Where Does Happiness Dwell?
(Blog by Dr.Latika Vaishak Shanbhag)
Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will evade you but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.
Nurture and enjoy your relationships
Relationships are one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives. Studies that look at happy people bear this out. The happier the person, the more likely that he or she has a large, supportive circle of family and friends, a fulfilling marriage, and a thriving social life.
Train your brain to be positive
While we can’t change our nature, we can train our brains to be more positive. This doesn’t mean putting on a smiley face and whistling a happy tune no matter what’s going on. You don’t have to ignore reality or pretend things are wonderful even when they’re not. But just as dwelling on negative things fuels unhappiness (and plays a big role in depression and anxiety), choosing to notice, appreciate, and anticipate goodness is a powerful happiness booster.
Live in the moment & savour life’s pleasures
Think about a time when you were depressed or anxious. Chances are, you were either dwelling on something negative from the past or worrying about something in the future. In contrast, when you focus on present, you are much more likely to feel centered, happy, and at peace. You’re also much more likely to notice the good things currently happening rather than letting them pass by unappreciated or unobserved. So how do you start to live more in the moment and savour the good things life has to offer?
Mindfulness meditation is a powerful technique for learning to live in and enjoy the moment. And you don’t have to be religious or even spiritual to reap its benefits. No pan flutes, chanting, or yoga pants required. Simply speaking, meditation is an exercise for your brain. When practised regularly, meditation appears to decrease activity in the areas of the brain associated with negative thoughts, anxiety, and depression. At the same time, it increases activity in the areas associated with joy, contentment, and peace. It also strengthens areas of the brain in charge of managing emotions and controlling attention.
Adopt enjoyable daily rituals
Build moments of enjoyment into your day with pleasurable rituals. These can be very basic things like lingering over a cup of coffee in the morning, taking a short stroll in the sunshine during your lunch hour, or playing with your dog when you get home. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy and appreciate it.