Articles on happiness

The Beauty of Letting People In

Ms. Charvi Jain, Psychologist
Isn’t it one of the greatest feelings in the world when someone openly tells you how much you mean to them? It is unfortunate that stuff like that is so rare now. What really happened to being honest, and straightforward with the people close to us? Why is it so hard nowadays to have even one genuine friendship/ relationship? Seems like we have become so used to being diplomatic and political in our lives - with our colleagues, bosses, relatives, at social functions, on social media that consciously or unconsciously we have started to play games even with the people we care about, the people we supposedly “love”.It is sad that we aren’t truly ourselves even at home with our family. As parents we are pressurising the kids to pursue activities that make us look good in the society. We’d rather have our children go for an extra class than sit and spend time, and bond with us. As kids, we are manipulating the parents to get what we want. We have literally started to have two different personalities - one around our parents and another in our social circle. Both of which are, unfortunately, a facade. Whether we are married, or in a relationship for years, majority of us are still finding our relationship empty. Still lacking in emotional connect. Inevitably, we end up either trying to find that connect outside or finding meaning in other things.Interestingly, the latest trend is to infact show the opposite of what we are truly feeling. I have a huge crush on this girl. The logical behaviour would be to go and ask her out on a date, right? But no, I wouldn’t even give her subtle hints that I like her. Instead, I would be nonchalant around her, act busy and hard to get.We have become experts in making that poker face; life has in turn become nothing more than a poker game; and the fellow human beings, our opponents.When, really, was the last time you were truly honest with someone, about your feelings, your insecurities, your dreams, your passions, your worries and your hopes? When was the last time you had a long chat with someone without diplomacy, without filters, and without any ulterior motive? Just a genuine, sincere and profound conversation about you, your life and future?The irony is that our expectations from relationships have not shrunk. We still want mature relationships. We want that deep connect, that sense of belonging. But we just don’t have the courage to let our guards down. We don’t have the patience and time to build on that bond. We have become so busy chasing materialistic dreams that we are forgetting that real success is about happiness. It is about having close people around who genuinely care for you. It is about joy of sharing our passions, of bonding with another human being on a deeper level, and of loving wholeheartedly.I read somewhere that we are turning into a scared generation – scared to fall in love, scared to commit, scared to fall, scared to get hurt, scared to get our hearts broken. So much that we don’t allow anyone in, nor do we step out and love anyone unconditionally. We lurk from behind walls we’ve created ourselves, looking for love and running away the moment we really find it. We don’t want to be vulnerable. We don’t want to bare our soul to anyone. We’re too guarded.Yes, it can get difficult to let people in, in this devious world. It is difficult to trust, to be vulnerable, to show your weaknesses. You can be taken advantage of, you can be betrayed, you may be judged for your flaws. But we have to realise that this fear is making us miss out on the most beautiful range of emotions, and bonds - something that we all are looking for on a deeper level. Try and remember that feeling. We all have felt it sometime in our lives, during our childhood, or with that one close friend. Try and remember how beautiful it was, to just be you - in complete sense without having to fake any emotions, without having to lie, or hide, or make up something, to be able to share your hopes and dreams, and passions with another human being. And in return to be able to be that container for another human being, and hear them tell you about a whole new side of them. That feeling is something that no money, fame, popularity can give you.The good news is that we all know by instinct - the people who will take advantage of us and the ones who will love us even more for trusting them, and for showing them the whole of ourselves! There have been several studies too which have proven that more often than not, our instincts are right. So the probability of getting cheated or betrayed really isn’t that high. So go tell your crush about your feelings towards her; tell your spouse about the insecurities you’ve been feeling; tell your parents about your real passions, hopes and dreams. Start letting people in, start telling them what you really feel.  You’ll notice that soon they start letting you in too. And you know what, that’s when the magic unfolds. The truth is, those deep, genuine, unconditional kind of relationships - the kind we see in movies, the kind we read in fairy tales, the kind we’ve always wanted and are looking for, do exist. If only we removed the facades we have added to ourselves.

