- Dr. Nadia Mawji, ND
4 ways to be genuinely happy
We have all experienced life– the ups & downs; the grief; the joys; the desires and needs of what we think will make us happy and more.
What truly does make us happy? Do we try to do what we think will make others happy? How much of what we do is for us? Do we live in the here and now? Why do things that other people do affect us? Are you content? What do you need to achieve to make you happy? Why do we always want more?
We live in a society that really emphasizes the importance of acquiring “things”, looking a certain way, talk a certain way, acting a certain way. Have we forgotten how to be ourselves? Is this what is stopping us from being TRULY HAPPY?
This is something we need to work on throughout our lives. Here are 4 things that I have learned over the last 10 years:
Express Gratitude: Being thankful for what you have RIGHT NOW, for you who are RIGHT NOW, for your relationships RIGHT NOW, for your skills/talents RIGHT NOW is SO SO SO important. It’s grounding. It’s eye-opening. It’s necessary. Expressing gratitude really trains your mind to think that “good things are already happening”. It helps us understand that WE DO NOT NEED NECESSARILY NEED MORE TO FEEL BETTER. It helps us engage into self-positivity.
Meditate: This can mean something different to each one of us. Spend 5 minutes a day free from distraction, noise and inter-personal interaction. Close your eyes and JUST BE. You will think about random things and your mind will wander and that’s okay. You will get better. This exercise will help you become stronger, mentally. Meditation helps to shape our reaction in certain situations. Meditation helps to improve your attention and self-regulation (Tang et al 2009). Just 5 minutes a day.
Keep Moving: When we move physically, we feel better mentally. Ever just use exercise to FEEL BETTER? Ever exercise to make YOU happy? In our society of expectations around the health industry and what we should aim to be, ask yourself, what do YOU really want? Find an activity that brings you joy, truly, and just keep moving!
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS: This one is my favorite! Have you ever heard the saying, “what you don’t know, can’t hurt you”? It doesn’t get more real than this! Yes, care for your family, friends and close ones. Ignore the gossip, the hate and the actions of people who you cannot control. If it’s not in your control, it shouldn’t matter! If someone says something, it shouldn’t matter! If it doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t have the power to make you sad, angry or upset. And if it doesn’t make you sad, angry or upset…then you’re most likely just HAPPY!!
We are all a work in progress. We all have the capacity to employ the above points in our daily living. We can have goals and aspire to be more, but happiness will come when you have accepted the now. We are all human. Just focus on what matters to you.
Tang et al 2009. Central and autonomic nervous system interaction is altered by short term meditation. 106(22): 8865-8870.