Up your happiness quotient by looking at the simple things in life

By Rekha Balakrishnan|31st Dec 2018
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The best way is to revel in the present so that you need not worry too much about your future. Here are some simple ways to bring happiness into your life.

The best things in life are the simple things… The ones that don’t cost any money! All you have to do is slow down, wake up and smell the coffee! Take time to look up. Clouds can be beautiful. The early rays of the morning sun can be invigorating! Adopting a pet can give you a new best friend. The list is endless! And you don’t have to think too much. Happiness is right out there. Grab it!

Just listen to what your heart says… and go for it! As the Shirley Temple song goes, “The simple things in life are around you everywhere, right outside your door, why keep reaching for the moon? Another day is here, there is happiness to share, look outside your door and stop reaching for the moon.”

HerStory presents a few simple things that will help you revel in the present so that you need not have to worry too much about your future.

Cleaning up clutter

Clothes all over the place, the trash bin overflowing, vessels heaped up in the kitchen sink! Not really pretty sights, but you are human after all. The daily rut at work bogs you down and when you come home, the clutter seems like a clogged effort that definitely does not better your day. No one is complaining, everyone knows you have had a hard day. But, you know you’d be much happier without the mess around. After all, a cluttered house is often the key to thousand little secrets that have been lost to you. Imagine finding the other pair of your favourite earring or your misplaced scarf that your husband got you or better still, what if the whole activity could actually find you a considerable amount of cash loot that you thought was gone forever. Now, if all this is not motivation enough what is! So, here’s what you can do; put on your favourite music and don your working gloves and begin ‘decluttering’ your home and life.

A brisk walk on the beach

We all know walking is healthy for us, no one’s arguing with that. But often what is good for us is not what we are necessarily motivated to do. A brisk walk is what the doctor recommends and therefore not very inviting a suggestion, is it? But here’s what, walk for yourself not the doctor and see the difference. Here’s what you need to do – put on your walking shoes (buy a reliable brand), load your phone with your favourite songs and start walking. The park nearby is an ideal location given the early morning breeze or the late night nip in the air. More than a healthy option, it’s the best way to reconnect with your inner energy. So, go on walk the talk!

Gossiping with sisters

Women are blessed with many forms of therapies. There’s retail therapy, there’s crib therapy and then there is gossip therapy. Now, gossip therapy comes highly recommended. It costs nothing and is the best form of entertainment, be it at a family reunion or just a gossip session. Gossiping with friends is a given, but gossiping with sisters is often more special. They are your kin and naturally they are cut from the same cloth, making it easier to relate to each other. A gossip session between sisters is full of fun, laughter and gentle ribbing! More often than not, it’s about the husbands… their likes and dislikes, their pet peeves… letting off steam. Cos no one understands you better than your sisters! And here’s an added advantage. For those times, when you have had a tiff with your sister, just use a small piece of gossip and your olive branch to bring things back to normal. It always works.

Having some ‘me time’

Selfless acts are something we women are really adept at. We sacrifice our beauty regimens, our shopping trips, our favourite things – all for the ‘greater good’ of loved ones around us. Well, we can be of use to others only if we are useful to ourselves first, right? Take some ‘Me Time’. Do the things you have always dreamt of doing. Bake that cake your way with lots of chocolate (forget the calories for a change!), take that salsa class you have been wanting to or how about that massage appointment that has been at the back of your mind for as long as your bosses’ long-winding meetings. Or, you can simply pack your bags and head to the nearest resort for a get away from it all! Be yourself!

Sleeping in the outdoors

Time for some happiness
The outdoors is a great place to relax

Camping out in the great outdoors, underneath a canopy of stars, lit by nothing but the moonlight – sounds like you are in a movie, does it not? Well, it does not take too much time to translate the reel into real. All you need is a sleeping bag, a tent and of course the company of your husband or even a friend (you do not want to be alone out in the wild!) Be it conversations, whispering sweet nothings, identifying constellations or even regaling each other with ghost stories under torchlight, you can have some pure simple unadulterated fun; the kind that sends tingles down your spine and a ray of content glee through your heart. Oh! Do make sure you camp near a lake for that early morning swim.