7 Easy Things You Can Do Everyday to Be Happy

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
We all want happiness. But with the daily stress and overwork, it’s easier said than done.Here are seven little acts that can give you a daily dose of happiness:Enhance your positive self-talk. We all have an inner conversation going on within ourselves. The tone and content of this self-talk influences our emotional state, behavior and state of mind. Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your ears. Start actively listening to yourself – is your self-talk positive? Try and keep the conversation positive. You may even throw in some positive affirmations to the mix. A happy mind makes a happy life!Count your small victories. We may not be happy all the time, but we do have small things to be happy about. Focus on these. However, little the wins and victories may be in our daily lives, thinking about these will build the positive momentum and counter any negative onslaught in our minds.Cultivate your connections. It is scientifically proven that persons who are deeply connected with others live happier, healthier lives. They also live longer. Improving your connections with friends and family will provide positive validation and enhance your sense of self-worth. Our lives are so interconnected with others and these connections are a great source of happiness.Relax and move. Our body and mind are closely connected. Nourish your body with exercise, healthy food, adequate sleep and regular relaxation. When your body is healthy and refreshed, you can run faster, work and play more, love more energetically and generally aim higher in life. A healthy, positive body and mind make for more happiness.Show appreciation. We live in really busy times. We may forget to appreciate the daily help and support others are providing us. Pause and give appreciation – it fosters all-round happiness. When you appreciate others’ help and guidance, you’ll feel happier and more content.Learn something new every day. Keep an open mind. We can learn something new from almost anyone, anywhere. Be constantly curious. Ask questions.  There’s a certain joy in living simply while learning constantly. The more you learn, the more you know. This adds to your knowledge and wisdom. Also, you can teach what you learn. The more you learn, the more you can teach. This enhances interaction and bonding between you and others. Be constantly inspired and motivated – and happy.Find meaning. There’s more to life than mere money and corporate success. We are a part of something bigger. Try and find purpose in your life. We all have deeper yearnings that go beyond material success. Find your purpose and you’ll find depth and meaning in your life. Real happiness lies in the pursuit of purpose.Our daily grind can kill our inner spirit. Keep it alive by practicing these steps consciously. Most circumstances may be beyond our control, but our happiness can be achieved by actively engaging, connecting and responding positively.

5 Things Happy People Do

Dr Rahul Luther
Some persons are born happy, some become happy and some achieve happiness. However, there are some common things happy people do that ensures their happiness. These are:Stay positive. Staying positive is a cultivated habit. In all circumstances, happy persons do not lose their positive perspective. They realize that tough times don’t last, that there is always sunrise after darkness. If you remember that everything is temporary, even sadness, then you’re likely to stay happy.Practice gratitude. Research has shown that grateful persons are generally happier. They acknowledge the contributions of others in their lives and are grateful for it. They express gratitude by saying ‘thanks’ more often and do things for others. This enhances their connection with others and leads to a more fulfilling life experience.Ask for help. We all need help sometimes or the other. Whether it’s for a project, or an emotional problem, we should not feel too shy, or too proud, to ask for help. Asking for help opens up new avenues. And most of all, it helps us stay humble – humility being a most likable trait.Go the extra mile. Whether it’s at office, or with a friend, or a relative, do something more than expected. This will generate all-round satisfaction. The extra effort will indicate that you care for others and for your work.  And it shall reap unexpected surprises and benefits.Do the unexpected. Life can become a boring routine. Break it. Do the unexpected. Go for an unplanned holiday, or a spontaneous outing. Call a long-lost friend and go for a spontaneous outing. Add zing to your life with little surprises sometimes.Happiness can be achieved and maintained if we do these five things as a habit. Stay happy, friends!

