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The happiness vaccines

This is the season to be happy but is it possible to be permanently happy? I have been studying, researching, practising and practically working on myself to be happy and to make others happier. Happiness, after all, is a state of mind in which we feel peaceful, full of joy, calm and relaxed.

Most of us pass our lives chasing happiness. But no can be permanently happy. Just as time passes, happiness does too. To be happy in the now is important. Happiness can be stored as memories, mementoes or images that offer a link to good experiences. Let me offer an example. Amid the pandemic, a cyclonic storm struck. I was lucky to get some candles and milk in the evening. In the morning, an elderly couple from across the road called to enquire about us. Power supply had not been restored and their mobile phones had lost charge. They had no milk either. I began to create individual packs of a candle and a milk pouch and delivered to them and some others. Suddenly, there was light amid the darkness. Small nuggets of joy are important yet most of us run after bigger, more tangible things.

It is our minds that we need to take charge of. Are we responding to a situation or experience or reacting to it? This makes a huge difference. Another thing that we need to do is to accept ourselves, others and the universe. Only then can we aspire to change anything. Hopes and aspirations are a must but do not waste the now. My ATM for happiness is: A for acceptance, T for taking charge and M for making the most of what you have.

Hard truths

In 2020, we learnt and unlearnt many hard truths. All those who wanted personal time with oneself, family and friends got an overdose of it. Being together too much also took a toll. I used an activity-based action programme for my daily routine with demarcated work and non-work hours but kept it flexible as some overlap was bound to happen. With an eye on health and fitness, I followed the early-to-bed and early-to-rise model. Another model that I applied to my daily life was caring, sharing, listening and speaking. Every day, I would perform some action around these: sharing food with an unknown person; asking about someone’s health in the neighbourhood; listening to someone who was ill or just wanted to talk either over a phone call or a video call; calling a family member or friend that I had not been in touch with … these were what I called my happiness vaccines.

leadersnkh@gmail.com


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 7:22:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-happiness-vaccines/article33480640.ece

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