Maintaining a journal

Many of us feel the need to pen down feelings and chronicle our day-to-day activities and then many of us don’t really have the time to maintain a detailed journal. For those who don’t have the time, maintaining a journal of inspiring quotes, poems and lyrics may just be the thing. You can carry it with you everywhere you go and anytime you read a quote or poem that inspires you, write it down. Even if you come across an inspiring picture, you can cut it out and stick it in the journal. Just remember there are no rules. Let your journal be an easel to your thoughts and emotions!

Volunteering with an NGO

How often have you thought of helping that child on the street or have felt that longing need to do some good for the animals in your neighborhood? All of us have compassion in us, it is up to us how we use it. Yes, writing out an annual cheque for your favourite charity is the easiest way to give back to the community, but try volunteering for a change. Take some time out of your busy social schedule and walk into the NGO that you have been always passing on your way to office. The joy of helping people is something that comes with a 100 percent feel-good guarantee. An orphanage, an old people’s home or an animal shelter – pick something close to your heart and spend some time making a difference. It’s an image-building exercise like no other.

Sunrises and sunsets

The sight of the blazing red sun rising over a mountain range is something that can awaken the soul. Imagine standing atop a hill, dew-wet grass beneath your feet, birds chirping a dawn song to the music of gentle breeze and rays of red-orange emanating from the mountain valleys. It is a new day, a new beginning. Here comes the sun…It fills you with light. You become one with nature and you find yourself hoping of beautiful things to come. And, soon it is time for the sun to set. You are walking along the sands of time with the expanse of the silent sea that waits like an eager lover to welcome the sun back home. The blue-green waters mingle with red-orange hues and your heart’s content that the day was well-spent. It is an epiphany. You are ready for another sunrise and any other challenge that may arise another day.

Dancing in the rain

Dance like nobody's watching

There is something very comforting about the rain. It is almost as if every once in a while the heavens open up to pour down on Earth to cool it down and offer it a new lease of life, a chance to grow despite the torture that the human race puts it through. The rain also signifies a cleansing of sorts. Of course, getting wet in the rain may not be a very practical idea, but the simple joy of it warrants taking that risk. It clouds your sorrows and washes away your gloom and if there is the sun shining, you know you’d see a rainbow. You need not be a Gene Kelly or an Eliza Doolittle. All you need to do is listen to the music of your heart and hop, skip a few puddles and soak yourself in the bliss of the moment. Umbrellas and raincoats can be mere props to your dance routine, of course!

Cooking a new dish that turns out tasty and looks good and family and friends enjoy it.

“Any food that is cooked fresh with simple ingredients, nourishing the health of those who eat them – that is what can be called good cooking,” says Julia Child. How true that is! Cooking up a new dish is like creating something new. It is a moment of self-fulfillment! For some it is therapeutic, for others, it forges a bond with their loved ones. And what better gift to give friends and family than a delicious meal, complete with all the trappings. Sumptuous food, some crispy conversation, a cosy ambience - that’s what love’s all about, isn’t it?

Reading a book

You just realise that you have a whole afternoon to yourself. It is raining outside and you naturally cannot go out in the rain, so what do you do? Curl up on your favourite couch with a really good book that tickles your funny bones or sends warm romantic shivers up your spine or a book that motivates you to get up and do something positive. Stories weave magic, characters come alive, advice comes in handy, drama thrills… It’s the ultimate escape! Whatever it may be, the power of written word is such that it can make or break a person’s thoughts.

Meeting people

It’s a small world, but there are more than enough people in it! A great man once said ‘No man is an island unto himself’ and you must admit despite those times when you do want to get away from the madding crowd, it is the people around you that make your life worth the effort. As humans it is but natural that we want to explore new places, meet new people and turn perfect strangers into a lifelong bond. Sometimes, strangers remain just that, and yet leave you with bittersweet memories that go a long way. We interact with people in conferences, in buses, in trains, on flights, almost from every walk of life and each leaves us a pearl of wisdom to treasure in his or her own way. So, be a people person and remember this – there is only six degrees of separation between you and that woman you met in the metro this morning.

 

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