5 Practices To Make You A Happier Person

Ms. Mariella Zanoletti, Psychologist
According to Ben-Shahar, psychologists have traditionally focused on everything that is wrong with us—our anger, our anxiety, our depression. The field of positive psychology turns that strategy on its head, focusing instead on what is working well in our lives. If all we ever do is try to eliminate ailment, he points out, then the best we’ll ever do is not be sick. By learning to emphasize joy, happiness and personal development, we find benefits far beyond the “not sick” set point.5 Things You Can Do to Chipper up:1. Give Yourself Permission to Be Human: “When you feel like crying, cry,” Ben-Shahar advises. “When you feeling like laughing, laugh.”  Suppressing an emotion will only ensure its clear announcement later. Permit yourself unconditional acceptance and be okay with exactly who you are–tears, shame, crazy fits and all.2. Develop Self-Concordant Goals: In order to be happy, positive psychologists say, align your goals and values. When we register our accomplishments as meaningful PLUS pleasurable, we get document-able benefits in return.3. Cultivate Your Mind-Body Connection: Ben-Shahar emphasizes the impact of movement and physical affection on well-being. He describes one study wherein major depressive patients who exercised were less likely to “relapse” after ten months, compared to groups who improved  by medication alone.4. Value Your Healthy Personal Relationships: Too many folks make a big mistake when it comes to long-term relationships, says Ben-Shahar. We end up looking for friends and lovers who will validate us or assure us that we’re likeable and normal. That kind of validation should come from within. In healthy relationships, the partners seek to understand each other, to know one another’s most private fears, insecurities and motivations5. Focus on the Positive: This one is probably easier prescribed than carried out, but there are scientific reasons why we should develop a habit of dwelling on the positive. Positive psychologists find that happiness is more dependent on STATE of MIND than on any environmental factor, as long as basic needs are met.  A growing body of work that falls under the rubric of Gratitude Research finds that practices like listing everything you’re thankful  lead to statistically significant increases in happiness.

5 Step Shortcut to Improved Self Esteem for Addicts

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
It is important to bring about a change in oneself so as to improve the self-esteem. The first step towards building self-esteem is ‘Goal Setting.’ This is important because one needs to feel motivated, challenged, and excited to feel good about oneself. This is very important in the development of addicts and alcoholics so as to make them realize about the capabilities, needs, desires and wants, thereby making them aware of other important areas of life apart from drugs and alcohol. The goals that are to be set should be specific, measureable, attainable, reliable and time-framed.The next step towards improving self-esteem is ‘Risk Taking.’ It is important for addicts and alcoholics to find another “high” in their lives apart from the substance that they use. To get a “high” from productive things in life will help one feel proud about themselves for the efforts that they have put in to reach their goals, whether won or lost. Risk taking is a hard yet exciting way for discovering the abilities a person has thereby working through limitations and fear.The third step towards nurturing self-esteem is ‘Opening Up.’ This is another major problem in chemically dependent people. They find it difficult to open up about their feelings and thoughts among and for the people around them. This leads them to be dishonest and in the process they live their lives in denial. It is very important to open up because it gives clarity about what they are and what they want especially to people who trust and encourage you.The fourth step is ‘Wise Choice Making.’ This comes from sharing our thoughts and feelings, and getting a feedback about behaviors from people around us. Addicts and alcoholics have always compromised on making a wise choice because of their low self-esteem. Therefore, it is important for them to share and talk about their decisions to someone before taking any action. This needs a lot of patience which brings us to the fifth step ‘Time-Sharing.’ Growing or building up of self-esteem doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of patience and efforts, which in turn requires time. It is important for addicts and alcoholics and their families to understand that if you don’t allow yourself room to grow, you may find yourself doing more stagnating than renewing. It is a good idea to maintain journals or records to assess your growth after a period of time. This brings us to the final step of ‘Healing.’ This includes the physical health and well-being, involving interaction between mind, body and spirit. It is important to heal emotionally to feel positive so as to get rid of self-defeating characteristics, thereby nurturing self-esteem. It is important to pay attention to minute details like grooming and general etiquettes. Meditation is also another way of mental healing to quiet the stress and anxiety within. It is thus important to feel love for yourself and nurture yourself so as to grow your self-esteem.“Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness.”-Louise Hart

