to me in the present time – the one that matters the most?
Just once, try this aspect in your lives; just once loosen the strings a little that you are holding tight for so long. I think you will learn to find the faint rainbows amidst the darkest clouds of your worries.
3. Make others happy:
When they said that helping people, making people smile, and loving people unconditionally always fill your heart with peace – they didn’t say wrong.
Close your eyes for a moment and try to remember the last time you made a stranger happy; a stranger from whom you could expect nothing yet you helped them and they smiled, thanked and believed the world still consists of good hearts?
Can you remember? If you can, then try to feel the spurt of happiness in your heart. How did that feel? I am quite sure you can never feel that sort of pure sensation only celebrating yourself.
And helping people doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture; smallest things can make people smile, can fill them with joy – like helping an elderly person to walk up the stairs or to cross a busy road, helping a delivery person to find them the correct direction, saying thank you and please to the service personnel in the restaurants when you get their service, appreciating people around you for the best efforts they make to survive – all of these gestures no matter how small it might seem can make someone’s day; can make someone feel happy.
I always find myself ‘the happiest’ when I get a chance to make one person smile every day. Sometimes it’s my own friends; sometimes my family and sometimes even a random stranger.
Now, what are you waiting for?
Life is itself a unique mystery; and all of us should be grateful to experience that mystery out of everything that exists in this universe. So, get rid of those long faces, curve a smile, and have your heart filled with all the positive energy that you thought was long gone.
Everything is just around you; shift your vision a little and the world will feel much happier, much brighter.