Thursday, 5 January 2017

Navigate Your Joy- 16 Things You Can Do to be Happy Now


Navigate your joy- 16 things you can do to be happy now.

On my lifelong quest to finding happiness, I was hoping to unearth a slightly less clich├ęd & a slightly more complicated answer. But it really is a choice that you make every day in every minute, when you go to sleep or the moment you wake up. Its something you can consciously choose or not choose every time you do something or decide something or plan something. Once you come to terms with this concept and have committed yourself to choosing happiness, here are 16 other things you can do to amplify your happiness now!

Gratitude-You cannot be unhappy and grateful in the same moment. It's really that simple. The key though is to feel grateful in your bones. Just saying that you are grateful but feeling angry, resentful or fearful is something you need to keep a check on. So take a deep breath and start feeling truly grateful now. If you cant feel it start with something small and something basic, such as your hot shower on a cold winter morning, your breakfast, your mobile phone, the Internet connection etc. Work your way up from there. Gratitude is also a practice, it’s a muscle you need to exercise consistently in order for it to get strong.

Being present in the nowI know this is easier said than done and yes, like any other personal development junkie, I am recommending meditation. Try and not be intimidated. Meditation takes years of practice. I personally feel that some of easiest meditations especially when starting out are guided meditations. They are best to ease into the habit of daily mindfulness. Another way to keep this in check is by simply observing, notice when your mind starts to wander elsewhere, simply acknowledge that and try and bring it back to the present moment. Another way of being in the present moment is by doing something that you really enjoy. For me it’s cooking, doing yoga, going for long walks and/or being close to nature. A good indicator of being present in the now is that you forget to look at your phone for a while because you are having so much fun.

Step out in nature- Watching the sun rise or set, walking, stepping barefoot on grass or beach, swimming in the ocean are all ways to recharge your body, mind and soul and they are bound to elevate your mood.

 De clutter, tidy up & be light - I just finished listening to Marie Kondo’s The Magic of Tidying Up and like 6 million other people, something in me shifted. I have been a big hoarder pretty much all my life and even though I am still to apply the ‘Konmarie’ method to my entire household, I cannot describe the joy it brings as soon as you start de-cluttering & organizing your household. You start to feel light in your mind & body immediately.

 Give- As soon as you get out of your a** and do something for someone else, you feel AMAZING. It’s a bit scary at first but once you do it, you feel so much better and happier. It makes you believe in yourself more, gives you a sense of personal power and not in an arrogant way and personally for me has been a great confidence booster too.

 Exercise- Scientifically speaking, when you exercise, your body naturally produces endorphins and that puts you in a good mood. There are countless ways to exercise and you should pick something that you love & enjoy. Otherwise exercising will feel like yet another chore and you will eventually find excuses to not do it. I found my joy in yoga and pint sized HIIT workouts. Where have you found yours?

 Sleep- Getting good quality sleep rather than quantity is important. Every person is different and while some people need 6 hours, others might need 8 or even 9 hours to recuperate. Don’t count and judge the number of hours you should or should not be sleeping. Trust your body on this, its smarter than you think it is. Benefits of a good night’s sleep are endless, but most of all good sleep makes you less irritable, more calm, focused and happy.

Buy the best food you can afford. You really are what you eat and food can either be medicinal or poisonous. Be careful of what you put inside your body. The best way is to get involved with your food and start loving the whole process of selecting, buying & preparing your food. Your body needs you to be a food snob right now so be one and don’t feel awkward or guilty about wanting to know what is in your dish especially when you eat out! Don’t settle for anything less than the very best. Eating good quality, healthy food will most certainly make you feel happy & light. Eating crap might make you happy for a bit but it will ultimately turn into heartburn, indigestion and stomach pain & depression.

 Spend on experiences rather than things. While buying material things can make you happy momentarily, accumulating things around your house and in your life causes nothing but overwhelm. I have learnt this the hard way after 30 years of collecting junk. I now value experiences more than I value tangible things. That spa day you have been thinking of, that holiday you have been delaying, I heard you wanted to fly in a hot air balloon, bungee jump, sky dive?! Don’t put these off a minute longer. Go do them or at least plan to do them. These memories you will cherish all your life, and they will put a smile on your face every time you remember them. Some of my happiest memories are from holidays and times spent with family and friends, not from when I bought yet another dress from off season sales. Surprise surprise!

Buy your time back. Outsource.  This is a tough one to accept. We are all guilty of being penny-wise and pound-foolish. We think doing everything ourselves will help us save money plus no one else can do it better! Right? Perhaps that’s true! But there is something so magical in ‘letting go’. There is nothing more precious than time. Think of time as your currency and something will shift inside of you. Besides if time is currency then everyone is equally rich or poor. I like that thought! Having extra time can mean a lot of things. You can focus on things that matter the most...

Get creative. But be conscious that you are being creative just to be happy and don’t tie your passion to convert it into your profession. Let go of that. Find things that you like or love doing and do them without any passion-to-profession expectations. I also call them joy navigators. Just do them cause they bring you joy. So for me it's cooking healthy food & doing yoga. What is it for you?

Practice radical self love- We are creatures of love and we all seem to agree on that. While we tend to love others easily, we often find it very difficult to love ourselves. Please stop that negative self talk now. Stop body shaming. Stop punishing yourself in order to be perfect. Be kind, be gentle towards yourself. This is not at all about conceit. This is pure unadulterated love. If you want to be able to give love to others you first need to love yourself. And the rest automatically falls into place.       

Practice radical forgivenessLet go & forgive, holding a grudge against someone is like walking around with heavy suitcases 24*7. Why would you ever want to walk around with heavy suitcases?

Rediscover yourself. Remember that thing you loved when you were young. But left it cause your family said you couldn't make a career out of it. Or left it cause of competition that society instilled? Or left it cause you were ‘not good enough’? Do your soul a favour; take it up again. Just for fun. For me it's dancing. I love to dance but I don't want to be a professional dancer. I love dancing silly whilst getting ready or cleaning the house or just randomly.

Value people more than you value things- This was a big one for me. I live in a different country to my parents and brother but I truly feel that has got us closer. I value them a lot more and talk to them much more than I ever did growing up. If I am ever feeling low and anxious, I make it a point to call my mom, dad and brother and as soon as I know they are ok, I feel calm and happy. So have you been thinking of calling that family member or friend, just do it. Do it now. Pick up the phone and call your mom, dad, brother, sister or friends. Its 2017 and chances are that love or work may have brought you to another city perhaps another country. If you are ever feeling down, nothing is more reassuring than a quick call to your near & dear ones. Just do it.

Get a pet – I don’t have a pet yet but I am seriously thinking about getting one. I don’t know one person who regretted getting a pet. All I have ever heard from people who get pets is the amount of love, joy and happiness the pets have brought to their homes.

Go out & play! Don't take yourself too seriously ;)
            
Before I sign off...
You will still face problems, life will happen, there will be turmoil, ups & downs, relationships will come to an end, people will die but your happiness should not be subject to that. But the key is to remember to be connected with yourself and flow with life in its highs and lows. Don't delay being happy. It's your birth right and it is a choice. Commit to it. Set the intention of being happy, no matter what. I know its easier said than done, but you’ve got to practice happiness regularly to get good at being happy. Its just like any other skill.

I hope that the new year has started off on a great note for you and I truly wish that this year is a HAPPY one for all of us. 
Share:
© Shirin Saluja | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig