Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be” said Abraham Lincoln.
Happiness What does happiness mean to you? Happiness means differently for different people. What makes one happy, differs from person to person. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary happiness means a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.
Pursuit of Happiness
As we grow up as students, we start forming our thoughts like, “When I’ll score good marks in my exams I’ll be really happy and I’ll make my parents proud!” Then “when I’ll come first in the class”, “when I’ll win the competition”, “when I’ll get admission in the best college”, “when I’ll be successful” and the desires goes on and on.
How do we become happy?
Happiness doesn’t come with a magic wand. Happiness lies within us and only we ourselves are responsible for our happiness. To cope yourself with mechanisms to be happy, you can drill the following tips.
Train the Brain
By training our brain ‘to feel good’ we can effectively learn to be happy. A psychological research shows that our genes are responsible for 40% of our happiness, 10% of happiness comes from food, shelter and safety and the rest 50% of happiness is entirely subjected to us. You can create it intentionally. Explore what makes you happier and what are the barriers in your way to happiness. When you work towards excluding and deleting barriers to happiness from your life you are one step closer to happiness. The barriers could be immense like keeping very high expectations of yourself, trying to be perfect, making comparisons and competing with others and so on to very minor thing as not being appreciated by your loved one when you do something for them. The external barriers that are not in your hands cannot be changed, but what can be changed is your attitude towards the barriers you face.
Are you overwhelmed by negative emotions? Reflect on what are you feeling and why? What are the thoughts that accompany those emotions? Are these thoughts true? Write to yourself if you need and seek guidance for the same. Take positive actions to work on your situation which will reap positive outcome and in turn make you feel happy.
Dealing with Stress and hardships
Students are under pressure to perform and excel well in studies and extracurricular activities. The pressure to outshine self-expectations and of others often brings along stress and hardships. On a daily basis to fight stress one can do deep breathing, take out some time with your friend and talk, read a book of your choice, listen to a song that will make you feel good and less stressed. Stress can be combated by temporary means, but to keep stress by the bay one can practice to be organized and follow routine discipline. Plan well in advance what you need to do. You can break big tasks into smaller tasks and finish work in time so there is no scope for stress. Take stress and anxiety in a positive stride to achieve what you have been aiming for because without it, you wouldn’t feel the urgency to finish a task at your hand.
Healthy Body Healthy Mind
A healthy mind leads to a healthy body, and on the other hand to enjoy good physical health we need to have sound mental health. To be happy it’s important to take care of your body and mind. Cleaning the clutter in our minds that we create often by negative thoughts and emotions, you can attract more positivity in life. You can work on reframing negative thought patterns like “I am angry” to “I’m feeling angry”. “I’m feeling” is a passing feeling that you can overcome, whereas when you say “I’m angry”, it starts developing into your subconscious mind. A timely eating and sleeping regime is very crucial to be healthy and think healthy for a happier life.
Qualities to have a positive and happy life
It is the quality of seeing the glass half full and truly appreciating that half that makes one’s life fulfilling. When one changes their attitude of seeing a situation in a more positive manner one can become resilient to their problems. You can instil the qualities it takes to have a better off time in your life. Some of the qualities that will guide you to be in a state of happiness are as follows:
- Resilience: It is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
- Empathy: It is the ability to think and share the feelings of another by putting yourself in their shoes.
- Acceptance: It is the virtue to admit to one’s reality and dealing with what is the way it is.
- Forgiveness: Recall a situation where you were forgiven by someone for something you did and view a situation through the eyes of the one who did something wrong.
- Being Grateful: Appreciate what you have got and think what are you grateful for and express gratitude for it.
- Positivity: Positive emotions and thoughts lead to a more positive outlook towards life and will make you more hopeful and efficient in dealing with difficult situations.
- Building healthy relationships: Healthy relationships with your friends and family will make you feel good about yourself and help enhance your life.
- Responsibility: Take responsibility for your actions and refuse to blame others for your life and being a victim.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Doing well in school and college is not just getting good grades and competing but also having a well-balanced life and contributing to others. To have a well-balanced life it is very important to relax. Block sometime to sit and meditate where you can find some peaceful time. Sit up straight and bring your attention to your breath and feel the sensations in your body. Breathing in and breathing out slowly you will get into a state of relaxation. Once you start doing it regularly you will get to see the wonders it does to your mind and body.
Reward yourself to encourage yourself to get to work even when you don’t feel like it. Take up the challenge to do something that seems difficult for you and reward yourself when you achieve it. You can reward yourself. The reward need not be something big. It could be something very small like a chocolate, or you can have your favourite past time, or listen to your favourite song, anything that you can reward yourself with. Give yourself rewards for the efforts you take whenever possible to motivate yourself.
Maintain a diary
Maintain a diary to write in your thoughts and emotions. Write in positive notes to yourself. Also don’t forget to mention what you’ve been through, and what all troubles you’ve overcome so far. Write in your dreams and goals that you want to achieve so that it is more concrete to work on. Writing will not only help you vent out and self-reflect but will also guide you to make better choices and decisions. It’s all about appreciating yourself up till so far, for the courage and persistence you have had. More importantly make sure no one finds your diary.
So hope for the best and give in your best efforts. Keep a healthier approach to life to gain more success in your academics and in future. Student’s ability to deal with life is important, and mental and physical health are essential factors for it, which comes easy when you are satisfied. Happy students can reach their goals effectively and put their time to use more productively. They’re liked more by others and have stronger relationships with family and peers. It will create a significant impact on your life ahead.
Happiness won’t come in a click, but if you practice these methods and qualities daily you’ll surely take up a step closer to it!