How to Be Positive About Everything

Dr. Lakshmi T Rajan, Psychologist
How To Be Positive About Everything"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." ~Albert SchweitzerWhen you are positive about everything in your life, something magical happens. Everything good seems to effortlessly flow your way, your desires effortless manifest, and people just love hanging around you. People in your presence smile and laugh more, which makes you feel even better inside about being alive. Being positive is more important than you think. It's the foundation of your very survival. If you could only think a stream of negative thoughts for the next few weeks, you might start believing suicide is the only viable option. Once you learn how to find the good within the bad, you'll easily manifest a continual flow of success wherever you go.Life contains both polarities of nature, the deep and dark as well as the light bright, and everything between the two. The dark always contains the light, and the light always contains the dark. Just like the eastern Yin-Yang symbol. They co-exist as complementary energies that cannot exist separately. This melting light/dark energy is found in the fabric and matrix of every atom in our Universe. When you remember this, you'll know that somewhere inside the negative you can find a seed of something positive. You just have to get out your microscope and look more closely at the situation with a creative mind and an open heart.The greatest advice I've ever received for being unstoppably positive about life is the thought that "anything is possible". This one little concept has allowed my mind to continuously open, even after it became momentarily closed. Believe it or not, it is possible to be positive about everything that happens to you in life. There is always something to be learned from each situation, person and circumstance no matter how challenging it may be. Being consistently positive is simply a choice that you make in each moment. It's a creative choice where you decide that you are 100% devoted to finding some possible way to enjoy this experience. Finding positivity in everything stems FROM believing in the impossible. You start realizing that you're living in an infinite Universe that has no boundary to it, thus there is no boundary to your mind or imagination. How would you view your life differently this week if you knew without a doubt that anything and everything was possible?I'd like to give you a little exercise that will help you find the power to be positive about everything. Right now, focus your attention on your heart. What emotions and sensations do you notice are going on in there? Allow the energy around and inside your heart to soften and relax until you feel your mind follows along, and becomes more relaxed and quiet with it. Breathe slowly and deeply, focusing only on your heart relaxing. Do this for 5-10 minutes and enjoy the process of relaxing and letting go. Just explore the experience of relaxing your heart. You'll soon notice as your heart relaxes, it feels like there is more space for you to think positive thoughts about your life. I invite you to keep relaxing and opening this heart space... as you read the rest of this article.A positive state of mind is the soil where you can plant and harvest the seeds of your desires. Positive thinking is necessary for happiness to blossom and you . It creates an energized state of mind that we all wish to live in 24 hours a day IF it is authentic and truly real. You may wonder is this possible or desirable to be positive about life all the time? It is possible, if you can constantly let go and surrender to your spiritual path. Sometimes we need more growth, change or diversity to add to our life experience. Thus, we may think we need to temporarily get wrapped around a lower vibration of negative thinking. Usually this is followed by a strong urge to try and think only pure positive thoughts all the time. It's good to know that everything in life, yes everything, is temporary.The mind is like a parachute, when it opens up it will save your life. With an open mind you don't have to try so hard to only think positive thoughts. You can allow for any life experience to show up and simply open your mind to seeing the positive come out of it. It is a constant moment to moment choice to have an open positive mind. If you can just choose to have an open mind, you'll be able to manifest anything and everything you want in life. If the mind is impatient and continues to stay closed and will not open, embrace it with curiosity. The more doubt, disbelief, and resistance you have, the greater the transformation will be! If you can maintain an open mind and a relaxed heart for the next 30 days of your life, an orgasmic experience of constant bliss will be awaiting you. That is something to look forward to!!When you practice opening your mind and relaxing into your heart for 16 hours a day, eventually positive thinking will come flooding into you! You will explore what its like to embrace each experience you have with a childlike state of wonder and curiosity. You will see how much fun life truly is! You can play, learn, experiment, and enjoy this Divine creative exploration your soul signed up for! You'll see that each positive or negative thought is a gift or a tool that's designed to help enlighten you on your journey. The negative dark energy emphasizes positive lightness, and makes is sparkle! When you relax about the negative, you'll soon find that the situations you're currently in right now are all Divine and sacred. Then, each circumstance of your life becomes a guru for you.When you're ready to live a life that is filled with relaxation, you'll start appreciating the little things in life. You'll find happiness in a green blade of grass or even a simple walk in the park. You'll start to slow down more and bring yourself into a natural state of meditation everyday. You'll want to practicing sitting alone, quietly with yourself, being relaxed, still, silent and truly resting into your heart for 20 minutes every 24 hours. By making this a daily habit, you will build up substantial energy, focus, and consciousness that your spiritual awareness will become finely tuned. The advanced spiritual seeker is deeply happy with life exactly as it is...and this divine part of you is wanting some practice! Ultimately, your spiritual exploration in life is where you'll find a natural long term state of positivity that carries you through the day."You are the Supreme Being, and yet thinking yourself to be separate from it, you strive to become united with it.What is stranger than this?" ~Ramana MaharshiIf you can stop and imagine yourself having a spiritual awakening experience in your life, what do you see happening? The experience of enlightenment is simply a shift into a larger perspective about everything. Start with asking yourself if you are experiencing this moment of your life from the viewpoint of your ego, or from your soul? Are you seeing life as if you were connected to the God Source or trying to connect to it? The shift into happiness occurs when your ego dissolves and you surrender to the whole. When this occurs, the secret is that you don't try to maintain or possess any perspective, epiphany or spiritual experience. Just thank it for coming to you, feel it into your bones, and integrate it when it shows up as best you can. A spiritual ecstatic experience can be very big and amazing, so the tendency may be to try and hold on. Yet, let each one go and remain open because the next one (an even bigger one) is on its way!It's good to know that each experience of life already contains an effortless direction connection to the God Source itself. There is nothing truly you need to "do" to create this connection. You already are this spiritual energy and divine consciousness. It is already here now, in this very moment. These enlightening thoughts are just pointers and reminders for you to see and feel it again. So just relax, sit back and enjoy the ride! Enjoy this blessed magical mind and body you're living in. You're about to dive inside yourself and discover that the rest of your life is a grand spiritual journey. Have fun and enjoy the ride!Spread unconditional love.

Mindfulness - the Art of Being

Ms. Neeta Shetty(P. T), Psychologist
Mindfulness is often confused as a complicated affair but the simple essense of Mindfulness is living with full awareness or the Art of Being. Its about living in the present moment with awareness and focus . Most of the time we tend to conjure up the past or future worries. Mindful living helps us to savour the flavors of life by enjoying the present moment applying our five senses of Sight, Smell, Touch, Sound and Taste.Happiness has nothing to do with accumulating a lot of materialistic or non-materialistic things but rather associated with the quality of time spent or memories which we create with ourselves and others. Spending time doing things that we enjoy such as cultivating a hobby or getting into an activity like Dancing, Swimming, Exercising, Meditation and Yoga helps us reboot our brains thus promoting happiness and improved focus, memory and creativity. Mindful living helps us to introspect, make self-discovery and enhance self awareness which aids problem solving and improves interpersonal relationship skills. Busy-ness and multitasking is the way of life most of us. We are so busy 'Doing' that we have stopped 'Being'. This doingness not only complicates and stresses us out but also makes us more mechanical and less creative. Being busy often takes away our focus from the day-to-day tiny pleasures of life which we usually overlook by doing multiple things. Not many of us notice the Sunrise or the Sunset nor observe the breeze brushing against our skin or hear the sound of birds around us or stop to smell the flowers on our way.Living Mindfully and with awareness is extremely essential for happiness and health. But the fact remains that we rarely prioritize this over our never ending to-do list. We often think that we are happy and satisfied once we accomplish or do a lot of things in life and in the bargain tend to overlook the nourishing activities which help us de-stress and unwind. Hence learning the Art of Being and breaking free from the habit of Doing is extremely important for our Mental Wellbeing. This will not only help you to be a happier,better and a successful person but also have wonderful relationship with the people around you as well as improve the quality of your life. Mindfulness does not take up a lot of time its not a therapy or a course but a way of life, what is required to practice it is patience and persistance.