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4 Easy Ways to Get Happier

4 Easy Ways to Get Happier

 

More than a decade ago, an American researcher called David Lykken made a rather drastic and depressing statement about happiness. He said, ďTrying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller.”

But rejoice! He quickly confessed that he had made a Ďdumbí statement. I’m glad that he did confess, because I know for sure that happiness can be ours for the taking.

I asked some of my friends to tell me their happiness secrets because I love hearing from people how they enrich their lives. Here’s what they told me:

“I Call a Friend”

Anita Thakur, 29, website owner

Why it works: Chatting up with a pal fulfills the very human need to feel close, connected and intimate. Each time I share some good news with a friend, the joy doubles. When Iím sad, reaching out to a friend makes sure my misery is halved.

How I make it happen: †Iíve learned to say, †”letís meet more often,” when I actually mean it. If it means a choice between some supposedly important chore and catching up with my best friend over coffee, I nearly always choose the latter, and Iím always glad I did.

“I Try to Stay Positive”

Amita Dewan, 32, shopowner

Why it works: Well, as they say, “at the end of the journey the pessimist might well turn out to be right, but at least the optimist has a more fun ride.Ē Luckily for me, Iím blessed with ‘happy genes.’ So, a few years ago, when I lost my purse in the middle of a crowded market, I refused to think it wouldnít come back. Everyone scoffed, saying, “Nobody returns a free load of money,” (and my purse contained a load.) But guess what — someone actually called and returned it!

How I make it happen:† I practice replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.† So, ĎI canítí and Ďit wonítí become ĎI caní and ĎIt Will.í Try it. Works every time!

“I Do Something”

Sylvia, 49,† homemaker

Why it works: I believe studies show that action encourages Ďthe happiness hormone,í endorphins, to flow fast and easy. Iím no researcher, but Iíve seen that this is so true. When Iím feeling low, I clean out a cupboard, or roll out some pastry, or go out for a brisk walk.

How I make it happen: Iíve learned to replace Ďmindlessí activity such as watching television or playing a video game with positive action: earlier, I used to let myself sink into the couch with a bag of chips, and that just made everything worse. Now, I can take most difficulties head on, because I make the right moves!

“I Do Nothing”

Anand Srivastava, 55, businessman

Why it works: Meditation or even just sitting in stillness for a while helps you tune out of your stresses and tune in to your pure consciousness, where there’s nothing but calm and happiness. Iíve discovered that my mind is clearer afterwards, which helps me make the right decisions, leading to more happiness.

How I make it happen: I practice Transcendental Meditation, or dhyana.

So different strokes for different folks, but one happy goal. Take their secrets and smile — because whatever the dictionary might tell you, happiness is actually a verb!

Related:
My Idea of Happiness
3 Steps to Get Out of a Baditutde
Overwhelmed? Try an Intuition Check

Read more: Depression, Exercises, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Love, Mental Wellness, Relationships, Self-Help, Spirit, Stress, , , , , , ,

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

55 comments

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2:16AM PST on Jan 28, 2013

Interesting, thanks!

3:01PM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

It's important to note that these will only work for some people. Only half of these tips apply to me. People tend to vastly underestimate how widely people can vary both in personality and circumstances. While these tips probably are good for most people, it is a little annoying to read articles that imply that you fit a particular model when you don't, with no acknowledgement that you can still count as a person and not fit.

3:45PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

thank you.

1:43PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

I will try them out.

4:13PM PST on Feb 1, 2012

sadly these do not seem to apply to or help me out all that much

1:57PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

Siti R. has a very valid point, thanks.

9:56AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

I use all options: I exercise (Yoga) or meditate, take a step aside and reflect, write (project or journal entry), talk to a another person (workplace associate, friend or relative), visit a cafe while working or in public. Sometimes it's good just to laugh, cry or cook something special (nutritious and comforting).

Exercise and plant based food have fantastic hormonal and system balancing effects on your body and mind. It's a composite or holistic routine.

3:27PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

AS IN MANY CASES I DO OFTEN CALL A FRIEND, BUT WHERE THAT IS NOT APPLICABLE, I PICK UP MY CROCHET HOOK AND GET TO WORK. CREATING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING IS "VERY" AMAZING TO ME EVEN AFTER 20 OR SO YEARS OF DOING SO. AND THE RESULTS ARE EVEN MORE REWARDING. HOBBIES AND CRAFTS CAN DO WONDERS!

6:52AM PST on Dec 29, 2011

"In beauty it begins; in beauty it ends...All is beauty."

Ria T., that was the most magical thing I have ever heard. Thank you so much for sharing. Health, peace and love.

12:53PM PST on Dec 26, 2011

Thanks.

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